1964 Ford Falcon Sprint Convertible
By Vern Parker
In the late 1950s all three of the major American automakers decided the time had come for a smaller than full sized car to be offered. Chrysler's offering was the Plymouth Valiant while General Motors introduced the air cooled, rear-engine Corvair. Ford produced the Falcon which came in many different forms.
Ford motor vehicles have appealed to Tom Andrews ever since he acquired his first one in Youngstown, Ohio, a 1966 Fairlane model. He drove that first Ford five years before moving on.
In 2011 Andrews was living in Indian Harbor Beach on the east coast of Florida. It was there that he learned of a 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint convertible coupe that was for sale further south in Florida.
With encouragement from his wife Debbie, they set out to investigate. The Ford turned out to be every bit as good as it had been advertised. Andrews bought the Falcon in July 2011 and drove it the 220 miles home.
Beneath the sculptured hood is a 260-cubic-inch V-8 engine that delivers 164 horsepower to the rear drive wheels.
To be on the cautious side Andrews installed new gaskets, belts and a gas line. With safety in mind Andrews also upgraded the front brakes with disc versions.
Incomplete records that came with the car indicate that it was sold new from a dealership in Kentucky. Years later it was reported in Pennsylvania prior to going to Florida.
When new the base price of the 3,008-pound car was $2,671.
The Guardsman Blue finish is accented with an abundance of shiny trim that Ford stylists lavishly spread about the convertible.
For a smaller than a full-sized car at the time the interior of the Falcon Sprint convertible is surprisingly spacious.
The interior is upholstered in a two-tone blue vinyl with turquoise carpeting. Hidden under the matching blue boot behind the back seat is the black convertible top. Andrews says it is rarely in the raised position.
While positioned in the driver's seat behind the three-spoke steering wheel Andrews has a clear view of the 120-mile-per-hour speedometer.
Visibility with the top raised is very good but with the top lowered the visibility is spectacular. A pair of exterior mirrors assist the driver in the view to the rear.
Andrews' Falcon is not overly loaded with extra cost optional equipment but it does have everything to make for pleasant motoring including a two-speed automatic transmission as well as a factory installed air conditioner.
The 109.5-inch wheelbase provides an unexpectedly cushy ride.
Only 13,220 of these desirable Falcon Sprint convertibles were manufactured.
Besides competing for customers with Valiant and Corvair there was a new competitor in 1964, this one form Ford – the Mustang.
Andrews thoroughly enjoys top-down cruising in his rare Falcon Sprint convertible in the Florida sunshine.