By the late 1950’s the American people were wanting a more compact car, so in 1960 the Ford Falcon was introduced as Fords answer.
Sales were notably good with 417,000 sold in its first year, and the Falcon continued to be manufactured through to 1970, with the addition of a 1970 1/2 model.
The Falcons performance and specifications were initially quite basic, but so was the price and it fitted in nicely for people either wanting an in-expensive set of wheels, or needing a second vehicle as was the fast becoming the trend.
At same time other manufacturers were also into compact cars, with the Chrysler Valiant, Dodge Dart, Chevy Corvair, Studebaker Lark and Rambler, but none of these could match Ford Falcon sales.
Many different body styles meant there was a Falcon for just about everyone :
2 & 4 door Sedans
2 & 4 door Wagons
2 door Hardtop
Engine was an inline 6 cylinder OHV 144 cub in with either a 3 speed manual gearbox, or that horrible 2 speed Ford O Matic auto that really was not a wise choice to put behind such a small low powered 6 cylinder engine.
In 1961 the engine size was increased to a more realistic 170 cub in, then in 1963 the 260 cub in V8 was an option, so now the Ford Falcon was becoming a much more attractive vehicle.
1965 saw the 3 speed Ford O Matic replace the 2 speed auto making the Falcon a much more driver friendly car, especially when bigger brakes were fitted from 1966.
Ford Australia also made the Falcon from 1960 which will now will cease production later in 2016. That is 56 years and says a lot for its reputation.
These Ozy Falcons proved a very popular car both in Australia and New Zealand, and there was / still is constant rivalry with its main competitor – the GM Holden, and to a lesser extent the Chrysler Valiant until it ceased production some time back.
Considered a full size car the Australian Falcon was available in several body styles:
4 door Sedan
4 door Wagon
2 door Coupe
2 door Ute [pickup]
2 door Panel Van [sedan delivery]
Both Falcon and Holden were very competitive on the Australian and New Zealand race tracks, still are.
From time to time both would release very hot versions of both their sedans and coupes, these are now collectors items with good examples fetching high dollars when sold.
To complete its lineup Ford Australia also had the Fairmont then Ghia options, both being the luxury versions of the Falcon.