1964 Ford Falcon
After four years, the 1964 Ford Falcon received a major facelift, one that was smart and up-to-date inside and out. The new package dimensions were kept as close as possible to the original theme. Overall length expanded to 181.6 inches (190 on wagons) and Falcon grew a little wider to 71.6 inches. Weight increased, too, by about 65 pounds.
Though it looked sporty as a Futura convertible, the
redesigned 1964 Falcon lost sales to the new Mustang.
Falcon's soft edges and rounded contours gave way to a boxier body, sharper definition of the dartlike side cove, and an angular rear deck treatment. Up front, the use of dual headlights continued, with a handsome stamped aluminum grille in which horizontal bar sections appeared to float. The rear design still featured large, round taillights. The word "Falcon" was spelled out across the deck-lid's face in chromed block letters.
The dashboard also had a completely new look. A flat-topped dash panel replaced the twin-hump style employed in 1960-1963. A wide strip-type speedometer was flanked by fuel and temperature gauges. Below the speedometer sat warning lights for oil pressure and generator function. Lever-type controls now operated the heater and ventilation system.
As much as the physical appearance of the Falcon had changed for 1964, model offerings stayed almost as they had been. The base Falcon still came in its same four sedan and station wagon styles. The step up was the Deluxe, this year considered a separate subseries. It no longer came as a two-door station wagon, however. Upholstery in base-model sedans was tan vinyl with woven nylon cloth inserts; Deluxes came in red or blue.
Futura returned with all its body styles from 1963. Four color-keyed interiors were offered to those wanting to ride in a bit more luxury for the sedans. Hardtop and convertible buyers could opt for the Sports edition with bucket seats and all-vinyl upholstery in five color-coordinated choices. Convertible tops were available in black, white, and light blue. Both Sprints came back, too, with virtually no change in formula.
The Deluxe station wagon, identifiable by its
full-length side spear, was offered only as a four-door.
The revisions paid added dividends to the station wagons, giving them up to 90 cubic feet of load space. The top-line Squire continued with its pseudo-wood trim, which conformed to the reshaped side cove. Commercial vehicles shared in the redesign, too. The sedan delivery continued in base and Deluxe trim, while the Ranchero could be had in base, Deluxe, or Deluxe Sport, the last with vinyl, color-keyed bucket seats-an option that saw just 235 orders.
Powering Falcons in 1964 was a mixed lot that had to keep those on the production lines on their toes. All models except the Futura convertible and Sprints received the 144-cubic-inch six (still rated at 85 horsepower). Standard on the ragtop and optional on all except Sprints was the Special Six with 170 cubic inches and 101 horses. (This was actually the recommended engine for all station wagons, even though it was considered an option.) New for 1964 was a 200-cubic-inch "Special Six" first used in Fairlanes, a 116-horsepower engine optionally available in Falcon station wagons and commercials.
Details of the Challenger V-8 (or Sprint V-8, as the engine was known when applied to the sportiest Falcons) were unchanged. So, too, were the transmission choices. Power brakes were new to the options list, though.
Despite the new looks and restrained prices, Falcon production took another hit in 1964, dropping to 300,770, with another 18,190 commercial vehicles.
Certainly contributing to these lower numbers was another new Ford product that was released in April 1964: Mustang. Ford's "pony-car" would rapidly stake out the sports-compact territory for itself and redefine the role of the Falcon, from which it was derived.
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