By on February 14, 2010

This 1965 Falcon Futura first caught my eye, not the Prius. But seeing them jowl-to-cheek gave me a dramatic lesson in how far car aerodynamics have come. Well, at least in common everyday cars. The Tatra T77 of 1934 still has this Prius’ Cd of .25 handily beat. The Falcon? Who knows; probably around .50 or so. But this semi-fastback roof on the Falcon was the hot new thing when it came out on the 1963.5 Fords, specifically to help the big Galaxie on the high speed NASCAR tracks.

The Prius’ slippery shape has become pretty ubiquitous now, and its not such a strange sight. But when you see it next to the boxy Falcon, it’s apparent that we’re finally getting the hang of what the early pioneers of aerodynamics were getting at.

This particular Falcon evokes lots of memories, and they’re not so good. I had an Assistant Scout Master who drove one exactly like this, despite being rich. He was a royal PIA, dragging our asses out of our sleeping bags on camping trips at 6 AM for calisthenics. After our late night rumbles and Lord Of The Flies-type devolutionary activities, it did not engender warm feelings to him. And having to ride three across in that cramped back seat, stinking to high heaven, while he found the nearest Catholic Church on Sunday morning for Mass, gave us time to hatch various assassination plans, while listening to the nasal whine of the little 170 cubic inch six as it struggled with its load of hung-over scouts. At least he was a good driver and drove pretty damn fast on the winding Maryland back roads; I’ll give him that. It’s the only thing that kept us from executing our evil plans.

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58 Comments on “Curbside Classic Outtake: Aerodynamics Then And Now...”


  • avatar
    baabthesaab

    Of course the Falcon was STYLED to look aero, while the Prius was DESIGNED to be aero. Big difference! In ’65 few people actually cared about wind noise or fuel consumption.

  • avatar
    Scottdb

    To heck with aerodynamics! I sure know which one of those two is the better *looking* car!

    • 0 avatar
      Dave Skinner

      I agree- That Prius is especially fetching in red.

    • 0 avatar
      baabthesaab

      So do I. The Prius! It looks like what it is, which is more than you can say for the Falcon. I remember well when that Falcon was new. A slightly altered ’64, it was just plain ugly compared to the brilliantly simple original. The design that is. Nothing functional about that original Falcon was brilliant!

    • 0 avatar
      FromBrazil

      I’m w/ Scottdb. Love little boxy sedans. Why, I have one now. A Renault Logan. Can’t get anything more boxy than that in 2010.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    If your Scout Master was rich but drove a Falcon then of course he was a MAJOR PIA, look at who the father of the Falcon was, Robert McNamara who despite being rich and successful himself he pushed through a spartan everyman car against the grain of the rest of the company.

    • 0 avatar
      Fritz

      Robert McNamara was the father but Lee Iacocca raised the boy. By 1963 the Falcon was improved enough to make it a good car for the time. I would not own a stock 1960! For one thing it had a sad little 144″ engine.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    So much Falcon bashing. The Ford has made it 45 years, how about a little more respect?

    The Falcon was cheap, economical, and actually very reliable. And the gas pedal didn’t get stuck. The brakes worked pretty good too because software didn’t invade the process. And you could actually tune it up yourself. It was a car, whereas the Prius is an appliance.

    I’ll take the Falcon, because you’re more likely to engage in conversation over the Falcon than another Prius.

    • 0 avatar
      h82w8

      I agree GS….plus, you could get a ’65 Falcon with a high-winding HiPo 289 V8. The only thing high-winding about a Prius is its owner’s moral smugness.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      I loves early Falcons; a full CC coming soon.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      Count me in for one of those who would choose the Falcon. Yes, it pales in comparison to the Prius in every category, except the one category that counts the most for me, character.

      The Falcon still looks good after all the “cutting edge” designs of the subsequent 45 years. And I love how the Ford line-up had a cohesion of design from the lowly Falcon all the way up to the Galaxie and T-Bird.

      I have a friend that has a 64 strippo 4-door sedan that he inherited from his mother, and it still drives quite well, and while not up to current standards of fuel economy, it doesn’t cost him a lot to drive for a week during clement weather. I think he’s said in the past that he gets about 18 or 19 mpg in city driving. Not so bad, I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      MadHungarian

      Not to mention that a ’65 Falcon is basically a Mustang in a conservative suit. Anything you can do to improve the performance, handling and braking of a first gen Mustang, and there are whole catalogs full of that, can be done to a Falcon.

