I just finished playing broker to a friend who was in the market for a classic car, and found him a sweet 63 Ford Falcon Futura. It’s got a 180 cu in. straight six mated to a Ford-o-Matic two speed automatic transmission. It’s a cruiser for sure; you can get the tail loose but she isn’t happy about it. It wants to go slow and straight, and that’s just fine. The car is mechanically sound, and had some interesting cosmetic work done — it’s all Ozzy Ozbourne style with a “tombstone” exterior and coffin interior, complete with Devil bobblehead on the dash.
Ok, setting aside aesthetic differences, she runs like a champ. And we snagged it for an absolute bargain. Why?
Certain classic cars — and I’m talking about pre 1970 — despite rarity, just never gain a lot of value with enthusiasts. When we think of American Classics, when cool dudes in tail whipping hot rods went whizzing past the local ice cream parlor on the way to the drive-in, most of us aren’t picturing Falcons, or Novas, or Valiants. As such, the names that hearken better times; Mustang, Camaro, Charger, GTO, fetch a higher price. A much higher price. During my exhaustive craigslist searching, I was genuinely shocked to see multiple sales of barley running, rusted out Mustangs going for three times as much as a Buick Wildcat in pretty good condition.
Here’s a quick sample I grabbed from craigslist:
So what we have is a rich market of affordable, well-running cars of the same era that go neglected. Owning a restored classic does not pose a huge barrier of entry. Sure you are buying into some risk, but for the price of a 2001 Camry, you can get a genuine, badass, restored Muscle car over 50 years old. That’s crazy.
I don’t know, maybe we do need the evocative name — GTO, Camaro — in order to relive or recapture the spirit of that classic time. Personally, I think cars like the Falcon give young buyers a chance to create their own slice of Americana.