The 1960 Ford Falcon offered a limited number of options. A transistorized radio was available, as was a fresh-air heater and defroster with two-speed motor. A Deluxe trim package provided bright trim around the side windows, a choice of three interior colors, and a white steering wheel with a full horn ring. Ford was still promoting safety in its products, with Falcon having an optional padded dash and sun visors. Seat belts were available, too.
The two-door wagon body spawned the
Falcon Ranchero pickup.
Not available were such power conveniences as assisted brakes, steering, seats, or windows. (Even back-up lights were not offered in Falcon's first season.) Typical dealer-added accessories included floor mats, license plate frames, exterior mirrors, seat covers, and heavy-duty suspension components.
When the Falcon first went on sale, only sedans were released. Finishing touches were applied to the station wagons before they hit the market in mid December. The car-based Ranchero package was repositioned into the Falcon family, and was marketed by the truck division as a light-duty commercial vehicle. Prices ranged from $1,912 for the base two-door sedan, up to $2,287 for the four-door station wagon. The Ranchero started at $1,862.
Ford Planners envisioned annual production of around 650,000 units. Production kicked off at the recently completed Lorain, Ohio, plant and the revamped Kansas City, Missouri, facility. In early January 1960, the Milpitas, California, plant (often referred to as San Jose), started to mix Falcons with full-size cars; within a couple months, it would be exclusively Falcon. The factory at Metuchen, New Jersey, was another that switched from Galaxies and Fair-lanes to Falcons early in 1960.
While the first year didn't reach the projected 650,000 mark (nor would it ever), it did lay the groundwork for better things to come. A total of 435,676 Falcon passenger cars were produced along with another 21,027 Rancheros for the 1960 model year, making it the most successful launch of a new model ever by Ford. So popular was Ford's new compact that it outsold the competing Chevrolet Corvair and Chrysler Valiant combined.
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