BBC Honors the Argentine Ford Falcon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
bbc honors the argentine ford falcon

When I researched the subject of cars built in relatively unchanged form for 20 or more years, the only American machine that met my criteria was the first-gen Ford Falcon (no, the Model T was not built during 20 model years and, no, the Ford Panther and GM B platforms changed too much to be considered single models). As late as 1991, car shoppers in Argentina could step into a Ford showroom and choose between a new Falcon and a new Sierra XR4… or they could walk across the street to Peugeot and drive out in a new 504. How’s that for a set of choices?

Today, the BBC News has a short video piece on Argentina’s love for the Ford Falcon. Sure, the Argentinean Falcon got square headlights in 1970, but under the skin it’s still the 1960 compact car that Robert McNamara hammered through the heart of the Edsel, thus ensuring the decline and fall of American power, etc. (I’m just getting prepared for the anti-McNamara hate mail that I always get from Edsel fanatics every time I write about the Falcon). Unlike my very favorite Argentine-ized American car, the Falcon carries some ghosts on board, which should gratify the anti-Falcon zealots; during the Dirty War of the late 70s/early 80s, green Falcons were often used by security forces to abduct the desaparecidos, and the BBC touches on this less-rosy portion of Falcon nostalgia as well.

BBC News

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  • Rico Abramzon Rico Abramzon on Dec 13, 2010

    Ohh the south! I miss my country... As you can see by this picture ( )The Argentine Falcon was used by the military during the dirty war between 1978-1982. These car were often seen 'kidnapping' people. In 1986, my dad had a red one with CNG -

  • Fastback Fastback on Dec 13, 2010

    Rico, They're still popular! I have an uncle that buys them, scrubs their faces and sells them on and it's a brisk business. As long as they're powered by the CNG, ppl love them as daily drivers! I've always thought hauling my convertible Mustang down there would be a load of fun, but now I'm begining to believe it would be best of have a Polara GTX hauled up here and having it refitted w/ a behemoth powerplant! Maybe one could fund the other????

  • Kkt Kkt on Dec 13, 2010

    I was just reading about the green Falcons used by the security forces. Ford of Argentina had a cozy relationship with the junta. Ford supplied the Falcons for the security service. The security service arrested, tortured, and imprisoned right on the factory premises any union organizers or sympathizers among the workers. Seeing them daily was a better example to the other workers than just making them disappear would have been.

  • Augie the Argie Augie the Argie on Dec 14, 2010
    I just found a photo from Ford Argentina of a 1985 Falcon restyling that never happened, I guess they better invested the money in creating the last Falcon model with the Econo-max engine. It was 25% cheaper to run as it brought down its consumption from 12 to 9.5km/litre and required regular gasoline instead of premium or super as we call it.