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.
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.
The 1963 Ford Falcon Futura came in six-cylinder standard and V-8 Sprint.
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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.
Wire wheel covers where one of the features of the 1963 Ford Falcon Futura.
But the Sprint wouldn't last beyond 1964. The reason was that Ford introduced an even sportier compact that year: the wildly successful Mustang.
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