The 1963 Ford Falcon Futura was the runaway hit among the Big Three's new 1960 compacts: cheap to buy, cheap to run, utterly conventional.

But though Falcon made big money as a "consumer" car, Chevrolet's radical Corvair Monza quickly uncovered an even bigger market for sporty compacts with bucket seats, floorshift, and sprightly acceleration.

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1963 Ford Falcon Futura
The 1963 Ford Falcon Futura came in six-cylinder standard and V-8 Sprint.
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Ford, as it happened, was thinking sporty, too, so the Falcon was dressed up when Monza sales quickly took off. The first result was the 1961-62 Futura, a two-door sedan with a mini-Thunderbird buckets-and-console interior. Pushing harder for '63 was a separate Futura series with new convertible and hardtop coupe body styles. Both of these came two ways: six-cylinder standard and, at mid-season, V-8 Sprint. The Sprint package added $130 to the regular ragtop's $2470 base price, but was worth every penny. The reason was Ford's year-old 260-cubic-inch Challenger V-8, a revvy, modern design with 164 horsepower versus 101 for the mainstay 170-cid six. Even better, the V-8 could team with Falcon's first four-on-the-floor manual.

1963 Ford Falcon Futura
Wire wheel covers where one of the features of the 1963 Ford Falcon Futura.

Sprints also came with good-looking wire wheel covers, tachom-eter, and bright engine rocker covers. A mid-year introduction limited convertibles to just 4602 (versus 31,192 standard Futuras), but the Sprint was a potent image boost for Falcon, especially as the basic 1960 styling was still intact. Adding even more luster were the Sprint hardtops that competed with distinction in European rallies during 1964-65.

But the Sprint wouldn't last beyond 1964. The reason was that Ford introduced an even sportier compact that year: the wildly successful Mustang.

For more classic convertibles of the 1960s and 1970s, see:

1960 Dodge Polara
1960 Edsel Ranger
1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner
1962 Dodge Polara 500
1963 Chevrolet Impala SS
1963 Plymouth Sport Fury 1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona1965 Chrysler 300L
1965 Rambler American 4401966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza 1968 Mercury Park Lane 1969 Plymouth Road Runner
1969 Shelby GT-500
1973 Mercury Cougar XR-7
1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale
1975 Pontiac Grand Ville 1976 Cadillac Eldorado


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