1961 Ford Falcon – $4500

1961 Ford Falcon. 2 door, auto, 200 6cyl, C4 transmission, 60k original miles, bone dry, solid no rust. Body: solid floors, chrome package, new rad,brakes,custom exhaust, tires, gas tank & sender, battery, alternator. Lots, lots more. Air cared, great daily driver, ready to go! $4500. Car is located in Langley. Call 604-8571896 after 3pm or weekends. 

Although the Mustang may have gotten the lion’s share of the headlines back in the ’60s, the reality is this: it never would have happened without the venerable little Falcon. Ford’s not-quite-as-popular economy car, the Falcon provided many a young person with reasonably affordable new transportation for the ten years between 1960 and 1970, and formed the underpinnings for what would become the fastest-selling car ever: the ‘64.5 Ford Mustang. Of course, there were some differences, as the Falcon was never really treated to the same high performance aspirations as the Mustang. Subsequently, many were outfitted with automatic transmissions and an inline six cylinder, which in 1961 meant either 90 or 101 horsepower, depending on the engine option (buyers could choose between the lower-output 144 cubic inch motor, or the higher output 170 cubic inch motor). At the time, neither of the overbuilt and understressed engines were considered horribly underpowered, and the Falcon quickly earned a reputation for spunky performance coupled with steadfast reliability and reasonably economy.

However, this one’s obviously been treated to an engine swap at some point in its lifetime, as the 200 cubic inch six cylinder advertised was in fact released in 1963; two years after this car left the assembly line. A four-main bearing engine, like the 170 c.i., the 200 c.i. engine was pretty much better in every way, and saw nearly continuous service well into the ’80s. Although I personally am hesitant to blindly suggest purchasing an obviously modified car, the fact that this Falcon was treated to a logical upgrade and retains an automatic transmission (rather than having had a V8 and four speed bolted in) would seem to indicate that the engine swap was done to effect substantial repairs rather than get a bit more speed, which in turn says something about the maturity of the person that did the engine swap. A quick check of the engine block’s freeze plugs could help indicate when the engine was replaced as well, as 1965 and later 200’s have five freeze plugs. Should this engine prove be the older example, with three freeze plugs, the replacement may very well have been handled by the local Ford dealership. And beyond the engine controversy, this particular Falcon looks amazingly good. Although the white paint may prove devilishly capable of hiding dings, dents, rust bubbles, and any other surface irregularities, the Falcon’s cult following and low public profile means many weren’t treated to the evils their more desirable Mustang-badged brethren have had to endure in recent years at the hands of immature owners. Chances are, between the condition of the paint, details (check out the door latch in one of the photos!), wheels, and interior, I’d be willing to bet this car’s lived in the garage you can see in the fourth photo for quite some time, and thus has avoided a lot of exposure to the elements. With a massive amount of parts support thanks to a large number of shared parts, an incredibly simple mechanical layout that invites an owner’s education, and it’s beautifully aging looks, it’s entirely reasonable to say that this pretty little coupe could make an amazing commuter. And even if it should require some moderate rust repair or paintwork to be brought back to peak condition, with a price tag of just $4,500, it’s an incredibly good deal, and would still be way cheaper and vastly cooler than pretty much every modern economy car. As ever, to visit the ad and see a few more photos, click on the blue text above.

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