Ford Falcon Squire Wagon: The Family Man’s Hot Rod
Ford built the Falcon to counter import compact offerings. Little did they know that is was also a hot rod in disguise.
Though it was a bit short-lived here in the U.S., the Ford Falcon was undoubtedly an important vehicle in the grand scheme of things. The concept of a compact car first appeared back in the ’50s, but didn’t really take hold in the market until a decade later. As full-size cars became more expensive, Ford realized that families were beginning to gravitate toward smaller, more affordable foreign cars. And thus, they answered by bringing the Falcon into this world.
This 1962 Falcon Squire Wagon that recently crossed the block at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach is a fantastic reminder of the humble beginnings of this compact car trend. Still packing its original inline-six, this particular wagon is more cruiser than bruiser. But with a five-lug conversion, five-spoke wheels, and fresh paint and interior, it’s most certainly a great-looking car with lots of potential.
The construction of the Falcon itself was rather genius. To keep costs as low as possible, Ford sourced as many parts as possible from its existing models. They then derived a wide variety of body styles to fit the needs of any size American family. Everything from two-door and four-door sedans to three-door and five-door wagons, a two-door coupe, and even a convertible.
The Falcon Squire Wagon hit the market two years after the Falcon was introduced in 1960. By then, Ford had already sold over a million of them, making it a bonafide hit. And these small, lightweight vehicles soon became a hit with hot rodders, too. Ford offered a pair of inline six-cylinder options in the Falcon, but also a 260 cubic-inch V8. Thus, swapping a 289 or 302 into the tiny car turned them into formidable performance machines.
And that’s exactly what we’d do with this pretty little Falcon. Toss either a carb’d or fuel-injected V8 in there and drive the heck out of it. And with any luck, nobody we’d line up against would ever think that a humble little wagon, capable of carrying the whole family, would leave them staring at those round taillights.