1962 Ford Falcon
The introduction of the 1962 Ford Falcon brought slight revisions in the sheetmetal, expanded model offerings, and even more options, thanks in part to Lee Iacocca's wish for a bigger share of the market. Engine choices remained unaltered, but dealer-installed Polar-Aire air conditioning was available for those cars equipped with the Special Six.
Ventlike front-fender decorations and midbody
side spears identified Futuras in 1962.
There was a new hood design with simulated hood scoop capped by a chromed "intake." Front fenders took on new contours to match the all-new "electric-shaver" grille featuring a vertical bar theme in stamped aluminum. Parking lights moved down into the bumper, and the fender-side logo was redesigned to underscore the series script. Falcons with Deluxe trim had more flash than before. In addition to the bright metal window surrounds and multiple color and material choices for the interior, ribbed anodized aluminum "washboard" trim was placed on the lower quarters behind the rear wheel openings, a la earlier Galaxies.
Technically there were five Falcon station wagons in 1962, two- and four-doors offered in base and Deluxe forms, plus the Falcon Squire. As on its big brother, the Country Squire, fiberglass edging decorated to simulate wood surrounded the side insert where dark mahogany-grained Di-Noc appliqué completed the effect on the sharpest-looking wagon in the compact field. While the all-vinyl "Western" seat coverings were the only choice for standard models, Deluxes and Squires both offered three all-vinyl selections and one of vinyl and woven plastic.
Futura returned as an independent model rather than an option package. Promoted as being "the happiest, most spirited 'going' among compacts," its most obvious change at introduction time was new side trim with dummy louvers in exchange for 1961's three "bullets." Then came the spring and, with it, a totally new roofline for the Futura. Featuring a squared-off, formal design (which could be covered in vinyl at extra cost), it continued to draw the Falcon closer to its Thunderbird heritage. The wheel cover design was also changed, and an optional four-speed floor-shift transmission -- built by Ford of England -- joined the Futura options list. Still, Futura orders tapered off to just barely 17,000.
Overall Falcon sales dropped to 396,129, plus another 22,410 commercial vehicles. A major reason was the release of a new midsize Fairlane series. Using construction techniques, design elements, and drivetrain components from the Falcon, the Fairlane appealed to car buyers looking for just a little more room than in a compact, while staying away from the big cars. There was new external competition, too. Chevrolet introduced a second compact, the Chevy II, a much more conventional car than the Corvair, intended to face the Falcon head on.
Then, too, Falcon prices shot up. The 1961 models topped the introductory cars by literally a couple dollars, but for 1962, the price of the base two-door sedan jumped to $1,985, while the four-door hit $2,047 -- both of which represented $71 increases.
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