Most of us likely think of the Ford Falcon as the precursor to the Mustang, which it is, of course. But the sedate little sedan quietly developed quite the racing curriculum vitae over it's life.
Most American carmakers were coming to the realization that there was a desire for some offerings that were more size practical, and economical. So in late fall, three new cars debuted: The Plymouth Valiant, the Chevrolet Corvair, and the Ford Falcon - all of which were classified in the day as 'compact' cars. The Falcon was touted right out of the gate as "The New Size Ford" and promoted for its economy at the pump, and well as in price. Amazingly, early promotional material claimed more than 30 mpg was possible. Surely such economy in that era left performance as it's sacrifice. Validating that point, the lone powerplant at introduction was a 144 ci inline six, making an optimistic 90 horsepower.
The Falcon went through a complete makeover when the 1964 models bowed in late 1963. It was clearly more chiseled and square-edged than its predecessor. The new Falcon visually appeared larger than before, although in reality it barely was. The 289 ci engine hit the lineup in 1965.
Ford realized early on what they were sitting on, and realized that getting Falcons into the racing world would breed more success in the showroom. Several companies initially dabbled with hopping up the tiny six with triple-carb induction, but this clearly wasn't the outcome Ford had hoped for.Read More