Ford Motor Company Part IV – The Ford Comète

Ford Comète

Ford Comète1951-54 Ford Comète
Manufacturer Ford SAF
Production 1951–1954
Body and chassis
Class 4-seater sports car
Body style 2-door coupé
2-door cabriolet
(only 2 produced)
Layout FR layout
Related Ford Vedette
Engine 2,158 cc Aquillon V8
till 1952
2,355 cc Aquillon V8
3,923 cc Mistral V8
Transmission 3-speed manual
Length 4,620 mm (182 in)
Width 1,740 mm (69 in)
Height 1,420 mm (56 in)
Curb weight 1,290 kg (2,840 lb)

The Ford Comète (also the Simca Comète) was a car built between 1951 and 1954 in France by the Ford Motor Company‘s French subsidiary, Ford SAF. Intended as the luxury model in the range, the Comète’s bodywork was built by FACEL, who later produced the better-known Facel Vega luxury cars under their own name. The original engine was a 2.2 L V8 produced by Ford SAF of French design, also used in the Ford Vedette, with a Pont-à-Mousson 4-speed manual transmission fitted.

The original model had a single horizontal bar across the grille with a chromed shield or bullet in the centre, somewhat similar to contemporary Studebaker products, among others, with steel wheels and chromed hubcaps.

More power for 1953

In October 1952, for the Paris Motor Show, the Comète appeared with an engine enlarged from 2,158 cc to 2,355 cc. Claimed horse-power was raised from 68 hp to 80 hp indicating that there was more to the engine upgrade than simply an increase in the cylinder bore from 66.0 mm to 67.9 mm. (The stroke remained unchanged at 81.3 mm.) The most obvious of several other engine enhancements at this stage was the increase in the compression ratio from 6.8 : 1 to 7.4 : 1, reflecting the appearance of slightly higher octane fuels. Torque and engine flexibility were also improved and the claimed top speed increased from 130 km/h (81 mph) to 145 km/h (90 mph).

Much more power available for 1954

Available from the start of 1954, a new “Monte-Carlo” model appeared with the 3,923 cc V8 engine normally fitted to Ford trucks; this engine, befitting its truck heritage, delivered 78 kW (105 hp) with plenty of torque. Performance was much improved, but the new engine did not endear itself to buyers of the car having a “truck engine”, The engine’s large displacement meant that its taxed horsepower rating imposed by the French government was 22CV, giving a high road tax in a country where government taxation policy, especially after 1948, was high for cars with engine sizes above 2 litres. This new model was fitted with wire wheels, a fake hood scoop, and a typical for the time Ford egg-crate grille, consisting of vertical and horizontal equally spaced bars. The French called this grille a “coupe-frites”: a “french-fry cutter”.


The Comète combined the elegant style of a body by Facel with the mechanical underpinnings of the Ford Vedette combined with a shortened wheelbase. The rear seat was stylishly designed, especially on the upmarket “Monte-Carlo” version with its two-colour leather seat covers, but nevertheless offered insufficient leg space for adults, other than on the shortest and most unavoidable of journeys. The economy was beginning to grow robustly by the mid-1950s, but the market capacity for cars of this size remained small and Comète sales were correspondingly modest. Above all, it was handicapped by a list price that was (in October 1953) 65% higher than that for the mechanically similar Vedette. Customers interested in the larger engined 3,923 cc versions were faced with a price for the “Monte-Carlo” (once it became available at the start of 1954) that was 51% higher than that of the spacious four door Vendôme.

Change of manufacturer

During 1954, Ford SAF was sold, and the Comète’s final year of production took place under Simca. The Simca Comète Monte-Carlo continued to be offered till July 1955.

See also

Author: Jeroen

In Dutch, my homelanguage: Ik ben Jeroen, tot januari 2015 was ik al dik 26 jaar werkzaam in een psychiatrisch ziekenhuis in een stad vlakbij Werelds grootste havenstad Rotterdam. Eerst als verpleegkundige/begeleider op high care, later op afdeling dubbeldiagnose (verslavingen) en ook nog een tijdje als administratief medewerker. Ik heb een spierziekte "Poli Myositis" (alle spieren zijn ontstoken) daardoor weinig energie. Sinds augustus 2015 is daarbij de diagnose Kanker gesteld, en ben ik helemaal arbeidsongeschikt geworden en zit middenin de behandelfase. Gelukkig ben ik daarnaast getrouwd, vader, en opa, en heb de nodige hobby's. Een daarvan is transportmiddelen verzamelen en daarmee een blog schrijven. Dit blog begon met bussen, maar nu komen ook sleepboten, auto's trucks en dergelijke aan bod. Kijk en geniet met me mee, reageer, en vul gerust aan. Fouten zal ik ook graag verbeteren. In English: I'm Jeroen, till januari 2015 I was already 26 years working as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, near Rotterdam, Worlds biggest harbour with more than 98 nationalities living within it's borders. First I worked on closed high care ward and the last years on a ward with mainly addicted people. I liked my work very much. In 2007 I got ill. I got the diagnose Poli Myositis, a musscle dissease. Al my mussles are inflamed. And last august I got another diagnose. Cancer. It's plaveicelcel carcinoma and treated with Chemo and radioation. So I've even less energy than the last years. Still I try to make something of my life and the blog is helping with surviving with some pleasure.

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