      I know which car I want to be in if I want to see where I am going, what is in the lane to my right if I am merging that way, or what is behind me if I am backing up. I understand the value of aerodynamics. A better Cd means better highway mileage and more money in my pocket. OK fine, but being able to see out of the car is important too. Must there be a tradeoff? If not, let’s design an areodynamic car you can see out of. If there is an unavoidable tradeoff, I want a range of products that gives me a choice where on that spectrum I would like to be.

    • 0 avatar
      FromBrazil

      +1 MadHungarian!

      Visibility is always a bonus on boxy cars!

      Wow, many good and interesting insights on this thread as to why cars with such a narrow minded approach to motoring (as the Prius) are never truly best sellers.

      Cars have to do it all. They’re all an exercise into compromise. When they’re built to a price point. That’s another reason I find mundane best-selling cars such an interesting thing. They always have a touch of genius that no single-minded car (be it a Prius be it a Ferrari) ever achieve. And all mag writers and such dispair as to how such a slovenly car can win the hearts of so many.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Count me in for one of those who would choose the Falcon. Yes, it pales in comparison to the Prius in every category, except the one category that counts the most for me, character.

      Oh, come on, it’s a Falcon! For Pete’s sake, it was the Corolla of it’s day. It and the Valiant were probably the most character-free cars you could possibly buy.

      My parents actually bought me a 67 four-door, six-cylinder automatic Falcon as my first car (in 1992) that they bought from a church friend who recently lost her license at the age of eighty-something. We had it running for, oh, about six months before the rust that was already well into the frame cause the rear suspension points to crumble completely. I mean, I thought it was a cool car for the time (where the time was 1992) but even then I understood why the Mustang was iconic: the Falcon was the car that old church-going ladies would buy.

      Old church-going ladies, today, buy Corollas.

      I don’t know if there was a car equivalent to the Prius in the mid-sixties, though the VW Beetle seems the nearest analogue, and the Beetle was hardly a poor seller.

    • 0 avatar
      FromBrazil

      @psarhijinian

      Well if a Crolla makes it 40+ years it’s certainly entertaining! :)

      And the Beetle, uhmm, maybe it was unidimensional in the US (fuel economy), but it wasn’t designed to be unidimensional. It was a car for everybody (and family). In my country it was a family car, a student’s car, a poor man’s car, a middle class man’s car. All of which I guess the Falcon was. And the Prius isn’t. And maybe, just maybe, the Corolla isn’t either. NA has always had many more options, but its hard for you to relate to what a Beetle was in Brazil. Or in Germany. Or the 500 in Italy. Or the Mini (original) in Europe. The Flacon (in my mind) captures some of this spirit. And the Corolla just doesn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      postjosh

      +1 i don’t hate the prius but it doesn’t inspire me. it’s a shame that we don’t make simple cars anymore.

  • avatar
    Mungooz

    There are Prius people and there are Falcon people. Count me in as a Falcon person. The ’63 & ’64 Sprints happen to be my all-time favorite Falcons.

  • avatar
    h82w8

    Paul’s old asst. scout master sounds very much like a present-day Prius driver. The car may change, but the PITA driving it stays the same.

    • 0 avatar
      donkensler

      Except Paul says the scoutmaster liked to flog the Falcon over back roads. I doubt it would occur to a Prius driver to flog his car anytime, anywhere. They’re always the ones accelerating at about 0.1g from stoplights and carefully maintaining a speed 10 mph below the limit (in the center or left lane if they’re feeling especially smug).

      In every generation there are cars I just won’t get behind at stoplights unless I’m making a turn soon and need to be in a particular lane or there’s a semi in the other lane. In the 70′s it was Gremlins and Pacers. In the 80′s and 90′s it was Town Cars and deVilles. Now it’s Priuses. Yes, there are exceptions, but I believe in playing the averages.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmy2x

      h82w8 – One of life’s truisms. Thanks for the chuckle.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      Nowadays the car to be sure not to get behind at a light is the little white sedan.

      I saw a 2-door post version of the Falcon on a back street in Tacoma, a very pristine-looking example in white on blue. I’m looking forward to the Falcon CC.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    I must not get out much because I’ve experienced very little Prius smugness. What’s wrong with wanting great gas mileage and a practical hatchback? And even if there are some status conscious individuals, what of it? Cars are often viewed as status symbols. That’s a big driver of sales. I don’t see gearheads complain nearly as much about arrogant jerks who drive BMWs not because they perform well, but because of their snob appeal.

