• Last modified 877 days ago (April 25, 2018)


Classic car headed for junkyard makes fateful escape

Baker buys car from friend who rescued it from junk heap

Staff writer

Thanks to Maurice Baker of Alma, those at Peabody Sunday Cruise were able to take in the glory of his restored 1967 Mercury Comet Cyclone Sunday.

This muscle car started its journey as a performance model in 1964 as “Mercury Comet,” and through 1967 was known as “Mercury Comet Cyclone.” In 1968, “Comet” was taken off, and “Mercury Cyclone” became its official name.

Baker’s been looking for places to show the Cyclone, and found just what he was looking for in Peabody Cruise, which was sponsoring the first cruise of the season in downtown Peabody.

“I saw it online when I was looking for a place to cruise into,” he said. “I got rained out yesterday, and the weather seemed to be a bit better today.”

Baker said he was the only car there for the first two hours of the cruise, which started at 8 a.m. but was picking up by around 10:45 a.m.

Baker is a retired electrician, but has worked in various garages.

“I’ve always had a love for cars,” he said. “I’ve always done it on the sideline.”

Baker’s love for cars had a head-on collision with fate the day the Mercury Cyclone entered the life of the friend he eventually bought it from.

“A friend of mine rescued it off the back of a trailer in Waynoka, Oklahoma,” he said. “It was going to the junkyard when he ran the guy down.

“My friend lost interest in it and I bought it from him and opened up a money pit,” he laughed.

The car has been a work in progress for the last couple of years, Baker said. It spent the first year he had it in a body shop.

Baker said he has traded mechanical work for labor on the car, and he’s satisfied with the progress it has made.

His favorite thing about the car?

“It’s rear-wheel drive,” he said. “Like God intended.”

The Mercury Cyclone doesn’t stand alone in Baker’s restored vehicle collection.

A 1951 Studebaker and a 1953 Ford pick-up keep it company.

Peabody Cruise is 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every fourth Sunday from April through October and features motor cycles, live music, a variety of vendors, food, local shops and a church service.

Last modified April 25, 2018