This being the 4th of July we threw down the gauntlet to ourselves. Our aim was to find red, white and blue examples of the same basic car in celebration of our nation’s founding. Our constraint was that it had to be a domestic brand and a major model therefrom.
Our algorithmic search yielded two separate but very much related Ford lines: Falcon and Mustang. The fact is there would never have been a Mustang if Falcon hadn’t existed to donate its platform to the original pony car, introduced 51 years ago. Falcon, an austere compact, had been on the market for four years prior to Mustang’s glamor play.
All of the examples we conjured up were found in ordinary circumstances, at the curb in supermarket parking lots. In short, these fine products of the Ford Motor Company underscore the indomitable American spirit. It’s a wonderful country where a basic working class car can be transformed into an iconic, très cherchez, vehicle with sporting pretense Mustang’s humble Falcon underpinnings were expertly obscured by the trappings of upward mobility. Ain’t that America?
The blue Mustang is a ’68 and was a car Vietnam-bound conscripts dreamed of coming home to. The red convertible is a ’65, powered by a 289 cubic inch V8. It’s equipped with OEM fake wire wheels that didn’t really fool anybody but were, in some way, a gauche paen to old money. That’s a ’65 coupe in white and it’s wearing standard wheel covers that were more honest in their appeal. Badging indicates it’s also powered by a 289 V8 though it could be had with the same humble inline six that was standard Falcon issue.
Our red (and white) Falcon is a ’63 Futura, the top-of-the- line bucket seat model that features a Thunderbird-inspired squared off roof. The white convertible, is also a ’63 Futura. The fact that the more costly trim package was so popular speaks to the fact that Americans are always looking to better their relative circumstance, even in ways that are, essentially, void of real content or quantifiable value. The blue ’61 “Tudor” (that’s Fordspeak for a two door coupe) is stunning in its mid-century simplicity and note that the roof line is more natural and flowing then that seen on the Futura so favored by arrivistes.
Feral Cars has something in common with Mustang and that’s not because we like to horse around. We, too, began because of the existence of the Falcon. Years ago, we noted more old Falcons in service than just about any car of equivalent vintage and coined the term “feral Falcon.” The concept evolved to include other older cars found in the wild which brings us to this ongoing effort to chronicle these time machines as we have lo these many years.
Ford cleverly associated Falcon with Charles Schultz’ beloved Peanuts characters in a series of TV spots that killed us with cuteness. Watch this one and you’ll soon be chanting “USA! USA! USA!”
You will swell with pride when you watch this mini documentary about a ’64 1/2 Mustang that was the very first Mustang ever purchased (for $3400) in the USA. It’s still in the hands of Gail Wise, its original owner whose Chicago accent is also a treasure.
Because so many were built and survived it’s not difficult to buy a Falcon these days. We love the back story about this ’61″Fordor,” originally awarded as prize on TV’s “This Is Your Life.” It’s offered at only $4995 in nearby Aruendel, ME. Why not make it a part of your life?
Let’s go back to a 1961 episode of “This Is Your Life” in which former heavyweight champion Joe Louis is profiled and his tax problems are actually noted. Reality TV at its inception!
Like its Falcon donor, there’s no dearth of early Mustangs to choose from if you’re of a mind to add one to your stable. We kind of love this very basic (6 cylinder, three speed manual transmission) ’64 1/2 convertible for sale in nearby Freeport, ME. At only $16,900 you’d have to be insane not to buy it.
If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us: info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.
Note: While we strive for factual accuracy in our posts, we readily acknowledge that we we sometimes make inadvertent mistakes. If you happen to catch one please don’t sit there and fume; let us know where we went wrong and we’ll do our best to correct things.