you might have noticed the handles mounted to the trunk in the previous photos, I noticed that they were the only handles I've ever seen on the top of a trunk
Kevin added in the comments " I've seen those handles on rally cars before they're there so that the co driver can hold the handles and stand on the bumper and bounce the car in case they are stuck. "
And on the back bumper you can see the steps that are on either side of the license place for the co-driver to stand on
Mercury had a lot of endurance races to prove the durability of their Comet... I don't know why it was a question, or if they just needed some publicity stunts to get free press.... but here's my post about the around the world, and north to south continent runs they had these Comets do http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-1964-mercury-comet-durability-run.html