Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Cast of Falcons

Lunchbox Triumvirate 
Everyone's heard of a Gaggle of Geese and a Flock of Seagulls. Well it turns out that the correct term for a gathering of falcons is a Cast, which I present to you now from the unlikely streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
I came upon this well-worn little survivor during an early morning walk recently and was impressed to see it parked on the street at age 53 without any obvious restoration. This is a 1961 Ford Falcon Van.
The Falcon was the small-car offering from Ford back in the early '60s. However, once Ford saw that Chevrolet was producing a van based off of their tiny Corvair they wanted in on the action. All of this started with the surprising success of the VW Type II Bus which helps to explain the basic dimensions of these early, boxy rides. 
 Some might say this is a face only a mother could love as it's just so beaten. I mean, there's patina, and then there's unchecked patches of rust looking like the continents as seen from space.
 I'm a big fan of older rides having their original shoes on even if they're a little tatty. These plain-Jane Ford caps look great with their faded red letters.
 You've gotta love this steering wheel with it's 3-spoke horn ring and easy grip texture along the lower 3/4 of the rim. Standard issue with any vehicle in this condition; antifreeze & multiple quarts of oil on the floor.
Unlike the VW Bus & Chevy Corvan the Falcon engine is located between the front seats over the axle. This placement made the Falcons so front-heavy that they left the factory with a 165lb weight mounted over the rear axle just to keep it on the road. Since these came with small 6-cylinders as standard it couldn't have been an easy decision to make it heavier on purpose!
 Okay, now we're seeing some realized potential. As much as you might think otherwise this was NOT the van that the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine was based off of (that was a late-'60s Chevy G-10).
 Shiny paint, bumpers off, cool wheels = amazingly cool surf wagon.

 This little beast has a couple of unfortunate scars such as the poorly-repaired heavily rusted left taillight and a hole on the driver's door, but other than that it's amazing.

Now we'll complete our journey from beater to cool older rat rod to fully finished mod cruiser. What a showpiece!
This example of the Falcon lineup has obviously been nurtured and cared-for by a lover of the '60s Kustom Car Culture. Little details like the shaving of the FORD letters up front and painting the inner headlight housing black make this thing pop.
 This thing is perfect! It's actually a very subtle tri-tone; light gray roof, satin blue lower body, and a slightly richer blue with heavy metal-flake in the impression surrounding the windows. Cool cool cool treatment.
Plain steelies with skinny white walls seems like the perfect decision. The slight rake in stance may hint at a V8 being hidden beneath. Let's hear it for the photographer's shadow!
This close-up shows the demarcation between metal-flake and regular blue, as well as the only damage I could find; a tiny lifting of the paint where a mirror screw has allows seepage to begin to rust. I want this van for myself, and so do you.

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