"something of an extraordinary nature will turn up..."

Mr. Micawber in Dickens' David Copperfield

Kit Foster's

CarPort

AUTOMOTIVE SERENDIPITY ON THE WEB

CarPort
May 11th, 2005

1963 Ford Falcon Deluxe station wagon

This is the time when apple blossoms usually come to the CarPort’s home town. The blossoms in turn remind me that 25 years ago this week we purchased our new, seventeen-year-old Ford Falcon station wagon.

I had flirted with the car, a 1963 Rangoon Red Deluxe four-door wagon, at Spring Carlisle, but without cash in hand and inexperienced in the ways of buy-and-drive, I had returned home car-less. Unbeknownst to me, a friend had purchased it; when he learned of my interest he was happy to find a motivated buyer. He drove it over and I bought it on the spot.

Our new Falcon was a rather rara avis, equipped with the 260 cid version of Ford’s
small block V8
and a three-speed manual transmission. The “Sprint” Falcons, announced in January 1963 and delivered a couple of months later, are well known, but less appreciated is the fact that the V8 could be ordered in any Falcon from that time onward. Bearing simple
“260 V8” emblems
, our car was devoid of the dress-up items lavished on the new
Sprint
versions of the hardtop and convertible, but packed the same 164 bhp through a slightly quieter muffler. It served us well for six years as a family car, carrying home the
newest member of our family
in 1983 and making countless excursions to nursery school, Grandma’s house and beyond. When
carefully packed
, it would hold all that a family of five needed for a
two-week vacation
.

Usually I prefer the first year of any new car design, typically in its purest form. Of the first generation Falcons, though, the ’63 is my favorite, since the “pure”
1960
is too “McNamara-ish,” and the
’61
and
’62
appear contrived. The added adornment for 1963 nicely complements the new
convertible
and
fastback hardtop
added that year (thanks to Wayne Graefen for sharing a photo of his new project hardtop). The Falcon Club of America looks after Ford Falcons, and their website has plenty outgoing links.

Eventually, as mileage crept towards 170,000, the engine developed emphysema, and signs of rust, just festering sores when the car arrived, became gaping wounds. I planned to give it a heart transplant and some skin grafts, even acquired a
parts car
. But the more I investigated the more complete seemed the need for restoration. Eventually we needed the garage space for other projects, so I sold it to a pediatrician as a mate for the Rangoon Red Sprint convertible he had just finished restoring. We were sad when our station wagon
left
, and we still miss it.

Serendipity: n. An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
“They were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”
Horace Walpole, The Three Princes of Serendip
© 2004-2017 Kit Foster
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