Mustang Forerunner: 1963½ Ford Falcon Sprint

Ford got into the compact car business in 1960 and they were solid – but uninspiring – cars until the middle of the 1963 season. That’s when Ford introduced the Falcon Sprint, which would be the first Falcon with a V-8 and the basis for the Mustang which would debut a year later. This 1963½ Falcon Sprint is a nice, unrestored car with a rebuilt 260 V-8. The only downside might be that it went through a color change at some point. It can be found in Seattle, Washington and here on eBay where the no reserve auction has reached $8,200.

In the early 1960s, Ford had a winner with its new Falcon compact. But the field quickly got crowded and Ford brass wanted to inject some spirit into the little car. Thus, the Falcon Sprint was born mid-year for 1963, a 2-door hardtop with bucket seats and console, wire wheel covers, tachometer and chrome doo-dads under the hood. To further differentiate it, Ford used the 260 cubic inch “Challenger” V-8 engine that put out 164 hp from the mid-size Fairlane. The Sprint got a beefier suspension, bigger drum brakes and five-stud wheels. For the half-year introduction, Ford built about 10,500 hardtops and 4,600 convertibles. The Falcon platform was one of Ford’s most prolific, serving as the basis for many other cars over the years including the Mustang and Maverick at Ford, the Comet and Monarch at Mercury and the Versailles at Lincoln. The Falcon Sprint was the basis for the 1965 Mustang, so you could say that without the Falcon, there would have been no Mustang. Our appreciation goes to Classic Car History for some Falcon history!

While we don’t what the seller’s 1963½’s Falcon Spring has been up to the past 57 years, it’s largely done it well. The body looks pretty good, but it carries an older paint job, one where someone changed the color from Metallic Viking Blue to white (not a good idea in my opinion; color changes usually devalue a car). The front floor pans and toe boards were replaced at some point, but the rear floor pans and the metal below the rear seat are rusty and will require some work. A photo from inside the trunk gives a hint to the original color as that patch of blue was not camouflaged. Since the car needs painting again anyway, go back to the original color.

The original interior is darn nice, with the bucket seats, headliner and door panels apparently needing no attention. We can’t be sure of the carpeting, but if it did require replacing, that would be one of the least expensive kits to have to buy. Fast forward to the engine compartment and the original 260 V-8 will be found there, having had the top-end rebuilt at some point with a new exhaust system added. An automatic transmission takes care of the gear work, likely a 2-speed unit. The car came with optional power steering. The seller is starts, runs, drives and stops as it should. Even the tachometer still works.

These ’63½ Sprints seem to command the same kind of money as some of the early Mustangs do, perhaps because far fewer of them are still around. $20,000 and up doesn’t seem out of line for a top-flight Sprint and this one could be made to be cosmetically competitive without a huge investment. Unless I’m missing something here, this looks like a good one to restore. At 87,000 miles, it’s got plenty of “sprint” left it in (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

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Comments

  1. Snotty

    Much nicer smaller C-pillar on these than the big boxy C-pillars on the Fairlnes. Small car with lots of potential.

    Like 4
  2. Howard A Member

    Folks may remember my friend just out of HS that had Falcons. He’s the guy that took a decent red 4 speed ’65 Sprint, and tore it apart to put everything into a white ‘63.5 basic Falcon, like this, AND JUNKED THE ’65!! He cut a big hole in the floor for the 4 speed, it was a mess, but did great burnouts, until, I think he wrapped it around a tree. Again, it’s what shade tree mechanics did back then and we had a blast,,well, not the tree part. Great find, but the 2 speed definitely took some steam away from the 260. I read, if you wanted an automatic, this was the only choice, the 3 speed C4 came out in ’64.

    Like 6
  3. Dave

    Not true. I had a ’62 Sunliner convertible with a 3spd trans. They called it a cruis-o- matic.

    Like 1
    • MorganW Morgan Winter Member

      Cruise-O-Matic wasn’t offered in first-gen Falcons.

      Like 4
  4. Russell Casey

    Ilike this a lot. mainly becasue itis similar underneath/mecanically to the early Mustang.

  5. tiger66

    It’s incorrect to call the 1963 1/2 Sprint the first Falcon with a V8 — starting in ’63 1/2, you could get the 260 V8 in any Falcon model as it was an option across the entire line. Same 164 hp 260 as in the Sprint.

    The difference was the Sprint package included the 260 V8 as standard. It also included the bucket seats/console interior from the Futura, the dash-mounted tach, wire wheel covers, engine dress-up kit, etc. The Sprint was basically a Futura hardtop or convertible with the 260 and a bunch of cosmetic add-ons.

  6. bone

    The Monarch and Lincoln Versailles (and Granada) are not built from the Falcon platform

  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    like……….

  8. Mark

    I have a friend who got a 63 2-door Falcon from his grandfather years ago. It’s supposedly dark green with red interior and he says it’s original paint. Has anyone ever seen this or know if they made this color combination?

  9. chrlsful

    addition/correction (whatever)…they can all B called fox (by me anyway). This thru grenade-a, fairmont, actual fox (stangs, LTD/Marquis) up to the ’04 (SN-95) abt 40 yrs. Wheel bases, swap interiors, pretty neat~

    Like 1
  10. Phlathead Phil

    My Uncle was a “Ford-Man.” He and my Aunt came to California in a Rambler.

    Embarrassed by his wife’s brothers that had high powered Chevy’s and Dodges,
    He “converted” himself when he saw God telling him to buy a Ford.

    There on his knees before the Gawd of Blue Oval, he “Repented” for owning an “American” and in turn bought a 1962 FALCON 2 door coupe.

    It ran and ran and ran!!

    Later he would buy a Ford LTD and did not EVER stray from FoMoCo.

    Not too shabby for an Evangelical Preacher!

  11. Anav8r

    My friend and fellow band mate, Calvin, had a new 64 Sprint with a 4 speed back in the day. Champagne color, inside and out. I thought it was a really, cool, quick enough car. I loved it then, and I’d love one now, although 3000 rpm cruising down I-64 would look weird to me today today.

  12. Dave

    Love the oldies.

    Like 1
  13. Paul

    The steering wheel of my old Mustang was labeled Falcon under the horn center bar!

  14. Allan W

    Looks like it aold for $9300.00
    I wanted this so badly.

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