retro station wagon car keys

Whenever my Mom comes to visit (like she did for Christmas in July 2012), she likes to bring me cool old stuff that was either hers or my grandparents.

This time, she brought me some fun smalls…like the keys to her car! Okay, well not really the keys to a car that she still has, these are the keys for her 1961 Comet Station wagon that is long gone. I had posted a picture of Mom’s 1961 Comet station wagon in a previous post, which attracted the attention of fellow retro blogger Uncle Atom, who is restoring a 1963 Comet wagon similar to Mom’s.

1965 Comet Wagon photo

Above: My Uncle and Mom with retro station wagon.

About the car Mom says:

It was a 1961 Mercury Comet station wagon. (I actually still have the keys to it since I learned to drive in it.) When we traded it in in about 1967 we got a 1965 Mercury Comet station wagon which was black with “wood” sides and black vinyl interior. Since we lived near Newport, RI at the time and surfing was really big, our “woodie” of sorts was perfect for someone in high school and trying to be cool. :) My brother drove the 1965 wagon through his college years and into his working career until it was stolen in Cambridge, MA in April of that year (1980???) … the 400th car stolen in Cambridge so far that year. Guess burglars liked old wagons since it was before the mini van era took hold. He called me to tell me his car had been stolen but worst of all, his tools were in the back and were a bigger loss. Ahh the memories!

I found another photo of a retro station wagon in some pictures Mom gave me, and it looks to be different than the first photo I posted. What’s the scoop Mid Century Mom?

61 Comet Station Wagon

Above: Mom, my Uncle and my Grandfather with retro station wagon. Looks like the tail lights and interior are different!

Anyway, back to the keychain…

comet keychain close up

Uncle Atom, Mom says, “Ask your blogging friend Uncle Atom if he would like an authentic set of keys for his car restoration.

So Uncle Atom, if you’d like, I’ll mail them your way. Send me an email @ and let me know!




  1. Grest post Kate! Thanks for the kind offer, I just emailed you. I don’t know my 1950’s wagons as well as I should, but that last car looks like a Ford (or possibly a Mercury) from about 1955 or 56.

    • You are welcome Uncle Atom! My Mom (Mid Century Mom) is the one to thank though, as it was her job to find the keys amidst all her stuff and then she suggested I offer them to you! Our family knows all about how important “parts” are for car restorations…my little brother is working on a 1970 Plymouth Duster. 🙂

  2. The unidentified white station wagon was indeed a 1956 Ford. It was the first second car my family owned. Before that Mom had to “share” the other car – usually a Buick – with my Dad. The ’56 Ford was cool and fast as it had a Thunderbird engine in it, but Dad traded it in on the ’61 Comet because it sucked too much gas (probably 25 cents a gallon in those days!). That picture was taken at our home (first home purchased by my parents) in West Medford, MA right before we moved to RI to the second home they purchased. 🙂 Love these trips down memory lane, Kate.

  3. This made me smile. The round and the square key were a fixture in my life growing up. I remember vividly adding the round (door/trunk) key from our 70s Pontiac to my then barren key ring (only a house key) and then getting old enought to drive and being able to finally add the square (ingition key)! It was a rite of passage as they say and even our ’91 Sunbird had the square and round keys.

    My first car was a ’84 Dodge so I moved on to the star and circle keys and then on to the one all purpose key in my latest car but my mom now has a keyless fob thing which makes me feel old and set in my ways because when I was shopping for a car I really just wanted a car with a regular key with no batteries or giant fob.

  4. You can still get original style key blanks. I got a set for my 61 Fairlane from Dearborn Classics. I got a set for my 60 Falcon off eBay too. You just take them to a locksmith, (along with the actual working keys to the car), and they can copy them.

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