THE SONOMA COUNTY FALCONS FOR FUN!!!
CHAPTER OF THE FALCON CLUB OF AMERICA
The “Lost” Falcons
by Al Aiello
Somebody recently referred to the 1966-1970 Falcons as the “Lost Falcons”. This reference reminds me of a portion of the Northcoast of California referred to as the “Lost Coast”.
The Lost Coast of California is an area of the Pacific coastline that begins just North of Fort Bragg, and extends to an area south of Eureka. The Lost Coast begins where Highway One turns east towards Highway 101. The Lost Coast region is an undeveloped and a seldom seen portion of California that is shrouded in mystery and beauty. Okay, can you see where I’m going with this?
The 1966-1970 Falcons are also seldom seen, somewhat mysterious, and dare I say beautiful. Well, I like all Falcons, and I am gaining more appreciation for the later Falcons–especially the Sport Coupes.
Why are they seldom seen? First of all, there were not that many 1966-1970 models made. The production of Falcons sharply declined after 1965. The Ford Mustang certainly cut into the sales of Falcons in later years. The sporty image of Falcon declined after 1965, and the bulk of Falcons sales were economy models. Even though the Falcon’s sales banners for these years advertised the economy and utility of the Falcon, some sporty models were made during these later years.
This is photo of the mysterious 1966 Ford Ranchero that appears on the cover of the sales brochure for this model. The brochure for this year did not describe the Ranchero as a “Falcon”. In following years, the Ranchero was referred to as a “Fairlane”. The 1966 model was the last of the Rancheros with obvious Falcon traits.
Collectors have not shown as much interest in the later Falcons when compared to their earlier predecessors. This will probably always be the case, but interest in later models should grow due to their uniqueness and rarity.
Here are a couple of cover pages from the Ford Falcon sales brochures in 1966. Here is another mystery. Look at the cover photo of the brochure on the left. This was the first brochure issued for the Falcon in 1966. Now, check out a portion of the cover photo for the 1966 revised brochure on the right. Did you notice that the cars and the couple are the same? The photo appearing on the revised 1966 brochure replaced the initial version on the left. That’s a fairly ominous looking Falcon on the left. The cover on the right is a bit more friendly, and you don’t feel like your going to be the Falcon’s next meal!!! Did Ford change the cover to make it more pleasing? Incidentally, the coastline on the right look much like the Sonoma County ‘s in northern California. The ’66 brochures have several photos with San Francisco backgrounds.
The later model Falcons included Sport Coupes, Club Coupes, Sedans, Station Wagons, Club Wagons, and Station Buses. The utility of the Falcons persevered to the end of their production run in the United States.
In 1968, Ford offered the 4-V 302 engine rated at 230 horsepower as an option. Better yet, the 19701/2 Falcon offered the 429 Cobra Jet Ram Air V-8 rated at 370 horsepower. However, some may argue this most powerful of Falcons was not really a Falcon, but a re-badged Torino. I view it as the last lost Falcon. The last Falcon is extremely rare!!!
Here is photo of the cover page of the Falcon Sales Brochure for 1969.
Take notice the next time you see one of the “lost” Falcons. It may be awhile before you see another one.