Parked For 15 Years: 1963½ Ford Falcon Sprint Convertible

The 1963½ Ford Falcon Sprint Convertible was a relatively rare car when it was new, so it is incredible to find a solid one that has been languishing in a shed for more than 15-years. Barn Finder Larry D spotted this one for us, so I have to say a big thank you, Larry. Its days in hiding look to be near an end, as the owner has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Blountville, Tennessee, and while the bidding has reached $5,100, the reserve hasn’t been met.

It is probably fair to say that the Falcon Sprint was the pre-cursor to the Mustang. The iconic pony car derived most of its underpinning from the Sprint, including its drivetrain configuration. This Peacock Blue Sprint doesn’t look like it is a bad thing. Beneath that dust is paint that still has a good shine, while the panel gaps are tight for a Ford from this era. A few minor dings and scars will need addressing, but none of it looks severe. The owner says that the doors open and close perfectly, suggesting that there are no structural issues to contend with. He reinforces this by saying that the floors, frame, and shackle mounts are all solid. The only rust of any note is some in the trunk pan. However, this looks like it will be easy to fix. The White power top operates, although it is said to be pretty slow. I suspect that some cleaning and basic maintenance will probably have it back to its best. The top is grotty and dirty, but I believe that it will respond positively to some hard work with a high-quality cleaner. The trim and chrome appear to be respectable, while the same is true of the glass.

The first piece of bad news with the Sprint is that it is not numbers-matching. The engine bay would originally have housed a 260ci V8, but this has been swapped for a C-Code 289. There’s no doubt that this will offer some notable performance improvements, but it is a shame that this has happened to what is a relatively rare classic. The owner believes that the 4-speed manual transmission is original, which is a bonus. It would be possible to source another 260 to slot back under the hood, and that is the path that I would probably follow. On a more positive note, the owner has managed to coax the Ford back to life after 15 years. He has bolted a new carburetor to the 289, and it runs and sounds healthy. The car will go into gear and move under its own power, but the brake pedal goes straight to the floor. This is one aspect that I wouldn’t compromise on, and I’d probably treat the braking system to a full rebuild. I’d also have the whole vehicle thoroughly inspected, but it sounds like it will be returned to a roadworthy state with little effort.

While there will be some mechanical fine-tuning required on the Sprint, it is inside the car that the buyer will need to splash some cash. The back of the rear seat, the rear trims, and the door trims are all missing, while the bucket seats will need new covers. A trim kit will probably be the best option here, and while they aren’t as plentiful and cheap as they are for a 1st Generation Mustang, they can still be found. The buyer will need to set aside around $1,800, but this will include everything required to return the interior to a factory-fresh state. Some excellent components remain intact, with the console looking in good condition and the original factory tach working as it should. The mount for this is broken, so a replacement might need to be sourced.

When you look at the raging sales success that Ford would enjoy a mere 12 months down the track with the Mustang, the 1963½ Falcon Sprint sold in modest numbers. This was especially true of the Convertible derivative, with only 4,602 cars finding homes in that model year. This is one of those cars, and I believe that it deserves to be returned to the road sooner rather than later. The big question is in what form. Would you leave this one mechanically unchanged, or would you source another 260 to bolt into the engine bay?

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Nothing wrong with the 289 in my opinion. Seems like a good deal to own something more exclusive and still be able to utilize all the Mustang suspension mods to make it handle and break better if you choose to go that route. I have always liked the looks but the floppy handling is something I would have a hard time living with.

    Like 10
    • Leonardo de la Parra

      I have in Mexico a 260 CI Ford v8 and don´t know what to do with it. It is complete and running.
      If there is any interest.

      Like 11
      • PatrickM

        List it and give us the link

        Like 2
  2. Steve Clinton

    Finally, a TRUE barn find!

    Like 9
  3. Kevin Herrmann

    Very clean barn find. I recently moved to Greeneville TN. So not to far away to Blountville. Would love to take a look. Currently restoring a 52 Ford F1.

    Like 6
  4. Bruce Laire

    I’d tune it like Jay Leno’s with Minilites. Add a roll bar for stiffness, make the top work, but leave the body alone

    Like 4
  5. healeydays

    I always liked the 2nd gen Falcon, but this 1st gen looks like it might be fun at the right price. That 289 would be just what this little toy would need. Maybe add an IFS kit for the front suspension?

    Like 4
  6. Dave

    This is a nice one. The engine mod should be continued with a few other choice upgrades; disc brakes, suspension, come to mind here.

    Like 8
  7. Bunky

    289 was an option in late ‘63. Ford Falcon ad proclaimed “Throw away your boring bar! 289 available for ‘63”. How times have changed. Don’t know if this 289 is “numbers matching”,don’t really care.