    It’s interesting to see how slowly automakers have adopted more aerodynamic designs. You can’t say that they didn’t know how a long time ago, e.g., look at the 1963 Avanti. Or even the 1947 Tucker.

    The designer of the Tucker reportedly once said that bad aerodynamics was a crime. Don’t know if I’d go quite that far, but it seems to me that good aerodynamics deserves a lot more attention than it tends to get.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      @DrLemming: “The designer of the Tucker reportedly once said that bad aerodynamics was a crime. Don’t know if I’d go quite that far, but it seems to me that good aerodynamics deserves a lot more attention than it tends to get.”

      Keep in mind that, back in the day, Alex Tremulis was as weird, far-out in left field as you could get and still be considered a designer of producible automobiles. He was so far off the norm that the Big 3 would have touched him with a ten foot pole (or two five foot Hungarians strapped together). Which is why, in retrospect, he’s considered one of the absolute geniuses of automotive design.

    • 0 avatar
      The Guvna

      @Dr. Lemming: “What’s wrong with wanting great gas mileage and a practical hatchback? And even if there are some status conscious individuals, what of it?”

      Wanting reasonable fuel mileage, in and of itself, isn’t a negative to most petrolheads. People who opt for wantonly ugly, slow, achingly trendy cars that are absolutely rubbish to drive *and* feel compelled to wear their frankly rather suspect car buying savvy on their sleeves as badges of honour…well, sir, that is something else entirely. People who drive other small, reasonably priced, fuel efficient cars that are piss-dull to drive (Nissan Cube, Toyota Yaris, the truly shocking Chevy Aveo, etc.) are proudly announcing to the world, “I care absolutely nothing about cars”. And that’s fine, as far as it goes. For (dare I say it…) most people in fact, cars are appliances. Nothing more, nothing less. To true petrolheads, this is baffling, but we don’t really pay it much mind. As Steve McQueen once told Robert Vaughn in BULLITT, “You work your side of the street…I’ll work mine”. Fair enough. However…

      …Prius drivers are, on the whole, much more unctious than others of their ilk because they tend to affect a conversational tone with non-eco-box drivers that veers uneasily between outright chastising (for one daring to drive a car that doesn’t purportedly contribute to the healing of Mother Earth—we’ll forget for a moment the questionable facts at the root of this assertion) at one end of the spectrum, with being merely patronising at the other. They tend to be bought by the same sort of people who reprimand their neighbours (complete strangers, in many cases) for putting soft drink cans in the trash bin instead of the recycling. In short, for every automotive ignoramus who buys one simply because they get a few extra MPG for their money, there are seemingly a dozen more who buy it as, yes, a status symbol. A me-too adoption of a fleeting fashion. More obnoxiously, however, it is being bought by those who loathe the idea of The Car, and use their rubbish runabout as a means of trying to convince those of us who *do* give a damn about cars to stop clubbing baby seals to death by driving something incapable of getting out of its own way. It’s a foul car in its own right, and as a status symbol, it’s even more insufferable. A status symbol that says, “Hey, I’m rich as balls!” might not be the height of nobility, exactly, but a status symbol with a fashionable social agenda is so much more tiresome.

      People who buy Priuses are buying the wrong car for the “right” reasons. BMW drivers, on the other hand (to use your example and to forget for a moment those who actually do buy them for legitimate petrolhead reasons—a dwindling number, I’ll grant you), are buying the right car for the wrong reasons. And to a petrolhead, my friend, the car is the star. Wrong reasons or not, the BMW (providing it’s not an X6, or a 1 or 3 series with a sub 3 litre engine), any BMW, is a much, much better drive than the Prius. We might quibble with the driver’s motives, but not the end result—a car which rewards driving, and not merely operating. With the Prius, however, we find fault with both the drivers *and* the car. Hence our markedly different reactions to each. Your mileage may vary.

    • 0 avatar
      dingram01

      My goodness, Guvna, didn’t get much sleep last night or something?

      I’m curious how many Prius drivers you’ve actually spoken to, ever, in order to form these conclusions about them?

      For my part, I looked at a Prius during the CFC period over the summer before settling on a Jetta TDI wagon (much better driver). But I like the Prius because it is a flexible car, thanks to the hatch, and has lots of interior space. Driving dynamics obviously are not great. But find me a Toyota that doesn’t fit that description. They’re ALL appliances. They ALL sit there in the left lane driven by oblivious morons. Not just the Prius.

