by Al Aiello, May-2014
I’ve owned my 1965 Ford Falcon Sprint for approximately 25 years. During that time, all of my children have been passengers in car seats, or adults as drivers. The car definitely has a “family” history and has a special space in the garage.
I must qualify my ownership history as I did sell this car about 8 years ago to a car collector from Bakersfield, California. After I sold it to him, oh how I missed it, but I was lucky to purchase it back from him about 4 years ago. There are no plans for me to sell it again!
Back in high school, I always wanted a Falcon Sprint, but I was happy with my ’64 Falcon Tudor Sedan. Years later, I was fortunate to find my Sprint Hardtop in a local paper for $800. It was a done deal!
It appears from the paper work that I have on this car, that it may have been a “special order” vehicle. I have the original purchase order that lists the options on this rare bird. The total price including tax was $2,998.96.
Included on the purchase order list is the C-4 Cruise-O-Matic Transmission, Visibility Group (adjustable rear view mirror, windshield washer, 2-speed electric wipers) and the Night Group (interior lighting, back-up lights, and a rear trunk and glove compartment light). A center console was specified to go along with the bucket seats. Tinted windows were ordered for all windows, not just the windshield. A remote control mirror was specified, although the word “remote” has a different meaning back then when compared to the current definition. “Remote” back then meant a control knob on the inside of the driver’s door to manually adjust (by cables) the mirror mounted on the door.
One of my favorite places to visit is the Hood House in the Sonoma Valley. This historical (albeit neglected) home is about 10 miles from my home. My wife (Lois) and I like to pile are two dogs into the back seat of the Sprint and take a short drive to the Hood House and let them stretch their legs. They like to hang their heads out of the rear windows while cruising.
By 1965, the Sprint designation was mainly a “badge” option. The 1965 Sprints did not have many of the standard features of previous Sprints such as tachometers, unique wood steering wheel, and a chrome dress-up kit. However, I really like the “Sprint” tach, so I installed an original one on the dash. I’ve heard that that the tach and other items could be ordered in ’65, but I’m not quite sure about that.
The engine in my Sprint is the original 289–the only engine choice for the Sprint in 1965. The 289 was rated at 200 HP with the standard 2-barrel carburetor. The engine has a standard-type air cleaner and standard valve covers. These items are not chromed, but are painted gold. There are no decals in the engine compartment, or on the valve covers or air cleaner, that would identify the vehicle as a “Sprint”.
The only exterior items that identify this vehicle as a “Sprint”, are the unique V-8 emblem on the front fenders that designate the rare bird. The only Sprint hints in the interior are the “Sprint” emblems mounted on the doors. The steering wheel is the standard type which matches the interior color, and is equipped with the chromed “Falcon” deluxe-style horn ring.
There were only 2,806 Falcon Sprint Hardtop models produced in 1965. Rarer still are the 1965 Sprint Convertibles as only 300 were produced. I am finally putting the finishing touches on my ’65 Sprint Convertible…but that too will be another story!