Vintage Ads: 1953 Willys Aero Falcon and Aero Lark – Where Ford And Studebaker Got The Names For Their Compacts

I always thought it was pretty blatant for Ford and Studebaker to take the names of Willys’ ambitious but sadly failed compact for their new compacts, never mind its whole format (both Falcons were 181″ long). The ad was right: The Measure (and names) of Tomorrow’s Motor Car Standard.

Here’s the Aero-Lark:

Here’s the Aero Lark. 161 cubic inch six, in either flathead or F-head (overhead inlet valves) versions. The Lark had a 170 inch six, flathead, until the ohv version came along in 1961.


There was also a top-trim Aero Ace; maybe Chrysler should have used Ace instead of Valiant?

The Willys Aero was ambitious but ahead of its time; the market just wasn’t ready for it…yet.


Here’s my full CC on the Willys Aero:

Curbside Classic: 1953 Willys Aero-Lark – The Failed Sneak Preview Of The Falcon, Lark And Other Compacts