      If you want a largish interior with some modicum of interior flexibility, your Toyota choices are Prius, Matrix, or Yaris. Of these, only the Prius really affords much cargo space and utility.

      My list of “unctious” drivers begins with Harley riders, followed by Hummer drivers. Prius drivers are well down that list after so many more objectionable types.

      My previous car? 1995 BMW 540 6 speed, thank you very much. And I did all the work myself as well. Petrolhead enough for you? But I hated its singlemindedness…no room for adults behind me in the rear seats…no possibility of carrying any extra stuff…pathetic fuel economy…so I can at least grant Prius owners some pride in their choice of car given that it does everything but drive better than the BMW did. In the end the Jetta works out better for me.

      And I’m at least willing to take the Prius as a technological AND functional whole and consider it for what it is.

      • 0 avatar
        2ronnies1cup

        Bingo for the Harley riders.

        Word is, Outlaw bikers are considering buying Japanese nowadays because they don’t want to be mistaken for orthodontists going through the mid-life crisis…

    • 0 avatar
      The Guvna

      dingram01:

      As of this writing, my first hand observations were based upon interactions with six (6) Prius drivers over a period of about three months. Relative to the sub total of Priuses sold, a half dozen here or there doesn’t sound like much. And isn’t much. But expressed as a percentage of obnoxious owner interactions with the sum total of all other car owner interactions had over the same period (a decidedly short period of time at that), I am disinclined to see it as some sort of statistical anomaly. If *you* are able to point me in the direction of any Prius drivers of your own personal acquaintance that might in any way, shape or form alter this perception, do please feel free. As I have yet to encounter a single one who fails to deviate from the aforementioned stereotype *at all*, let alone in any significant way, my opinion stands. Again, your mileage may vary. I am pleased that you are at peace with Prius driver. From my part, I very much am not. My opinion stands.

      Harley drivers are indeed obnoxious, but they are boorishly obnoxious, rather than sanctimonious. The former irks me, but the latter drives me to the brink of homicidal mania. Hummer drivers are more or less exactly the same people as Harley drivers, so that one’s a wash. In my experience, the worst actual drivers on the road are to be found either in full-sized pick up trucks (American, natch), or, strangely enough, Honda Civics. In this neck of the woods (currently residing in southern Ontario), Hondas tend to be driven by either young idiots who spend their lives a quarter of an inch off your back bumper, or ever-so-slightly older young idiots whose budgets cannot yet stretch to a BMW, or even an Infiniti…the latter of which being the default choice for all thrusting young t***s who can’t afford a Bee-Em. But the most insufferable owners tend to be in Japanese hybrids (though not the Ford ones, peculiarly enough…I don’t get it, either), Lexus RXs (third on the useless-driver depth chart, too), or entry-level German marques—how many times have you had occasion to speak with the owner of a weedy C280 crowing about his “new Merc”? Too many to count for me.

      For my part, I own two aging-but-still-marvellous Toyotas: an AE101 era Corolla (which earmarks me as “Boring Bastard”, a claim I will not dispute), and a right-hand-drive Toyota Aristo Twin Turbo (aka the JDM Lexus GS300), which likely earmarks me as some sort of free-thinking anarchist weirdo, but is actually the result of purchasing a toy only to come across all sensible at the last moment. It’s a hooligan car that doesn’t look like one, and will happily trundle five adults to dinner in great comfort. But either way, if one were to stereotype about drivers of either car, I would have no real objection. Stereotypes obviously miss the fine strokes, but generally get uncomfortably close to the truth in the broad ones. Cliches become cliches for a reason. That I, personally, may or may not conform to them doesn’t for a moment mean they don’t exist.

  • avatar
    rachmiel99

    Aerodynamically-sound designs often result in ugly cars: GM EV1, 90s Subaru XT . . .

    And the new Toyota Pruis, which to me looks an awful lot like a wireless mouse: http://www.faqs.org/photo-dict/photofiles/list/2688/3580wireless_mouse.jpg.

