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Originally posted in September 2019 on Craigslist in Bridgeton, New Jersey was this white over black 1961 Ford Falcon Station Wagon the current caretaker had listed for $15,000. He states that he’s willing to negotiate, which is a good thing because based on the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool he’s currently asking $1,200 more than the #1 “Concours” level of $13,800. With the weird side paint scheme that may turn off some buyers, we think the #2 “Excellent” estimate of $10,300 is what the buyer should realistically expect. Consequently, this Falcon’s owner gets our latest “NEW!” Award (short for “No Effin Way!”) for having an optimistic asking price.
Ford produced the Falcon from model years 1960 through 1970 in three distinct generations: 1960-1963, 1964-1965, and 1966-1970 (saavy readers may be quick to point out the ’70 1/2 model, but for us that was just a rebadged Torino doesn’t really count!) In the late fifties, two trends in the U.S. emerged. First, the post World War II prosperity saw an increase a female drivers; consequently many households could now afford a second car, provided its was inexpensive and economical. Second, the U.S. recession of the late 1950s had some consumers longing for a small car rather than the typical full-size offerings the “Big Three” historically focused on. Ford’s market research confirmed these emerging trends and the company launched its new Falcon line in the fall of 1959. All of the domestic manufacturers came to the same conclusion and launched their own line of compacts cars in the early 1960s.
Early Falcons relied on a small 144 cu in Mileage Maker straight six that produced 95hp using a single barrel carburetor. Relying on modern unibody construction, the suspension was simple a scaled-down version of front coil springs and a solid axle mounted on leaf springs in the rear. Despite being smaller than full-size cars of the time, Falcons offered room for six passengers in reasonable comfort with its nondescript interior. Boasting about the Falcon’s 31.5 mpg fuel economy, the car was a huge sales success during its first two years of production, with one-and-a-half million sold during that time frame.
The private seller of this 1961 Falcon wagon only provides a brief description saying, “Great shape! Pictures say it all.” While the odometer indicates 79K miles the seller reports true mileage is unknown and there are many new parts “but too many to mention here.” You’ll really need to interview the seller to understand whether his Falcon has been restored or whether it is just in immaculate original condition. While the car appears to be a great example of an early Falcon, the black paint shown in the door jambs and tailgate, the mostly un-detailed engine bay, and lack of undercarriage pictures have us doubting the justification for concours-level pricing. If you can negotiate a realistic price with the seller and you like the side panel paint scheme, you’ll soon find yourself owning a nice Falcon wagon you can enjoy cruising with friends and family with.
Good luck with the purchase!
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