The Ford Motor Company produced the Falcon family of vehicles from 1960 through the 1970 model years. Everything from sedans to vans to innovative small trucks could be ordered with the Falcon emblem. Originally envisioned as a compact economy car, Falcons evolved through four distinct body style phases. In the first five years of its existence, the
Falcon marquee transitioned from bare bones econo-boxes to an array of small cars offering sporty convertibles, as well as exciting V-8 powered cars.
The Falcon truck, called the Ranchero, began its life in 1957 as part of the Fairlane lineup. In 1960, the design was drastically restyled to align itself with the Falcon design family. It continued to be a highly successful part of the Falcon line until 1966, when Ford began to market it separately from the rest of the Falcons. In 1967, this divorce was formalized when the Ranchero rejoined the Fairlanes. It enjoyed great sales success for many years afterwards in that role.
The Falcon marque began to realize its potential when, late in the 1964 model year, Ford introduced the Mustang, another sporty compact car that achieved some (small) amount of popularity. Ford utilized the Falcon’s unitized chassis, as well as many elements of the Falcon drive train, to “re-skin” and “re-market” the Mustang. From then on, the Falcon existed in the shadow of its more popular offspring, finally fading away in 1971, a victim of corporate marketing neglect. The success of the Volkswagen and other compacts, along with the Arab oil embargo just a few years later, proved how forward-thinking the original Falcon designers were.
Like many good ideas, it peaked just a little too early.
Collectors of these great cars appreciate the compact design, the simplicity of maintenance and operation, and the innovative thinking of its designers. Simply put, they are a lot of fun. If you are looking for a great car to restore and enjoy, consider a classic Ford Falcon or Falcon Ranchero.