(posted at Cohort by Matthew with 2 Ts)
Well, not so much wrong as just different.
Here’s the clue: the real (original) thing, including that low rear wheel fender cut out, which was more at home on the 1960 Falcon sedan than the sporty ’63 Falcon Futura and Sprint. So someone did something about that, and it works well enough. Which do you like better?
The Falcon, being a relatively Plain Jane design, ages well compared to other early ’60s types. Just saw a well-preserved (or restored) ca. 1964 Ranchero on the road today & it didn’t look much out of place either.
It works, but makes it a bit of a Rambler. It’s a pretty good job, and looks fairly natural. But, it appears the arch flair is a bit oversize. I’m not sure why it starts below the character line – that’s not consistent with the front wheel.
Initially, I thought this post was going to lead to it being a South American Falcon.
Ha, you’re right, it does make it more like a Rambler!
Swap the wheels between these two cars and I’d way prefer the full opening. I’m not a fan of skirted wheelarches
Same here. I want to be able to see all four wheels (and clean them without moving the car.) Nice job.
Looks like 15″ rims on the top photo. Falcons are supposed to have little 13’s on the basic trim level aren’t they?
You see that done on Falcon drag cars, and on the Falcon that ran the Sebring 12hr race in 1962. I think it kind of ruins the flow of the sides, particularly on a convertible.
I like the cutout arches. Skirted arches are a pain to change tires on. In the rain. On the side of the road. At night.
Opening up that rear wheel cutout makes a big difference, and I like it. Good color on those Falcons, too. But can you imagine the modified car in black with red upholstery? Sweet…
I’m kind of a stickler for authenticity, and since this an early 60’s design as a whole, I just think the skirted look is more authentically “Of The Period”.
That’s not to say that the modified car doesn’t look a bit more athletic with the opened up rear wheel arches, so while I feel compelled to prefer the original I really do kinda like the changed version. It does give the car a more generic look though. Some character is lost.
To give some credit though, I’m assuming that these opened up arches were fabricated from some spare front fenders, cut out to meet up with character lines that match from front to rear and then welded in? A pretty creative solution for rear quarter rot that might have gone too far, etc.
Never mind that last bit. I just looked closer at the alignment of the crease in the bodyside and the flairing above the wheel opening. I jumped to the wrong conclusion.
Ashamed to say I failed to notice the difference until I scrolled down. 🙁
They’re both nice and each has it’s pros and cons but at the end of the day I prefer the stock opening.
I don’t like the white sidewall tires on the modded one.
Original is always best. Although the modification was done well, the overall effect is that of a generic 60’s car. The design is too predictable and plain with the same wheel arches front and rear.
Agreed. It does remove one of the design’s distinctive period features.
The “revised” rear wheel cutout makes the rear of the car look like it’s been raised via air shocks.
While that new contour updates a 50+ year old design, IMHO that shade of blue undoes that updating. This car might look better in a darker blue.
Like what GM did to Chevrolet Caprice sedan for 1993 model year – an improvement in that case.
To my eyes, the skirted wheel looks right while the open wheel looks like the Falcon borrowed his brothers (the Mustang) socks.
Without the skirt; it has a cleaner, more pleasant look. The skirt looks oddly proportioned.
Make mine original, please. However, the skirted fenders don’t look quite right with those fat wheels and tires. Oh well.
I always considered the early Falcon to be one of the most attractive small cars to come out of Detroit, and one of the rare designs that actually improved every year of its four year run.
The wheel opening on the original is just fine.
“Skirted ” fenders actually have fender skirts on them. Those are a pain.
“Skirted fenders” as a phrase seems to be cropping up more and more as has “two door post”. Neither were ever used when these cars were produced and have only recently come into vogue for some reason.
Perhaps it’s a desire to over-describe something to sound more informed. Like corporate speak for the masses. Like “price point” “skill set” “change out”, etc. All unnecessary elaboration.
