There is something delightfully exciting about an old car that is still being used hard. Let’s face it, we all like seeing the classics line up at the shows, but it’s nothing compared to the thrill of seeing them go around a circuit or through a rally stage at full chat. It’s brilliant to see an aging machine prove to onlookers that it’s still got plenty of go left, not just plenty of show.
And of course, there is a whole industry facilitating this. There are tuners, engine builders and fabricators who will happily build any car you like into a full on racer. And when they’re finished, you won’t have to look far to find a championship in which you can compete. Tracks up and down the country regularly hold events for classic racers of all shapes and sizes. All you need to do is bring the metal, which is where this week’s project of choice comes into play. You’re going to need to use your imagination though, as there is some way to go before this machine sees a track.
What is it?
The car we’re looking at here is a 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint. Built for the American market, it was in essence their Ford Escort. Obviously, being American and from the ‘60s, it’s somewhat bigger than an Escort. But, it’s not a big car in more general terms. As such, it makes a perfect basis for a race car.
Another thing that makes it a good racer is that it’s a genuine Sprint model. This meant the car had a factory V8 and beefier rear suspension. Sadly for the Falcon, the same engine wand setup was offered in the then newly launched Mustang, so most people went for that instead. A shame, as the Sprint was a bit of a pocket muscle car.
Now stripped, this early second-generation Falcon is now ready to be built back up. Steps have been taken to put it on the path to being a racer, meaning some of the hard work has been done. Now all it needs is someone with vision, someone with passion and someone with a fair old bit of petrol in their veins.
Why is it a project?
Well, as you can see the Falcon is some way from being… a car. In fact, it’s just a body shell on a dolly at the moment. But don’t be put off, because it’s a good body shell. One that has been repaired and prepped and as such, is free of any corrosion. Furthermore, the front suspension struts have been strengthened, and a full weld-in roll cage has been fabricated and fitted – both of these works were carried out by Andy Robinson Race Cars. In the case of the cage, that means it’s been built to satisfy FIA2020 regs. Handy.
There is also a lot of other kit with the car. The vendor states that there are fibreglass panels such as a boot, bonnet and two pairs of doors and front wings. The car also comes with the original steel panels, too. There is a new laminated front screen to go with the car, all the suspension (though dismantled) is present, the dash assembly and gauges, too. The chrome is with the car, as is a pair of lightweight aluminium bumpers. There is even a set of alloys wheels to go with it.
The only thing that seems to be missing is the engine, so you’d need to sort that yourself. You could go for an old Y block as per the original, or maybe you fancy some sort of turnkey crate engine from the States? There are plenty to choose from.
Sure, it needs some vision and some passion to see this project through, but we think it would be worth the investment. It’s a clean, solid foundation on which to start. It can’t hide anything as it currently sits, so there should be no nasty surprises or bodges lying in wait. Instead, you can paint, build and craft your perfect racer.
Five things to look for:
1) Rust and repairs
There has clearly been a lot of time and money spent on this Falcon to get it this far. And it looks to have been done well, but even so, you still need to satisfy yourself. Make sure the repairs have been done to a good standard. You’re going to be racing this, after all.
When a project car is in bits, it never hurts to do a quick inventory of the parts. After all, while there may be plenty of them, they might not be reusable. Have a look at them, the condition of them, and see what will actually be of use.
3) Roll Cage
The guys at Andy Robinson Race Cars know how to build a cage, so we have no doubts of the quality. What you need to check here is whether or not the cage is suitable for what you need. If you’re going in a circuit, it should be. But what if you want to rally the car, or hill climb it? Will it need to go back to Andy for more tube?
4) Accident damage
It’s an old car, so it might well have been in a bump at some point. Here, all stripped down, you have the perfect opportunity to check the floors, check the chassis rails, the quarters and so on for any signs of past damage.
It’s an import, so as ever, check the paperwork. The vendor says NOVA registration has been sorted, but it never hurts to double check.
What should you do with it?
How it could look…
Race it. That’s what you should do with it! Build it up, kit it out and then give it hell. You could turn it into any kind of racer, but for our money we would focus on the circuits rather than any other venue. The UK and Europe are filled with them, and as such, you’ll get the most seat time that way.
This 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint is a clean starting block on which you could build something truly spectacular, a car that will be a thrill to drive, but that can also wow the crowds. You could build a track stomping, show stopping beauty. And one with that all important V8 rumble. Yes please.