By Vern Parker
“I grew up with wagons,” Ray Bohlayer says.
That admission may help explain why a 1963 Ford Falcon Deluxe Station Wagon is parked inside his garage today.
As far as he can determine he is the fourth owner of the Falcon. Wagons are generally used as work vehicles so relatively few of them survive to antique status. A total of 23,477 wagons like Bohlayer's were manufactured.
Before Bohlayer acquired the car it was in Kentucky. He learned that it was in need of a total restoration. That minor detail didn't deter him because most of the worn parts of the car were still there.
He got in touch with the seller and since the station wagon was located in the western part of Virginia several hundred miles away he received assurance that the Falcon would still be there after he made the lengthy trip.
Upon arrival Bohlayer found the condition of the station wagon to be as advertised and there were no surprises.
The car was purchased on the spot and although it had to be pushed onto the trailer for the long trip home to Stafford, Virginia, Bohlayer was pleased with his purchase.
When new the base price of the 2,727-pound, 12-window Deluxe Station Wagon was $2,427. That works out to less than a dollar a pound.
When Bohlayer took his 15-foot, 4-foot-long Falcon to a shop to be restored he learned that his car had originally been painted a light blue.
In 1963 the Falcon was considered a small car but today it is similar in size to modern full size vehicles. Bohlayer's Falcon stands 54.9-inches high and 70.6-inches wide. Originally it rolled on 6.50x13-inch tires mounted on a 109.5-inch wheelbase when it left the factory. For a smoother ride Bohlayer has increased the diameter of the tires to 14 inches.
Access to the spare tire is gained by opening the counterbalanced tailgate and removing the panel at the right rear corner of the 76.2-cubic-foot cargo area.
The spare tire is mounted out of sight vertically behind that panel.
Mechanically the Station Wagon has received a thorough physical examination and is now rehabilitated to like new condition. The in-line, six-cylinder engine has been rebuilt.
With the exception of a single piece all of the trim pieces and bright work were still on the car. Most of the trim has been buffed to shine like new while other pieces, like the bumpers and the four strip rooftop luggage rack were replated with chrome.
The only piece that Bohlayer had to replace was the gas cap which has a unique shape making the search for it challenging.
Bohlayer's well-equipped Falcon Deluxe Station Wagon has the latest 1963 features such as:
Chrome horn ring.
Automatic dome light.
FoMoCo wheel covers.
Front fender ornaments.
Front/rear arm rests/ash trays.
The Falcon Station Wagon has no backup lights but does have a nonfunctional air scoop on the engine hood.
An automatic transmission transfers power from the engine to the rear drive wheels which can push the speedometer needle toward the 100 miles per hour limit.
“It scoots right down the highway,” Bohlayer says.