Out of all the Ford Falcons produced the 1964 Ford Falcon Convertible might be the most collectible of all.
It is said that the young Edsel Ford in 1935 came up with the Falcon name which never took but instead ended up as a Mercury.
It's also interesting to note that both Ford Motor and Chrysler decided to use the name "Falcon" at about the same time in the late 1950's.
The story is that Ford was considering bird names for car models and came up with "Falcon". Ford Motor Company notified the Automobile Manufacturers Association with their choice about twenty minutes before Chrysler while it's said that Chrysler first approached the association with that same name earlier but failed to register it. Quite a coincidence.
When the Ford Falcon was first designed in the late 1950's it was really meant to be an economical compact car and it was during the first generation years but starting in 1964, and the 1964 Falcon Futura Convertible is a good example, the Falcon series widened it's appeal.
First Generation Ford Falcons
The Ford Falcon was introduced to the world in 1960. The first generation of Falcons ran from 1960 to 1963.
This lightweight automobile came in 1960 with a straight six. First generation models included two and four door sedans and wagons plus the Ranchero pick up. The Ranchero was a coupe utility vehicle first produced in 1957. Different from your normal pick up, the Ranchero was really created from a two door station wagon.
The Second Generation Ford Falcons
The 1964 Ford Falcon Futura Convertible was a second generation Falcon with a new design. Falcon's new design for 1964 was more sculpted and classier. In addition to this there were several engines available with the Falcon, some quite powerful and on only a 2,500 pound automobile. This combination gave the Ford Falcon a lot of zip. The Ford Falcon sprint was essentially a compact muscle car.
Six cylinder engines came in 144 cubic inch displacement, 170 cubic inch and 200 cubic inch. A 260 cubic inch V-8 was also offered. Today you'll find 1964 Falcons with the original V-8 along with even more cubic inch displacement than the 260. In 1965 the cars would have a 289 cubic inch V-8 available.
The car came with a power top. Options included bucket seats which really gave the car a sports car like look and feel.
Many contend that the 1964 Ford Falcon appeared almost like a Mustang. One good reason for this is when the Ford Mustang came out in 1964 the sporty car utilized the Falcon chassis and a good part of it's drive train.
The Ford Falcon actually spawned the Mustang. If you're looking for the car that gave Ford Motor Company's vice-president Lee Iacocca his inspiration for the Mustang, this was it...the Ford Falcon.
History tells us the rest. The Ford Falcon stopped production in 1970 and the Mustang continued to soar in popularity. It wasn't that the Falcon had problems, rather the Mustang stole it's thunder during the last half of the 1960's.
An interesting comparison to make with the 1960 Ford Falcon is with it's compact car competitor at the time, the Corvair. Both Ford and GM were going after the compact, economical car buyer and the companies did it in quite an opposite way. The Chevy Corvair of course was a rear engine air cooled engineered car. General Motors however liked the Ford Falcon design so much that they soon came out with the Chevy II.
All of the compacts that came out in 1960 were also quite a contrast to the tail fins and extensive chrome so prevalent in anything produced from about 1955 onward. The late 1950's almost was a race as to who could put the most steel on an automobile.
1964 Ford Falcon Futura Convertible Specifications
As mentioned above, the 1964 Ford Falcon offered three six cylinder straight sixes plus a 260 cubic inch V-8. The V-8 could achieve Zero to 60 MPH on about 10.2 seconds.
There were three transmissions available in 1964 as well as 1965. A three speed manual, a two speed Ford-O-Matic automatic and a four speed manual.
Brakes were four wheel hydraulic cast iron drums.
The 1964 Ford Falcon Futura was built with a 109.5 inch wheelbase, an overall length of 181.6 inches and 71.6 inches wide.
1964 Production totals for Ford Falcon Futura Convertibles were 2,980 units and for the Ford Falcon Sprint Convertibles 4,278 units.
Compare the 1964 Ford Falcon Futura Convertible to the cars featured on the AutoMuseumOnline links below...
1964 Ford Falcon Collector's Cars
The 1964 Ford Falcons are popular with collectors for several reasons. One is that the second generation Falcons such as the 1964 Falcon Futura Convertible featured here has the new design, the V-8 engine and the car is relatively simple.
Being a simple car without tons of bells and whistles make it an excellent project car. If you find one that's ready to restore you shouldn't have a difficult time finding parts and the non restored vehicle should be affordable to pick up. The Ford Falcon may be one of the best economical cars to restore from the mid 1960's.
As of this writing prices for restored 1964 Ford Falcon Convertibles might be in the price range of $12,000 to $29,000. The higher prices of course will depend on originality of parts and degree of restoration. Convertibles generally will sell for more than hardtops.
(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)