    The Falcon, on the other hand, is quite lovely: stylish while still understated, well proportioned, not too large, and very economical for it’s day.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Falcon vs Prius, Let me see. Falcon (45 yrs ago) offered 2 dr and 4 dr sedans 2dr hardtops and Converts plus wagons. You could get a 6 cyl or small V8 in any of them and 3 and 4 spd manuals plus autos. Thats right car fans you could get a wagon with a small V8 and 4 on the floor. Dont know if factory air was available. Also gas was 30 cents a gallon and the min wage was $1.25 per hour.You do the math. You could get any well equipped Falcon for less than $3000. The Prius has no variations and offers one thing. Fuel economy. Cars are compromises. Those interesting aero ones in the article are all form over function. They all failed because of that. Go to a museum and actually look at a real Tucker. not really that impressive, just really different. The Falcon was much more in it’s day for the average buying public than the Prius is today.

    • 0 avatar
      FromBrazil

      +1 Juniper!

      As a friend of mine who used to work at Fiat Brazil told me (probably paraphrasing someone), “to make a Ferrari is easy. The Uno is the difficult one”. What he meant was that the Uno, a sub-compact car, but serving as a family car in Brazil, must be extremely economical, but be fast enough to be road worthy (these families load up their cars and travel 1000 miles to go to the beach on vacation, you know?), be practical to drive in the city, but be confortable enough for a family of five (and have enough trunk space to go on the aforementioned trip). It must never break, and must last at least 10 years in mint condition. All of this built to a price point the market will tolerate. The Ferrai meanwhile only has to go dast, will not be driven to work everydat, and will not carry out family duty. And there is really no price point.

      So…The Falcon is better. BTW love all articles on lux cars and whatnot (the recent Lincoln series), but really love to read about the little everyday, anonymous road warriors. Like the Falcon. Should see more of their ilk on these pages.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      Ah, yes, powertrain options. EPA and CARB certifications have pretty much killed that off. The GM equivalent to the boxy Falcon was the even more boxy Chevy II. Nova was the high trim level. A friend had a ’64 wagon with the 283 4bbl and four-on-the-floor, factory ordered by his dad. When my father ordered his ’65 Impala there were seven engines and five transmissions with an assortment of final drive ratios. That, along with some 15 exterior color combos and eight interior colors in cloth or vinyl, sedans, hardtops, wagons and a convertible. And that was just one trim level among three and one body size, not counting Corvette, Corvair, Chevelle (Malibu) and the Chevy II. I seriously miss the ’60′s.

  • avatar
    sfdennis1

    Interesting juxtaposition of cars…I wonder what the populance of the early 60′s would think of the Prius…would it be the “future economy/family car” they anticipated would exist 50 years out?

    Of course, because it couldn’t fly like a Jetsons-mobile, it would probably disappoint, but in other ways, it would seem like a science fiction fantasy come to life.

    It certainly looks like a futuristic areodynamic bubble car, has a digital interface/instrument panel that looks like some 60′s show car (minus the chrome), offers 0-60 in 10 seconds (very decent by early 60′s standards) while getting 45-50 mpg (easily double that of any 60′s econocar) with about 95% less polution emitted and offering safety features/collision protection that would amaze the average 60′s consumer… once they get the brake recall worked out ;-> …

    Most shocking/disappointing might be that it came from Japan and not one of the Big Three, but then again, one could probably compare a 2010 Fusion Hybrid versus an early-60′s Ford Fairlane and get a similar ‘wow’ factor.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark MacInnis

      What would a Falcon cost in today’s $$? $12k-$15k?

      Compared to north of $30k for a Prius?

    • 0 avatar
      sfdennis1

      @ MacInnis
      actually, you’re way low on the Falcon, and comparing it to an all-options loaded Prius…

      I’d say more like $20-21K in today’s dollars for a “loaded” Falcon that would have auto, ps, pb, etc…you can pick up base Prius that still has world’s more equipment/technology than the Falcon for low-to-mid $20′s.

      Yeah, the Prius is going to cost more, but not nearly as much as you listed.

  • avatar
    baldheadeddork

    Until the very end of the decade (and then only on a couple of cars) car aerodynamics in the 1960′s was just a ten-dollar word for styling. Designers and ad people talked up stuff like “designed for the high banks” but under the most generous circumstances it was never better than a coincidence if something actually worked. Aerodynamic styling began and ended with “If it looks right, it probably is right.”

    I don’t think that was a bad thing. A Ferrari 458 shows a better understanding of aerodynamics than most airplanes made in the early 60′s, but I’d still rather see a 250 SWB in my garage.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Funny you should mention Ferrari and aerodynamics. Enzo Ferrari himself was once quoted as saying, “Aerodynamics are for people who cannot build engines.” Ferraris were styled for beauty, not aerodynamics.

