Sure original-style Falcons were still being made in 1975; in Argentina. We did an extensive look at the near-immortal Falcon made there between 1962 and 1991 here. Now here’s your chance to own one of them, this fine example from 1975 available in Uruguay for $5,000 US.
The falcon started life there as the same as the US version in 1962, but evolved steadily, stylistically and technically. This is being called in the ad as a “188”, so I assume that refers to its displacement, the Argentine Falcon six having received a bit of enlarging to create that unique displacement.
And there’s a four speed transmission to back up the six. There was also another unique Argentine version of the six, with 221 CID (3.6 L), and it got a better-breathing head as well, with proper ports and intake manifold.
Obviously that dash has nothing in common with the one that was originally designed in Dearborn.
rear seat leg room looks to be pretty decent in this picture. Ford did claim that the 1960 Falcon had 90% of the usable interior space of its big cars. No wonder they sold so well.
You’d probably get some attention at the Cars & Coffee if you arrived in this.
The juxtaposition of ancient and modern is sort of jarring.
You could fool a bunch of people by putting some Lada badges on this and passing it off as Russian.
That’s a great idea, particularly as the lettering would match up perfectly.
That’s really a pretty cool car and, if it weren’t so pricey to get it into the states, a very fun beater. I’m sure more than a few hipsters would be drooling as this passed by.
Although I do wonder how tough it would be to replace burned-out head or taillights.
My bet is the taillight bulbs are the same old 1157/1156 as used in the US cars, even if the lens and housing are different.
For the headlights if they are sealed beams then yeah I’d say you are ordering them from South America.
Sort of 😀 ???
This is what a ’75 Granada would’ve looked like, if Big 3 couldn’t afford retooling sheet metal, often.
Funny you should say that. Look on Google images for the EUROPEAN Ford Granada…The 70s Euro Granada has a VERY similar front end treatment. And I may be wrong (my memory is still a bit fuzzy this am) but the instrument panel/gauge cluster is very similar LOOKING to the Euro Granda.
Esthetically(?), this car is let down/dated somewhat by the body color on the tops and bottoms of the door panels. Had it continued in production in the U.S. those areas would have been painted by 1975.
I am intrigued by yet another local adaptation/variation of the Ford inline 6. Considering how the U.S. just let the 6 “chug along” into the mid 80s with the only changes being made being those for emissions purposes…..just a shame what could have been done here with more engineers to apply to the task.
That dashboard is awful. And the front end doesn’t fit the design of the rest of the car. I like the tail lights though.
I can tell you a little bit about Argentine Falcons. (here is a better ’74 example) https://auto.mercadolibre.com.uy/MLU-456670430-ford-falcon-_JM
As you can see in one or two of the pictures, the license plate is from Uruguay.
Due to import restrictions at the time, Uruguayan-assembled Falcons were CKD Argentinian cars but reduced to just one or at best two versions.
First of all, the chances that the four speed present is backing the original six is next to nil, as most Falcons (as well as other “large” cars) had their engines swapped to diesels in the late 70’s up to the middle 90’s. Diesel fuel was about half the cost of regular gas.
Also, you can see in the steering column the original location for the three on the tree that came with the 188. The 188 CID six (3.0 liter) delivered about 116 hp (probably gross). That engine is said to be an Australian design.
So, what’s under the hood of this car?
Most Falcons had Mercedes Benz 240D engines installed. As used engines could be imported, several spare parts businesses were setup based on bringing Mercedes, Toyota and Nissan diesels. Mercedes were mostly 4-cylinder 240D, though the occassional 200 and 220 also showed up. Generally the Falcon would get the engine, gearbox, and a new differential. So many owners were buying these engines that some of the importers would also offer installation and fabricated mounts just to adapt Mercedes, Toyota or Nissan (generally 6 cylinder in this case) to Falcons.
Another detail that shows this isn’t the original gearbox is that floor shifted Falcons had a lever sprouting from farther up front and left, much nearer the driver’s right knee.
Beginning in 1975, Falcons assembled in Uruguay had bucket seats in front in place of the traditional bench. In 1976, the “DeLuxe” version was superseded by the “Futura”, which had four on the floor, special wheels, more chrome, and last but not least, a 221 CID engine with 166 hp. Those cars really did run, with no catalyzers or gas recirculation of any kind. In 1978, a “new” body was introduced (new lighting, grille, exterior door handles, power steering availability, and steering column ignition switch). As well as running fast, these cars would also overturn those drivers who were not used to powers steering, let alone featherweighted American systems. We got both DeLuxe and Futura versions, though all had the 221 CID. Futuras came with PS, A/C, metallic paint and special wheels, and of course, were much more expensive.
As our market is so small, we only got some versions. In Argentina you could get a mix of most options and versions.
The dashboard, as Pauls says, is an Argentinian development. Up to ’71, Falcons had their ’63 dash.
What’s weird for an American is that this car, which was a 15 year old version of a compact, was only for the well-to-do. In 1978, when my father got a new Brazilian Chevette for 10K, a Falcon would set you back about 15K, and 17 with AC and PS.
Another diesel chapter altogether were the Caprices and Impalas with those same engines….but keeping their Powerglide and their original rear ends. And their owners selling them saying “high performance American cars”. Go figure.
If you’d like to browse about other Falcons for sale from Argentina ….
Here’s my favorite: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fvehiculo.mercadolibre.com.ar%2FMLA-750892316-motorhome-falcon-a-estrenar-permuta-negociable-_JM&edit-text=
In Australia we got the 188 and 221 (or 3.1 and 3.6 litre, as they were badged) for the XT of 1968. Interestingly the small six was 2 cubes bigger than Holden’s biggest six of the time (take that, GM!). The 1969 XW kept these engines, but with the XY of 1970 we got the 200 and 250 instead. So these ‘odd’ engines had a short production life in Australia.
Sounds like a great car / road trip for David Saunders 🙂
Unfortunately Google Maps can’t plan a route back to Lethbridge 🙁
I can guide him up to the U.S. via AA984….
It’s always facinating to see how cars can develop differently around the world, especially if you can still make out the original underneath.
While many people lust for the the Japanese and European cars that can be imported under the 25 year rule, if I was ever going to import a car one of these South American or (early) Australian alternate universe Falcons would be high on the list.
eBay says this is the ’73 Sprint’s interior. I can only imagine the headaches in getting one to the U.S., but I’ll admit I kinda like it:
I like it. The mix of old and new is odd. What kind of feet are those crooked pedals supposed to fit? Headlights are a little bizarre. Cab looks like an old pickup but has those giant headrests like a Volvo or old Mercedes. I like the shifter. Don’t like the steering wheel cover. Those covers to me always look like an ill-fitting uninflated bicycle tire. Would look great with any aftermarket steering wheel. The only comfort in this whole car is from the pillow. And maybe those headrests. I am always glad to see these posts with cars I would never know about otherwise.
Personally, I think those slip-on steering wheel covers are actually dangerous. I tried one out once and couldn’t get over how difficult it was to maintain a good grip on the steering wheel for even routine driving. I shudder to think what would happen when trying to make a sudden, unexpected avoidance maneuver and can easily believe these cause accidents that could otherwise have been avoided.
Not to mention that I could see no comfort benefit and, frankly, they just look like hell, even when covering a worn steering wheel.
With all that said, I still think that’s a pretty cool Falcon sedan.
Interesting that this was evolved from the original Falcon, not the more linear and edgy 1964 face lift body. Did they use the suspension and other updates that came with the face lift, or evolve from there?