1962 we bought out of a classified ad had a
Ford two-speed automatic, and a 250 cu. in. six-cylinder engine. It stayed with
us from some time in 1984 to mid-1989. It was another of those you could count
on to do its job without complaint. When it did complain, it was almost invariably
something I could fix. Even the chewed-up ring and pinion, apparently due to an
error on the part of the elderly "mechanic" that sold it to me. I got
a Maverick rear axle (you want it? It's out back, still) and put the gears in
the Falcon housing. It lasted as long as we had the car.
This old thing
really scooted when you stood on it. I had no idea the motor was so special until
Ed Sawyer came across the street and pointed out it had what was usually a truck
engine, larger than either the 170 or the 200-inch items optional in the '62 Falcon
I heard something rattling in the top end, and hoped it wasn't
a broken ring. I still don't know what it was, but when I took off the cylinder
head I found a little ball of beaten metal in one cylinder. Looked as if it might
have been a large cotter key at one time. Must have been sitting in the air cleaner
or someplace, and finally worked its way into and through the carburetor. I did
a minor "de-coke" and put it back together. It worked good forever,
as far as I know.
Not so for the ignition. There was something weird
going on. It ate condensers. I eventually put two of them on there in series,
and never lost another.
I think this car had some kind of animus against
Margarita: the time I heard the rattle we were on our way to the Zoo when I stopped
it and elected to leave it parked and walk home for the other car (which car I
don't remember). After the Zoo she towed me home in the Falcon. Could have driven
I suppose, but what a problem it might have been. Then we were going to Fedco
out by Highway 94 when an ignition wire under the dash grounded and made serious
smoke. Pulled across lanes of 94 and the I-805 North/94 East merge, and couldn't
find a way to make it go, so started walking. A guy in a cement-mixer truck stopped
and gave us a lift to an off-ramp in a Crips area, me in my bright red polo shirt.
We managed a ride home from one of Margarita's friends, had the Ranchero towed.
I replaced the fused ignition wire and all was well. She pretty much refused to
get in it again.
Bought it for seven hundred, sold it for eight after
more than five years' use. If I could find a good 1963 version of this car (better
front suspension) I think I could live with it.