Pre-Mustang: 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint

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Ford introduced its first compact car in 1960, the Falcon. It would be the market leader in sales right out of the gate. But until mid-1963, you could only get a Falcon with a six-cylinder engine. Enter the “1963 ½” Falcon Sprint with its 260 cubic inch V8. It would be the forerunner of the Mustang which would hit the scene a little more than a year later. This Sprint is a roller that’s been stored indoors for the past 40 years. It no longer has its engine, 4-speed transmission, or bucket seats. But it looks to be a solid foundation for a restoration. Located in Nedrow, New York, this Ford is available here on eBay where the opening bid of $2,500 has yet to be cast.

The Falcon went largely unchanged during its first four years (1960-63) with mostly styling tweaks here and there. But most buyers only saw the little car as an econobox until the Sprint came along in February 1963. Dubbed a “1963 ½”, we assume the Sprint was titled as a 1963 model just like the 1964 ½ Mustang was really a ’65. Available as a 2-door hardtop and convertible, the mid-year Sprint saw a production of 10,479 coupes and 4,602 drop-tops. Under the hood of each of them was the 260 “Challenger” V8 that produced 164 hp and was the predecessor to the 289. The sporty Sprint could be thought of as a dry run for the Mustang because much of the underpinnings were shared between the two.

The VIN in this car confirms the V8 engine, but the motor has flown the coop along with its factory 4-speed manual transmission. This car has only recently seen daylight, having spent four decades inside a garage. We’re told the sheet metal is original and the only rust seems to be on the front floorboards and bumpers. This Ford wore Peacock Blue paint when new and it’s possible that what remains is original to the car (but that’s just a guess).

After you source a powertrain, you’ll have to find new bucket seats, a console, and side trim. The rear seat is still present and might be just fine once you clean it up. As an older New York car, a change in ownership will have to take place via a bill of sale rather than a title (the seller says the paperwork he/she has is transferable). This would be a neat car when restored as you see far more Mustangs at shows than the rarer Falcon Sprints.

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  1. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    Find a clean 302, F.I., 5 spd gearbox, clean it up and drive it. Would be a fun daily driver and drive in diner special.

    Like 25
  2. JW454

    During my high school years in the early 70s many of these showed up in the student parking lot. My friend Scott had one that was black with red interior/buckets seats/console. It was a 6 cylinder with a “3 on the tree”. Thanks to some enterprising young lads, it soon had a 351/302 from a 1968/69 Torino GT. I can’t recall what transmission we swapped in except to say it was a 4 speed with a huge Mr. Gasket chrome shifter in the floor. Those young men did a good job on the swap and it was a very nice car.

    Like 9
  3. JustPassinThru

    I can appreciate the era, and the trend it signifies…but I think the biggest mistake made in the first-generation Falcon, was to abandon the concave grille and front bumper with a center rise for the license-plate mount.

    Later versions, with the bugged-out grille and various changes-for-the-sake-of-change…just don’t work.

    Just my opinion. Hope someone can get some use out of this one….it’s no bargain, IMHO…

    Like 3
  4. william stephan

    At 2500 lbs it would a heck of a gasser!

    Like 5
    • Karl

      I had one in high school, guy took out the 260 and put in a ’64 289. It really was scary fast, great little sleeper.👍

      Like 0
  5. John Jasper

    I remember these and probably raced a few. Nice car.

    Like 1
  6. Craig C.

    My neighbor friend (18 yrs old) had one that had the straight bar front axle that the original owner raced as Gasser with a 406 BB FORD engine. That was around 1966. He bought it less engine and put the 352 engine from his parents 1958 Thunderbird into it. He terrorized the community with it driving over stop signs till he ripped a hole in his oil pan! The cops followed the trail of oil right to his house! I think he sold it after that. Crazy Bill RIP! Those were the good old days!

    Like 6
  7. Lonney Kearl

    This car being light weight with a 347 storker or big block would be a sleeper on the street or strip wish I could get it and build it but have other projects at this time

    Like 3
  8. chrlsful

    luv the ’round body’ (last yr 4 it). Less chrome, sm ‘side dent’.
    This is the car to stop the ve dub bug from desimating the usa auto industry and in response ushered in the muscle era (‘stang) & suv era (a bronk is justa 4WD falcon/stang) we still live in. Pay homage to the lowly econo-box.

    Like 3
  9. Lee Wells

    I thought the trunk lid was spot welded shut, but maybe that’s bongo. I owned a 62 that was an ex gasser, having spent it’s early years on dragstrips, then it became a show car called Short Circuit. It had a chrome 9 inch, chrome straight axle and springs, steering column, glove box door. All I did was put new tri y headers on it, and it was my daily driver. I loved cruising our main drag in the 80s in it. I’ve been looking for that car for years.

    Like 1
  10. Cyrus Echols

    Restoration….Nah… No way….think back to the late 60s through the 70s and 80s. There were some cool hot rods back then. Get this Falcon and build it like one. Personally I like those or maybe…. lowered all around,fat tires and wheels (early Centerlines) flared fenders,not much mind you. Some killer SBF 5spd ,hook up some badass suspension (loads of aftermarket) stiffen with10 point cage. Drive the hell out of it… don’t restore it, that would be boring to see at a car show. Hotrod that thing and stir up some excitement for the owner as well as those fortunate enough to see it. I remember a Falcon at Road Atlanta once. Just Badass with velocity stacks intake sitting on the ground big tires and an idle you could feel…yeah do that…

    Like 0
  11. Karl

    In 1990 going into my senior year in high school I bought a 1963 4 door w/3 on the tree. Guy I bought it from took out the 260 and put in a ’64 289. And let me tell you, it was insanely FAST. No joke. It only weighed 2,343 lbs! (Comparison: My next car was a 1993 Escort that weighed 20 lbs less) The original exhaust rotted off totally within 6 months and the kids working at the local muffler shop put legit dual exhaust on it which helped it breathe even more. Had it for 2 more years until I left home, sold it for $600. To this day it was still my favorite car, just from the time period of my life in which I owned it and made so many memories with. I still have the occasional dream about it, that’s how much happiness it gave me as a kid. What’s also really interesting (to me) about this car for sale is that it’s only 10 miles away from where I live (then and now).

    Like 0

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