Our Cars: 1963 1/2 Ford Falcon hardtop

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

The original 1960 Ford Falcon was powered by a lightweight 95hp, 144 cu-in straight six engine that has 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 with special exterior trim, which is the model I owned. That can 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 but my car was powered by that 170 cu-in six cylinder.

My brand-new 1963 1/2 Falcon Futura coupe (above) was not an expensive car for its time and cost me somewhere around $2800 brand-new. But as a young father with a new baby, the payment was a challenge for the low-paid draftsman 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 in a future post. (I will update this post with a link when it runs.).

All of which brings me to today: The Hagerty app places the current value of my 1963 1/2 Falcon Futura coupe at $9800, which I think says more about the desirability factor of the car, because I’m guessing there are not many of them are 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 $35,742. Household income varies depending on your age and state you live in but the nominal median for 2018 was $62,175, which means that a new car purchase represents 52.66 percent of household income. In 1963, my annual household income was (no kidding) $3120 and 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.