Southwestern Survivor: 1965 Ford Falcon Futura

When I was in college, the student center had a vending area with microwave ovens. They were still a pretty new concept and there was a sign posted above them that read,” Persons with pacemakers, stay clear of this area.” Well someone scribbled on the sign, “What’s a pacemaker?” and another person wrote, “It keeps your ♥ beating!” and then another person added, “And old Ford Falcons!” First-generation Falcons (’60 to ’63) took a bit of a drubbing for being a staid “McNamara” economy car. By the second generation, however, people started to take note of the significant and attractive styling redo along with sportier and more performance-oriented versions that were available. This is just such an example, a 1965 Ford Falcon Futura, available here on eBay for a current bid of $8,000 and 31 bids tendered as of this writing. The seller says that he has set a reasonable reserve but the current bid in the “bid box” doesn’t indicate that there is a reserve unless perhaps it has been met. There is only one day to go with this auction.

The Falcon was Ford’s new for ’60 compact car. It competed with the Plymouth Valiant, Chevrolet Corvair (and then later the Chevy II/Nova) and the American Motors Rambler “American”. Interesting to note is that by the time this Falcon was produced, sales numbers were starting to slide as buyers opted for the new, Falcon-based Mustang. Falcon production in ’65 was 85K fewer units than in ’64, a 26.7% reduction. Of course, Mustang production for ’65 was through the roof so you lose it from one pocket and more than gain it in the other. By 1970, the Falcon had morphed into the Maverick though the Falcon name was still used on a Fairlane derivative.

This Falcon example is a “Futura” which is the gussied up version of the Falcon and was available in a two-door hardtop, convertible, four-door sedan, and station wagon. It is being advertised as an “Arizona survivor with cool patina” (there’s that “P” word again). The seller states that this Futura is an Arizona and San Diego based car and it looks it. There is faded paint and some surface deterioration but the body appears to be quite sound. Additionally, all of the trim is present and it, along with the chrome, look surprisingly strong on this 55-year-old Ford. This Falcon is being sold by a dealer and there is an extensive pictorial, almost too many, that accompanies the listing; be sure to check out all of the images.

Underneath, no worries it looks like a typical Arizona/Southern California domiciled vehicle. The seller states that the differential is a typical Ford 8″ unit. No undercoating, in this case, is an advantage. Appears to be a new fuel tank too – that’s always a nice improvement.

Under the hood is a bit of a treat, its Ford’s 289 CI Windsor based V8, good for 200 gross HP. Ford’s brochures of the day referred to this engine as the “Challenger”. A past owner, however, has challenged this Challenger up upgrading it with a four-barrel carburetor, an aluminum intake manifold, and dual exhaust. The seller claims that it “runs and drives great!!” Gear shifting is handled a three speed C4 automatic transmission and as an additional improvement, the front drum brakes have been replaced with discs; the seller thinks they are from a Ford Granada. Rounding out the mechanicals is an aftermarket R12 A/C system that is not charged at “the moment”. One thing to consider, however, is the fact that this Falcon has 135K miles on its odometer – no specific issue at this point but that’s a lot of miles on a circa ’65 powertrain.

The interior is about as well as expected for a car of this age. Southwestern cars frequently show the signs of sun damage on components like weatherstripping (yes in this case) and upholstery (no – not really here). The driver’s seat is split and it looks like a bear took a chunk out of the driver’s side backrest. The door cards are dirty as is the carpet which is faded too. The steering wheel is showing the effects of use and age as well. Nothing here is out of the ordinary and it is all fixable within the realm of things that one has to contend with in a car of this age and nature.

Obviously, with 31 bids tendered, there is a lot of interest in this Falcon – I’m not certain of the proper valuation for this model in this condition. The hi-po “Sprint” versions surface from time to time and they have a following and an associated value but this one is a bit different. I really like it, I think if I were the successful bidder I would make minimal improvements and enjoy it as is – it has a Southwestern retro-cool about it. So what do you think, if this Futura became yours tomorrow, what would you do with it?

 

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Comments

  1. Djs

    For the price fix the seats charge the A/C

    9
    • Steve R

      It’s an auction, the bidders set the price not the seller.

      Steve R

      15
  2. Spanky

    has challenged this Challenger up upgrading it

  3. Dave

    Damn.. in 1981 I bought a 67 2dr Falcon with a 6cyl ran great.. for 25.. yup $25 bucks

    7
    • DAN

      LOL

      U.S. Inflation Rate, $25 from 1967 to 2018
      In other words, $25 in 1967 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $188.05 in 2018, a difference of $163.05 over 51 years. The 1967 inflation rate was 3.09%.

      5
      • Dusty Rider

        $25 in 1981 equals $74.44 in 2020.

        3
    • don

      In 1977 I had a well worn 67 4dr Futura given to me in exchange for some help moving some furniture. It was my first car – and 4 doors weren’t cool in high school !

  4. ken tillyUK

    Great looking car. The only thing I would fix would be the drivers seat, then enjoy the ride.

    3
  5. dave brennan

    I bought my 67 in ’72 for 250 from a used Corvette dealer. 1 hour in problem with carburetor. Mechanic took it out for a test drive, was hit by a woman driving an LTD at about 85 miles an hour. Insurance company gave me 350 the next day.

