1965 Ford Falcon
The 1965 Ford Falcon seemed to be returning to its original role as Ford's entry-level economy car. Cost-cutting was evident even in the top-line Sprint and Futuras with the Sport package, where the front center-storage console became a separate option from the bucket seats. Styling changes consisted of little more than a new grille design and side trim updates.
The base four-door sedan, a $2,082 car, saw
increased orders in 1965.
Similarly minor modifications took place on the inside with new plastic fascia used around the instrument cluster and radio surround. On the technical side, alternators replaced generators to keep Falcons' 12-volt electrical systems charged.
Model offerings picked up where they left off in 1964. This would be the final season for the Sprint, though, as the Mustang had really cut into its market. However, those who did step up to one of these very limited-production vehicles (2,806 hardtops and 300 convertibles) got more standard punch than in any prior Falcon with a new 289-cubic-inch, 200-horsepower V-8.
A mere 3,106 Sprints were produced in 1965 -- just
300 of which were convertibles.
Actually, available power was up throughout the line. The 144-cubic-inch six was gone, replaced as the standard power-plant by the 170-cube job, which got a compression-ratio nudge to 9.1:1 and a boost in horsepower to 105. The optional 200-cubic-inch six, now offered in everything but the Sprint, crept up to 120 horsepower. Then, too, those same models could be had with the Challenger 289 V-8, a $153 option.
A three-speed manual gearbox was also included in the base price of all models. Improved transmission options included a Ford-built four-speed stick for V-8 cars and the new C-4 Cruise-O-Matic three-speed automatic, available across the board. With two drive positions and added smoothness, the automatic was the most popular transmission in 1965 Falcons.
Overall, production dropped substantially for 1965 to 213,601, though Ranchero and sedan delivery orders moved up a bit to 20,040 units. At last, the original Falcon had run its course. A totally re-engineered Falcon would arrive for 1966, but in many ways it would mark a return to the little car's original mission. A new day was dawning for Ford's compact.
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