From the get–go it was a money pit, but I loved that car. Driving my new purchase home from Reno to San Jose, she blew a transmission gasket and had to be towed from Vallejo. I didn’t care—I had my ‘62 Ford Falcon with the deluxe chrome option—my first car.
I would lovingly wash the Little Falcon every other week. I lived to make the chrome sparkle in the sun. The dash was tricked out, not with a plastic Jesus or Mary, but with a plastic golfer. Leaning up against that was a postcard of 50’s Rockabilly icon Gene Vincent. I don’t know why, but I just loved that arrangement.
The Falcon had so many features that I loved—like the windshield, with the glass that wrapped about 4 inches around the sides and had blue tinting at the top for sun protection. The doors had wing windows! These are features I wish that new cars still had.
The wiper blades were very unique. They were vacuum controlled through the carburetor, so when you stepped on the gas, they slooowed down and when you eased up, they would practically fly off the windshield. Very entertaining.
As I said though, it was a money pit. I would never drive it out of the Bay area for fear that something would go wrong with it. After 2 rebuilt engines it still had an oil leak somewhere, which would trickle down into the generator and kill the engine. In one year, I had to put in 4 new generators. I got pretty fast at that task. Thank god for AAA. In fact that same “4-Generator-Year” year, AAA had towed my Falcon so many times that they sent me list of auto shops that I could take the car to.
The memories are worth every penny spent. Had the Little Falcon been a convertible (considered the“”classic” of the Falcons), I might have put more money into it and still have it. To this day, I always defer to Falcons in traffic, and say to myself, “Take care of that car!”