    Like 9
    • T. Mann

      289 in a 1963 FALCON.

      I don’t think so…

      Show us that add.

      Like 6
    • Joe Bru

      289 came out for the 65 model year, the 64 mustangs had 260’s & AC Cobra’s had the 260’s as well.

      Like 5
      • T. Mann

        My 1965 Falcon 2 door hardtop has 289 Hi-Po engine, MSD, 4 barrel Demon, 5 speed, bucket seats, Mustang yellow.

        1965 is the first year for a factory 289 in a Falcon.

        Like 11
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      That was a Fairlane ad……..

      Like 2
  8. Howard Kerr

    Bidding already at $7,000. I would think that with the missing interior pieces this will probably reach $12-15,000.
    I am a Ford fan, and currently drive a 15 year old Mustang convertible, but I could almost see parting with it to pick up this sweetheart in lightly tattered clothes.
    Love the color, BTW.

    Like 7
  9. Boatman Member

    Can anyone identify that carburetor? I’ve never seen one quite like that!

    Like 1
    • Mike

      I can. It a Holley 4bbl. I actually went to the ebay page and read the ad. C8 289, after market intake and carb.

      Like 3
      • Boatman Member

        Ad says Edelbrock, actually.

        Like 1
  10. Rustytech Member

    Looks like a Holly built Motorcraft 2bbl to me.

    Like 2
  11. jack muldoon

    Carb definitely looks like Holly vintage and not an Autolite 2 barrel.

    Like 2
  12. half cab

    The real prototype for the Bronco lol

    Like 2
  13. gaspumpchas

    FWIW, I recently restored a 65 Falcon convertible for my bride. It was a 6 cyl car with 4 lug drums. I installed spindles from a ford fairmont- this gives you disc brakes, plus it lowers the front end just a tad. I installed the heaviest sway bar I could get 1 1/8 I think. This bird handles great and I know how awful these were to drive, and with the discs it stops well. One takeaway, IMHO, The wife wanted power steering, and it now has the linkage OEM steering, which takes away any road feel. All in all its a blast to drive- fresh 289, c4 tranny with a shift kit and duals with flowmaster 40’s. Sure would like this sprint for an addition to the corral!! MY first car was a 63 sprint that my shop teacher gave me. Good stuff, stay safe and good luck!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 13
  14. HC

    Who cares if it has a 289 instead of a 260? Same block just some upper engine upgrades. Would definitely do a front disc conversion and thank God it has its original manual trans. Great find!

    Like 7
    • Falconman

      The Flipper says “TRANS LOOKS TO BE ORIGINAL” in all caps.

      Like 3
      • half cab

        That made me spit my dew out lol

        Like 1
    • EPO3

      Would you want a 283 or a 327 that’s what i thought

      Like 1
    • T. Mann

      TRANS “LOOKS” TO BE ORIGINAL
      so says the seller…

      Like 3
  15. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Look at that steering wheel center – see the Falcon Sprint – all they did for the Mustang is cover that up ……if you have one pop off that Mustang badge and whola – a rare Falcon Sprint steering wheel trim….oh wait that made a million Mustangs sorry !

    Like 1
  16. Jon.in.Chico

    Buddy in high school had a ’63½ Sprint with the 260 …. he swapped the three-on-the-tree for a floor shifter and put on a 4-bbl manifold with a 650 Holley … couldn’t believe how fast that car was – the 260 was a great engine … I had a ’66 Sport Coupe with the 289/2bbl AT (OK – it was my mom’s car) and he always beat me in the quarter … only detraction was that bump on the steering column where the original shifter was ..

    Like 1
  17. Deidre Darnell

    I wish I could just have this car. I know how to fix everything that is wrong with it!

  18. George Crafton

    I had a 63 just like this one same color and convertible. I loved that car. Wish
    I still had it.

  19. Terry

    Leave the 289 in it. If you find another 260, it still wouldn’t be numbers-matching. These are nice cars. The Sprint gave the Falcon some pizzazz.

    • T. Mann

      OR, swap that 289 for a Roller 302 (1986 or newer).
      Not for the extra 13 cubic inches, for the increase in torque, increase is smoothness, increase in power.
      Dress it as a 260, already Not number matching.
      Few know the 302 block is different under the back of the intake.
      For more fun, install a T-5 and find a 4 speed nob with the right pattern.

      Like 4
  20. Alvin

    Those earlier falcons like the sprints,etc up to including the 65 were prettier than any mustang ford ever built

    Like 1
  21. Timothy Phaff

    Dry storage for 15 years, what about the other 52 years? Cool little car. Would love to go through the mechanics and run it daily.

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