    10
  6. dave brennan

    I bought my 67 in ’72 for 250 from a used Corvette dealer. 1 hour in problem with carburetor. Mechanic took it out for a test drive, was hit by a woman driving an LTD at about 85 miles an hour. Insurance company gave me 350 the next day. BTW the car was on the side of the road and the impact put the bumper in the back seat and ripped the front seat right out of the floor. Mechanic was unhurt except for the back of his leg which was thrown under the seat when it popped out of the floor

    3
  7. Troy s

    Like a lot of Fords, it was up to the owner to extract the potential out of one. Falcons are cool, right there with the Chevy II, just needs a little coaxing.
    Nice looking car here and even better, it’s not a Mustang.

    15
    • AMCFAN

      Nice car. Don’t have a bad thing to say and yes not the typical Mustang!

      5
  8. art

    Neat looking Falcon. The A/C is not aftermarket but appears to be a Ford Dealer installed unit. These were listed in the Ford Accessory Catalogs of the day, ditto, adding Dealer installed Power Steering and/or Power Brakes.
    This car is very solid and it appears to be nice and oil-leak free.
    This one has great possibilities and looks sharp, even with the faded and worn paint.

    10
  9. FordGuy1972

    Looks like a nice original car but pretty worn overall. I like the carb upgrade to the 289, that probably adds another 20-25 HP and in such a small car should make for a lively performer. The perfectionist will want new paint, weather stripping all around and an interior refresh. The inside trim and dash looks very worn along with the steering wheel. I’m sure it runs well but 135k is a lot of miles on an old engine, so a rebuild will be in the cards at some point. I like the thin line tires and the spinner wheel covers, they look good on this car. This Falcon is a cute car, a good solid example should the new owner decide to go the full restoration route.

    5
  10. Clark K.

    As I recall the nameplate Falcon was actually used on the Ford Econline also.

    3
  11. Del

    Futuras are getting pretty rare.

    I like this one.

    Too bad seller did not feel up to fixing upholstrey. Big mistake. 500 error will cost him 5000 on sale price.

    Might be good for new owner

    1
    • AMCFAN

      Don’t think the seat being repaired will cost the seller $5000. at the end of the sale.

      If he recovered the front seat. He would have to do the rear. Wouldn’t look right. Then headliner. Then door panels and carpet. He is wise to stop where he did. Give the new owner something to ponder. Myself wouldn’t change a thing. Only original once. Put a blankie over it and enjoy.

      He did add new tires.

      7
      • Del

        And the tìres will have to go to.

  12. Rex Kahrs Member

    The bid is up to $8000 for this Falcon? Now, barring any unsavory shill bidding, this bidding activity would fly in the face of one commentor’s assertion that nobody wants these old cars any more.

    5
    • Del

      Rex Nailed it

      1
    • Howard A Member

      Well, if you’re talking about me, you’re mistaken as to what I think there’s a lack of interest in. Falcons mean a lot of different things to many people, even today. It’s the ’49 Hudson 4 door that the interest isn’t there, or the Model A types. Again and again, these people are nuts, it’s a ’65 Falcon, not a T-bird. If it was a bucket seat, console, 4 speed Sprint, which I considered the top of the line, maybe, but this a plain old Falcon with a V8. At the time, it was meant to compete with the other “cheapies”. The Valiant/Dart, the Rambler, even Studebakers. They aren’t $8000 dollars worth of automobile ( like the X-100 a while back, still shaking my head on that one) Clearly, there’s plenty of interest. Why, I’m just not sure.

      5
    • Motorsport whse

      its our car and I can promise you, all the bidding is legit, let the cards fall where they may is how we see it. Mustang prices are thru the roof, only makes sense to see these and Cougar prices on the rise where they belong.

      6
  13. healeydays

    Back in 1978 I picked up a 65 Futura from a woman who inherited it from her Aunt and when I got it, it only had 35,000 miles on it and if I remember I paid her $350. Great car and when I was done with it, I sold it to a brother who over time sold it to another brother who at the end traded it in for a turbo Trans Am.

    I never did forgive that brother for selling that car out of the family.

    I still have a folder on the car with the original window sticker…

    1
  14. Steve

    I have a good buddy who’s building a 1960 Falcon. The workmanship he’s done on this car is meticulous to a fault. It has a 625HP 351 engine with a 5 speed, beautiful paint, custom interior, too much more to even begin to list. It will be a one of a kind build. Many people will most likely not recognize what it is, unless you’re of a certain age. But whether they’re familiar with the Falcon or not, they will certainly admire the unbelievable work he’s done.

    3
  15. Dave Mazz

    Eight grand (and still bidding) for a ’65 Falcon beater with 135.000 miles???? There must be some serious Falcon collectors out there…. I wonder if any of them are interested in some prime acreage on Jupiter that I have an option on :-) :-)

    1
  16. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Dang – this could be the same one from my old neighborhood – it was always well maintained and kept by the store owner way into the 70’s – same color and wire caps……looks like someone is going to get a good deal…..had two converts – my first and another one owner from my hood we had to wait until his passing…co-worker still has it…….

  17. James

    Unfortunately a Hi-Po 289 couldn’t be had in a falcon(a few where sold in Canada) My 65 only weighed 2750 lbs with 1/2 tank of gas. I surprised several people out of the hole

    1
  18. PatrickM

    Sold. $8,400.00+. Didn’t even get a good look at it. Shucks.

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