On this cold, dark, wet and windy day, I’m struggling to remember what summer really feels like: Going out for a hike by the river after supper in shorts and sandals, jumping into the cool, fresh water, watching the sun set after 9 PM and getting back to the car at ten, still in the last of the golden daylight. So here’s some visual memories, of a summer’s walk that involved running into this green ’65 Falcon wagon; one that I’d seen running around town for quite some time. And when I got up close, there was a pleasant little moment of serendipity.
This Falcon is riding on Falkens. Was it a conscious choice?
Even though it’s the same under the skin, these restyled 1964-1965 falcons managed to look more substantial than their delicate-looking predecessors, thanks to their squared-off styling.
Although the ’65 looks almost identical to the ’64, there were some meaningful improvements. The two-speed Fordomatic finally gave way to the much better C4 “Select-Shift” automatic, with its three forward gears. And the feeble 85 (gross) hp 144 inch base six was also thankfully ditched. The 170 inch six was now standard, the 200 inch optional, and the V8 option was now the 200 hp 289.
I had a girlfriend with a base baby-blue ’64 two-door. It had the Fordomatic, and I assume the 170, but it might have been the 144. We took it for a trip to NYC all on back highways, and I drove, and it was a miserable thing for the windy, hilly old highways of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The little six moaned and groaned, and could never decide which of the two gears to be in, not that it made any real difference. Jeez, I hated that car; these little sixes really needed a stick; a four speed, preferably, not that those were easy to come by.
The Falcon wagons were very popular in the early sixties, with younger families. And for good reasons; they had a fair amount of room, and were fairly cheap, and fairly durable. Fair; that’s the best word to describe them, although that probably is a bit too positive a word to describe their dynamic qualities. Unless one got the V8 and heavy duty suspension. The steering was still so-so. But folks were fairly happy with them. And if they wanted something a bit bigger, they could always get a Fairlane, which offered a wagon too, since 1963.
I’d be much more than just fairly happy to be able to throw the dog in the back of this one and drive it down to the river for a long hike and swim right now. There’s nothing fair about winter.