    • 0 avatar
      The Guvna

      Also worth mentioning is the fact that during Enzo’s reign, his cars were so, so much prettier than the vastly more aerodynamically-sound ones of recent vintage. I think the F355 was probably the last car to bear Enzo’s name that he wouldn’t have been quietly ashamed of. Aesthetically, anyway…

      • 0 avatar
        2ronnies1cup

        Lamborghini were always way ahead of Ferrari. The Miura was a lesson in managing airflow – take a look at how the cooling air to the radiators was arranged, and then the waste hot air carefully bled back into the slipstream. Genius.

  • avatar
    lutonmoore

    Talk about yer aerodynamics. I saw my first real-life 2011 Hundai Sonata today. Damned good looking car.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Realizing you take automotive photo-ops where you can find them, this isn’t the best comparison. A better one would have been a 4-door Falcon next to a Corolla. The Prius isn’t a mainstream, Point A to Point B vehicle (yet). The Corolla (much like the 4-door Falcon in its time), is. Corolla sales are also much closer to the Falcon (which, until the Mustang came along, set the annual sales record).

    Even though the Corolla isn’t as wind-cheating as the Prius, in a side-by-side comparison with a sixties-vintage 4-door Falcon, the point would still be readily taken.

  • avatar
    Fritz

    I drove a 63-1/2 Falcon HT for about 20 years. That is no joke. Obviously I loved the car. After I moved the bucket seats back 2″ they felt great. That big wheel I could palm effortlessly. I built a 200″ 4spd combo with 5 bolts all around. All bolt on Ford parts except the drive shaft.

    One thing I loved was the visibility. I didn’t have a blind spot in that car. The 63-1/2 was more aerodynamic than the 64 or 64. It would have been more fun to see it next to the Prius. The 64 was a step backwards.

    Every bolt in the car I’d had my hand on except perhaps the differential and I would have to say that by todays standard the car was unsafe. That killed it for me. I’ve had wrecks inflicted upon me and no longer suffer from the delusion that my skill can make up for a late 50s vehicle design. So now I drive a Volvo 242 and miss that Falcon like hell but love my 242.

    My sister owns a Prius. She loves it. It does nothing for me. I hardly fit inside and find the toys distracting. Anyway, there is nothing like perfect shifting to fill me with joy and the damn Prius does it for you! You laugh but why bother driving if it doesn’t have a stick? The extra gas mileage of the Prius she offsets by driving 20K a year. I’d rather drive 10K a year and enjoy it 10 times as much.

  • avatar

    My first car was a ’62 Falcon, which I acquired in 1970 with ~90k on the clock. Drove it x the country twice, Boston–Stanford–Boston. The first gen falcons were prettier than the second gen imo. I loved it, but in retrospect it was a POS. I’d take a Prius any day over a Falcon, even though I’d hate not to be able to shift my own gears.

    @Juniper: it’s meaningless to quote prices that far back without adjusting the dollars for inflation. To convert 1964 dollars into 2009 dollars you need to multiply by 6.94. Thus, your nearly $3000 fully equipped Falcon is nearly $21,000 in today’s dollars, and that $1.25 minimum wage is nearly $9, and the 30c gas is more than $2. You can find inflation calculators on the internet by googling “inflation calculator”

    • 0 avatar
      Juniper

      Yes and No. That’s why I put in the min wage and gas cost of the day. I felt it fit the topic, you know 45 yr old cars. And said “You do the math” Its all proportional, and this is a Blog.,please don’t get all analytical on me.

  • avatar
    also Tom

    I have seen nicely restored versions of the Falcon with the small block V-8 and faux spoke wheel covers. Drive one of these down the street in front or back of the Prius and tell me which one attracts the most attention…..

  • avatar

    I’m the proud owner of two 1964 Falcons, a black Futura convertible with bucket seats and a 302cid V8 that gets tons of praise and questions from other drivers when we drive it and a hardtop that will have a 400hp, 347cid, 4spd, 4.11 gears. The Falcons are way more fun to drive. Toyota hasn’t made a fun car since the …Supra, 280Z and 260Z’s. If the Toyota’s radio ever stopped working you would be bored to death driving it, they look, sound and drive boring!

  • avatar
    blowfish

    For sure these cars gets 85 MPG, but everytime u need any services or even simple oil change it will costs a few hundred whenever the hood id being lifted.
    A friend has a new Benzene Merc Smart. The trans no go and had been in the shop several times already, dealer had even quoted him a new trans will be 8 grand.
    The older Diesel smart had better trans, I knew 1 was being used as a Pizza delivery car, u know they were not being treated with White gloves either. That car was holding up as usual.
    Whilst the new one, the engineers had worked real hard to shave more parts from the trans. So it can be viewed as good time but not long time.

