The 1965 Ford Falcon commands a relatively forgiving purchase price, and restoring it comes with even less of a hustle.
The American muscle car has been a long-standing car enthusiast heartthrob for the last half-century. The 60s and 70s saw the meteoric rise of V-8 powered coupes and sedans which virtually all had a drinking problem, a perfect match for the club-hopping generation of the time, who were just reeling from the effects of a booming economy.
Fast forward to 2020, and a decent number of the classic cars remain, albeit with most of them in a rather rickety state. The lucky individuals who still own mint-condition muscle cars handle them with kid gloves, and religiously parade them at classic car events, some of them hoping to fetch a healthy price for the vehicle.
Given that during the 2-decade explosion of muscle cars they produced more models than you could poke a stick at, it’s quite the formidable job to pick a winner for the easiest model to maintain. One car, however, does a pretty impressive job of easing the burden of maintenance, making it our top pick for a project car. That car is the Ford Falcon. The 1965 Ford Falcon commands a relatively forgiving purchase price, and restoring it comes with even less of a hustle.
Everything in a Ford Falcon is just put together in a logically sound way. Minimalism is the name of the game when it comes to the design of the Falcon, whose parts fit together in a very transparent way. This is supremely important when it comes to maintenance because chances are the owner will not be a mechanic with a career spanning 50 years and having all the tools lying around to rebuild an exotic engine from scratch.
Being a pre-cursor to the Ford Mustang, the Falcon features the same bare-bones design, with everything coming off and being easily attachable just like the early Mustangs. Everything on this car is mechanical, there’s nothing computerized, and you, therefore, know everything that is happening within the car.
It was a relatively economical car at the time of its production compared to other muscle cars, meant for the general population rather than enthusiasts, but that didn’t stop ford from making it eye-candy. Ford went ahead to boost its fuel economy, doing about 30 miles per gallon, pretty impressive for American muscle from the 60s!
The 200cu engine of this car runs for an eternity. While competitors would be dying left, right, and center, the engine running this vehicle seems to never give. In the early months of 1965, Ford Motors made the decision to upgrade the 200 series engine to seven main bearings, which had the direct effect of reduced harmonic vibrations, and was largely improved durability. The same engine was inherited by Ford Mustang and formed the basis of engine design for the Ford sedans for the next decade.
The longevity of the car’s engine is further propelled by the light weight of the car. Topping out at 70mph, the Ford Falcon is not particularly quick by today’s standards, but it does make for a perfect cruiser. Owners of the 65 Ford Falcon tend to switch out this engine, however, with faster engines like the V-8 289cid variant, a perfect engine for the Falcon, that gives it a generous performance boost.
While owning the mintiest vehicle from the age of muscle cars is a gratifying experience, maintaining it in that state requires some TLC. A good portion of cars from that era are actually quite unmaintainable, given the fact that most dealers will not have parts that complement the vehicle, and if they do, you won’t have enough kidneys to purchase them.
The falcon does not share this truth though. A quick scan for parts over the interwebs returns a flood of results, with dealers practically engaged in a discount war to lure Falcon and Mustang owners. Since a lot of the Mustang parts are interchangeable with Falcon parts, it makes it a breeze to come across car parts for the Falcon, given the popularity of the Mustang.
The Ford army takes great pride in its American brand and its extension in Australia. The large community that owns Ford sedans and other models make Ford Falcon information nearly ubiquitous. You would be hard-pressed to find unknown unknowns when it comes to the Ford Falcon, with scores of people having restored this brand to near perfection.
The Ford Falcon is a great project car, one that barely requires any car expertise to rig up with muscle parts and get going, and once it does get going, it won’t stop.
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There were other sports cars at the time that proved worthy competitors, such as the MGB GT, Porsche 914, and Opel GT.
Edwin grew up with a morbid fascination for everything that moved on wheels, and has since cashed in on his love of vehicles. He has been actively seeking out events particularly showcasing car technology and the future of the car manufacturing industry. With a degree in Software Engineering, he spends a good deal of time tinkering with car software and he recently acquired a 2011 Audi A4, whose technology he spends the bulk of his weekends upgrading.