“Wheel well”, “Two door sedan”, “price”, “skills”, “change”, “swap”.
I’ve never had a single problem changing tires on my 63 Valiant, with a similar design, or any cars like it over the years. No problems reaching the center hub unless it’s on a Nash. [the only car I have ever heard referred to as having “skirted” wheel openings].
As one can see on the Falcon, the wheel opening is well above the center of the wheel and it’s hub. It’s why one uses a jack.
Seeing a lower rear wheel well and claiming it’s a hindrance to changing a flat is just an assumption that, in practice, is not based in actual fact.
I upsized the wheels and tires on my ’59 Bel Air, from skinny 14″ers to somewhat wider and much taller 15s. I like the look, ride, everything except that Man, changing the real wheels is now a genuine PITA! You see, it isn’t enough to just raise the tire off the ground; the axle must be dropped away from the body before you can even think about getting the wheel out of there. Since I prefer jacking under the axle rather than using bumper jacks or jacking from some point on the body or chassis, it requires an extra step. Yeah, the reason I hate bumper jacks is not that I had one fall down; I used one on the ’59 and it caused ripples in the tops of the fins! 🙁
I don’t usually like skirts, but I prefer the Falcon with them. Those Buick wheels don’t help the top car.
I had a ’60 4-door (sorry, Ford purists, but I refuse to say Fordor!) Falcon, and while I considered it the best-looking of the lot I never liked the skirted rear wheels. My dream car for a long time would have been a ’60 2-door with a full street cage welded in, fuel cell in the back, three-link + Watts-link coil-sprung rear, 14″ wheels, disks, 3-carb head (Winfield kit) + headers on a built 200 and 4-speed. And open rear wheel wells. The stock car handled so ridiculously well on cheap street radials as it was, I developed quite a yearning for one I could really use as a backroads toy … I like how well this one was done, and the bigger wheels look very good on it too.
I like the cut out wheel arch, it highlights the the best looking wheels ever put on a car, in my opinion.
The early Broncos had the same deal going on with the rear openings, didn’t they?
Looks good but the early Falcon was a good looking car, it wasnt a patch on the Zephyr looks or durability mechanically but a good try.
yeah, the Zephyr really tears the Falcon a new one
I am not all that big on modified bodywork on ’60’s. However, I really like the cut out wheelwells on this one. They look like they belong there unlike a lot of drag cars back then. I also like what look to be Magnum 500 wheels on it. The white walls need to go.
I did pretty much the same to my 66 Dart GT as there were no replacement quarters available at the time. After I sold the car, they became available.
I prefer the original look. The open wheel opening to me looks exactly like what it is; a hogged out opening for larger tires, or rust repair done by someone who had no idea what the wheel opening should look like. It interrupts the body line and does away with the low stance that the original creates for a relatively small car. I’ve left the ones on my 61 alone…
I’m reminded of this Futura that I saw at a local cruise in 2012. I saw it again just a couple of months ago; judging by the speed it was making up the steep hill toward our house, it’s V8-powered.
The rear fender openings were probably opened up because the clearance on Falcon rear tires is extremely narrow. I was selling a set of 235 width BFG’s on Eagle Alloys, and a guy with a Falcon wanted to buy them, but they didn’t fit in between the skirts and the leaf springs. He had a Granada rear axle so that he could put more conventional rims on it (ie: Mustang bolt pattern), but it still didn’t solve the problem of clearance issues.
CC effect strikes down under. Saw an XP Falcon hardtop today with the opened up rear
wheel arches. Its an improvement, but it isn’t original. So, I’m torn.
I don’t mind the wheelhouse cutouts in principle, but here it makes the car look like someone hiking up their pant legs to walk through a puddle.
Also, at this point, an unmolested Sprint (or even an early Falcon Futura) would be more interesting to me.
Saw this recently untouched since new and untouched since it was imported we never got the ragtops new