Today’s Post by Joe Farace
The original 1960 Ford Falcon was powered by a lightweight 95hp, 144 cu-in straight six engine that had a single-barrel carburetor. The 1961 model year introduced the optional 101 hp, 170 cu-in six and two new models were introduced, including a trim level called Futura that had bucket-seats and a console along with special exterior trim, which is the model I owned. That car brand-new cost less than $2300. In 1963, more models were available, including hardtops like my blue car pictured below. Later in the year, the Fairlane’s 164 hp “Challenger” 260 cu-in V8 was offered in the Falcon.
My brand-new 1963 1/2 Falcon Futura coupe (above) shown parked in front of my parents home in East Baltimore was not an expensive car for its time and cost me somewhere around $2800 brand-new. But as a young father with a baby on the way, the payment was a challenge for the low-paid engineer I was at the time. I ended up selling the car to my father and buying a 1958 Volvo 444, which cost me $395 that I still had to finance at the bank with payments of $25 a month—that I could afford. You can read about my Volvo, the first of several I would end up owning over the years here.
All of which brings me to today: The Hagerty Collector Car app places the current value of my 1963 1/2 Falcon Futura coupe at $15.400 with the 144 cu-in engine, while mine had the 170 cu-in engine. Maybe that option is worth more? I think this valuation says more about the desirability factor of the car than might have been the case even a few years ago. I’m guessing there are not many of them around these day and those that are have probably been converted to V8 power.
Kelley Blue Book reported that the estimated average transaction price for light vehicles (not trucks) in the United States was $38,378 in July 2020. Household income varies depending on your age and the state you live in but the nominal median income for 2020 was $66,066, which means that a new car purchase represents approximate 58 percent of household income. In 1963, my personal annual household income was (no kidding) $3120 with the Falcon represented 89% of my income, so you can see why I ultimately had to sell it. The used Volvo was a better fit for me.
Scan of original 1963 Ektachrome slide by ScanMyPhotos.com.