    Wonder when the Hammer time for Prius’ new battery?
    How much is it going to cost?

    I have a friend that has a 64 strippo 4-door sedan that he inherited from his mother, and it still drives quite well, and while not up to current standards of fuel economy, it doesn’t cost him a lot to drive for a week during clement weather. I think he’s said in the past that he gets about 18 or 19 mpg in city driving. Not so bad, I guess.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    As long as I’ve hung around the old car hobby, you’d think I’d be used to people singing the praises of “meh” cars – but it still sometimes surprises me.

    This is a Falcon! It does not have character. It does not have style. It does not have panache. This particular Falcon was just another victim of the boxy/square look Ford was going for in those years.

    How does one even begin to understand such rose-colored myopia?

    • 0 avatar
      DweezilSFV

      If you have been around the old car hobby for so long I would thing you would be a little more aware and appreciate that there are many sorts of “enthusasts” out there, other than muscle cars, 50s Big Three V8
      fans, pony car fans and other exotics.

      Nothing wrong with a Falcon other than you think it’s has no character, panache or style.

      “Rose colored myopia” ? I think there’s an equal example of short sightedness, especially considering the Falcon spawned the Mustang, Maverick, Fairlane and others,and was a tremendous sales success.

      It’s character is in it’s simplicity and it’s place in history.

      I love this Falcon and the others like it. Their character will never be discovered by automatically turning up one’s nose at them.

      Too many self styled arbiters of “taste” and value in the old car scene,IMHO. It’s a turn off to a lot of would be hobbyists with interests in modest cars [or what they can afford: Falcon,Rambler, Chevy II, Studebaker, old British compacts, 4 doors, 6s and 4s]. The snobs turn up to ruin a good thing.They never think that anything the “commoners” can bring to the table is of value in the first place. That’s life I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      Dynamic88

      @DweezilSFV

      I’m a Rambler guy. I appreciate that some enthusiasts like plain-jane grocery getters, I’m one of them. I’ll even take a 4 door over a coupe any day. And I like my I-6, and 3 on the tree, because these days a lot of people have never seen such a set-up.

      But please, let’s not pretend that most Ramblers have character. Even less should we pretend the ’65 Falcon has character.

      The Falcon spawning the Mustang was simply the triumph of styling over all else. No reason to get all excited about straight-6, three on the tree, front engine, rear drive technology – not even in ’65. Aside from the body styling, these cars may as well have been built in 1935.

      OK, not fair, the Falcon (and it’s spawn) was a unibody, which would be rare (though not unheard of) in 1935. But by ’65, this wasn’t new stuff either. Rambler had been making unibody compacts for years. The ’65 Falcon wasn’t technically advanced, even in it’s own time. Not even within it’s own market niche.

      The Falcon was the answer to Rambler’s American (a question nobody asked -:)) Rambler was #3 in sales in the late ’50s/ early ’60s, and Ford needed a compact competitor in the line up.

      The Falcon was also an attempted answer to the VW Beetle. It was a poor answer. Basically the idea was to run a full sized car through the wash cycle a couple times until it became a compact. GM at least attempted something radical with the Corvair. Ford played it safe and boring.

      Spawning the Maverick is simply spawning a re-named Falcon. It served the same niche as the original Falcon. The Falcon through the years became bloated and not quite compact anymore. After only 10 model years, it had to be renamed (In the US market).

      The ’65 Falcons (as well as my ’67 Rambler American) simply were not cars of character. They were boring, dull transport for people who couldn’t afford better, or simply didn’t care much about trying to impress anyone. As someone else pointed out, they were the Corolla of their time. To describe them as having character is to give them an attribute they never had. A Citroen DS has character, a ’65 Falcon doesn’t.

      The plain-jane cars were what they were – basic (very basic) transport. I can admire them for that, but I’m not about to pretend that the car pictured above has character. It’s a mean, ugly, technically hum drum, low buck grocery getter. By all means, love it for what it really is (was) but don’t falsify it.

    • 0 avatar
      DweezilSFV

      Again: I appreciate your position,but as a Rambler guy you should be well aware of the snobbery shown to your favorite brand.It was true when they were new and continues to today.

