Road-testers also had a crack at the 1963, 1964, 1965 Ford Falcon Futura Sprint that had taken the top two honors in their class at the 2,500-mile Monte Carlo rally. No other cars in that class even finished the event.
With its V-8 boosted to a delicious 260 horsepower via 10:1 compression and four-barrel carburetion -- among other stimulants -- this special Rally edition squeezed the 0-60 time down to an eye-opening seven and a half seconds.
A total of 15,081 Sprints were built in their opening season, 4,602 of them convertibles. That was just a small fraction of the total output of 328,399 Falcons in 1963, but gave shoppers a broader range of possibilities from which to select.
Cobra engine performance kits for the 260-cid Falcon, inspired by Ford-powered Cobras, were available through Ford dealers to satisfy owners who might enjoy tuning their Sprints to reach as far as 225 horsepower or so.
Falcons adopted a much different personality for 1964 with their all-new bodies. Wedge-look bodysides with twin tapered creaselines replaced the original chubby-cheeked roundness, giving the whole car a more leaning-forward stance.
The flatter, slightly angled grille displayed a looser Crosshatch pattern. Inside the Sprint was a racing-style three-spoke steering wheel. Only a handful of 289-cid V-8s went into 1964 Falcons (late in the year), but their 36 extra horsepower gave the compact an even greater performance jolt than the initial V-8.
A more potent (105-bhp) six went into 1965 Falcons, which could also get a larger (200-cid) six and three-speed Cruise-O-Matic. AH V-8s were 289-cid size, but the Sprint variant was fading fast. Futuras could have the V-8 engine, and sold reasonably well, but Ford brochures neglected to mention the Sprint at all. Only 3,106 came off the line this time.
Lee Iacocca merits First Prize for turning the pedestrian Falcon into a sprightly Sprint. After 1965, the Falcon name continued but on a completely different, larger car, kin to the Fairlane. Convertibles were out.
Falcon's legacy reached in other directions, however, making a mark on the Mustangs and Comets of the 1960s, and even the Maverick of the following decade.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1963-1965 Ford Falcon Futura Sprint specifications.