Saturday, June 26, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1962 Ford Falcon

It's funny, I imposed a rule on myself against posting a bunch of Mustangs, but not one against posting Falcons. I suppose in a way I have, since I've passed up many Falcons in the months following the creation of this humble blog. This particular Falcon was one of my earliest blog shoots, taken several months ago. It intrigues me, as it's a perfect example of a custom car long past its prime.
It's a 1962 model, a car which used the conservatively styled and basic bodyshell introduced for 1960, but with a freshened and reshaped grille with vertical bars. I actually really like the 1962 front end, but am not so keen on the rather stale '60-style rear. The Falcon range would not get a full restyle until 1964.
This car originally came with rear wheel arches that came up no higher than the bottom of the side scallop, and hid the top of the wheels inside the quarter panel. Probably made tire changes fun. Probably at some point in the late '60s judging by the late-issue (circa 1968) black plate, the car changed hands and a new, younger owner wanted some wider tires. That meant slicing out those wheel arches and flaring the lip to fit the more aggressive rubber. The owner also added slotted mag wheels and jacked up, shackled rear suspension which give it an early-70s custom look. Other modifications include a custom 3-spoke steering wheel, flexible black side mirrors that look like they came from an '80s compact pickup, and some chrome spear trim of indeterminate origin on the quarter panels. The brightwork might look all right if it were aligned straight, but it, like the rest of the car, is dull, sagging and broken. I really wouldn't mind the vintage custom style if it were in good shape. As it sits, it looks like an old beater that was driven hard, put away wet, and allowed to rust. Some folks think that mismatched panels, dents and rust make a car look "badass", and some cars can pull it off. Others just look abused or neglected, and this one is probably both. The first time I saw it, it was sitting under a tree with a flat tire, and meter maid chalk all over the tires to mark the fact it hadn't moved recently. Thankfully a tow was evidently averted and the next time I saw it, the Falcon was parked on a different street with four properly inflated tires.
I hold out hope that one day it will receive the loving care it deserves. And for once, I actually want to see it restored in this style instead of returned to stock.

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