      You are still missing the point and should be a little more aware of the sort of insult your “rose colored myopia” comment was to people who like these cars.

      They don’t have character to you. Okay. To me [and obviously many others ]the fact that your basic 6 3 on the tree Rambler or Falcon is a grocery getter is exactly it’s character and purpose. No one was falsifying anything about the Falcon above. They have some fond or not so fond memories of them.It doesn’t make them myopic.

      That the Falcon was [ for you ] a “mean ugly technically hum drum low buck grocery getter” may well describe the cars. That is part of their character and the fact that people still appreciate them 40 years later says a lot about that character.

    • 0 avatar
      Dynamic88

      @DweezilSFV

      First, we seem to have a similar taste in cars, so I think we’d hit it off if we met each other. If we ever do, I’ll be happy to buy you a beer. Sorry if I offended.

      Second, maybe I’m getting too hung up on semantics and the meaning of the word character.

      I am aware of the snobbery shown to Ramblers and other low buck cars. But I don’t choose to mitigate it, or pretend the cars were unappreciated gems. Rather I accept it as part and parcel of what the cars were – or more correctly, where they were positioned in the psyche of the market.

      For the most part people were not proud of having a Rambler – or a Falcon. Only odd balls like my uncle, who equated rubber floor mats and radio delete with virtue, liked these cars. People driving them aspired to something “better”. And that’s part of the reality of these cars. They weren’t happy to have a car, any car. The Model-T days were over. They wanted to move up in the world, and when they could, they did.

      It just seems very very odd to me that self-proclaimed pistonheads could look at a ’65 Falcon and praise it’s styling. I thought it ugly in ’65 and I’ve seen no reason to change my mind. To each his own though. (And in case you wonder, Yes, I think my ’67 Rambler is ugly too)

      Paul’s point was to contrast the aerodynamics of the two cars – the block of processed cheese and the jelly bean. The Prius is swoopy and sloping and has a low Cd. Form follows function. It is everything pistonheads claim they want in design. The Falcon is boxy and blocky and everything pistonheads despise in a car. It was not fun to drive, had the handling dynamics of a tootsietoy and was about as sexy as my maiden aunt Ethel. Yet here are people waxing nostalgic about it and claiming it looks better than the Prius. At least for me, this causes cognitive dissonance.

      Anyway, it’s nice to meet a fellow car enthusiast who appreciates the plain-jane transportation jobs.

      As an aside, I got my Rambler in Hawaii, so it had no heater system. (Nor any A/C). When I brought it back to Michigan, I had to find another ’66-69 in a junkyard, and take the entire system out to put in my car. I mean everything from the heater core to the blower, to the vents under the dash, to the dashboard control levers. I only paid $12 for the Rambler, but got soaked $30 for the “weathereye” system. But I digress.

    • 0 avatar
      DweezilSFV

      Definitely get it now. Thanks, and yes, our taste in cars is similar. Your Uncle and I would see eye to eye.Automotive minimalism is a virtue for me.Think that’s why I love Curbside Classics so much : appreciation of the unloved.

      You must have loved that Rambler plenty to haul it all the way from Hawaii. You have my utmost respect. My apology for not getting it.
      Best,

  • avatar
    william442

    V-8 Falcons won a few races, and rallys as I remember. What has the Prius won lately?

  • avatar
    ButterflyJack

    The year was 1964 or 65, I was driving back from the Sunrise Drive-In movie at around midnight, on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, NY with my yummy girlfriend next to me, when I spied my first Falcon v-8…Of course, driving my dad’s ’57 DeSoto, with the nylon tires in less than like-new condition, I had to race the guy.I couldn’t believe he beat me…The DeSoto’s ribbon speedo was all the way across at a 120 reading and that little bastard was still pulling away from me.A rude awakening…I always liked they way these little coupes looked.the V-8 insignia was neat too; a long thin v with the 8 in the middle of the V, a lot like the old Fords. Little cars weren’t supposed to beat big cars..
    The insanity of youth dragonfly

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    Dweezil

    I guess I should tell you “the rest of the story”. The Rambler was daily transportation. I drove it everyday in Hawaii (w/o a thermostat)

    It cost $600 to ship to Seattle, then we drove it to Mich. I couldn’t have bought anything better for $600, even back in ’86. So yes, I love the car, but shipping it was just a practical decision – it was the cheapest option. Plus I knew the Rambler, and it’s so simple not much can go wrong. Used it for several years here in MI before it retired to the garage.


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