An artist’s duty is rather to stay open-minded and in a state where he can receive information and inspiration. You always have to be ready for that little artistic epiphany.”— Nick Cave, Australian musician.
Ken Blaisdell, now of Gilbert, Arizona, didn’t realize he was soon to have an artistic epiphany when he found this 1963 Ford Falcon convertible for sale online locally. “It was a true 20-footer—rougher than I expected. All of the plastic dash knobs were deteriorated and broken from the Arizona sun; the seller had replaced the top, but left the original gaskets in place; he removed the old door gaskets but didn’t install new ones. The original engine had been swapped out, and while the evaporator was still under the dash, the original York compressor was gone. I told the seller that it was rougher than I had expected, and that I was going to pass.” A month later, however, “I went back and bought it.”
Inspiration for finding this Falcon came from Ken’s salad days in the early ’70s, when a used ’61 Falcon sedan was his daily driver. “It was ‘just an old car’ that served as cheap transportation,” he says. “I paid $50 for it, and drove it until the rear end gave out. I used to work on that one because I had to; now I own one and work on it as a hobby! The style brings me back to the days when I first became interested in cars, and it’s so simple to work on that it’s actually enjoyable. It keeps me in shape; I refer to all of the crawling around beneath it, the bending over into the engine compartment, and the twisting to reach under the dash as my ‘restoration yoga.
Just because the Falcon was a low-priced economy car, that didn’t mean that it wasn’t satisfying to own. Ford referred to the redesigned 1964 and 1965 editions as its “Total Performance” compact.
That philosophy also extended to the larger models and took into account styling, handling, roadability, acceleration, braking, efficiency, and more.Sure, a buyer could’ve gone the bare-bones route in 1964 and become a fuel-savings connoisseur by driving a base Falcon two-door or four-door sedan, featuring the standard beige cloth-and-vinyl interior (more colors for 1965) with a full-width front seat, rubber floor mats, and 144-cu.in. straight-six (170-cu.in. for 1965).
Yet, with the 1964 and 1965 Falcon lineups providing avenues for boosting image, power, and comfort, why stop there?Stepping up in price, the 1964 Futura two- and four-door sedans added full carpeting, chromed horn ring on the steering wheel, courtesy lights, rear armrests and ash trays, lighter, and upgraded color-keyed upholstery choices and exterior trim.
The 1964 Futura hardtop and convertible also had the full-width front seat, but the sport coupe and sport convertible came with buckets and a console. A Thunderbird floating rearview mirror was included, and the droptop had a larger 170-cu.in. straight-six and a power top.
There is a lot to be said for a restomod classic that is very cool, but is very simple and not over the top. Cars with too much done to them tend to look cluttered and crowded to many people. This 1963.5 Ford Falcon Futura is a very simple car. The car is coated in black paint, which was its factory color.
The current owner is a man called Craig Wick, and he owns a custom shop known for cool rides. The 1963 Ford Falcon Futura was a customer car that sat derelict for a few years until Wick made a deal to buy it. The car had already received a Mustang II-style front suspension upgrade
Images are from the brochure collection of Hemmings Motor News
America’s Lowest-priced Pickup: 1960 Ford Falcon Ranchero
America’s automotive marketplace was changing drastically in the postwar era, and a fast-growing segment of buyers was purchasing vehicles that placed more emphasis on smaller size and greater economy than traditionally accepted. Ford Motor Company responded to this trend with its compact Falcon, which was proving a best-seller, and it was that platform upon which the company chose to base its second generation of stylish, light-duty Ranchero.