Car Catcher: Funky Forward-Control Ford Falcon Van

Grab some Scooby Snacks and stop the bad guys. Or load it up with surfboards. Or dirt bikes. Or whatever. This 1965 Ford Falcon Club Wagon will cross the block at Mecum’s upcoming Kansas City sale. See more details here.

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bentwrench
bentwrench SuperDork
12/4/19 6:03 p.m.

Canoe

Karacticus
Karacticus Dork
12/4/19 7:06 p.m.

This was the "Truck-Bus" my Mom drove us kids around from about 1966 through the early seventies.  I don't know if we ever even called it a van.

Ours was beige, and might have been a model year or two later.  It also had vinyl daisy stickers applied over the dents it accumulated along the way.

it was a different  time-- I remember my infant brother being set in his carrier on the engine compartment.  Once there weren't any babies in their buckets to ride there, it was always a popular place to sit as long as you could stand the heat.

Eventually my mother got tired of being the designated driver/vehicle provider for church and school field trips, and it was replaced by a Triumph Spitfire, which probably is where my interest in cars really started. 
 

Picture below is how we'd go camping-- third row seat removed and mattress in the back for my parents to sleep in, us three kids would sleep on cots outside under the awning my dad rigged up.

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 UltraDork
12/4/19 8:38 p.m.

Had a friend with one in the army around the early 80's. His was 3-speed manual on the column though. Was also a pale green, we called it the green latrine. Sometimes the shifter arm would come off shifting from 1st to 2nd. Can't list all the hijinks we did in that, not sure the statute of limitations is expired for some of it. A van load of young army guys out for a good time.

wspohn
wspohn Dork
12/5/19 12:56 p.m.

These were actually pretty good and useful vehicles.

 

David - must be time for you to post a Corvair Greenbriar van.....wink  Friend used to tow his small bore sports racer with one.

sir_mike
sir_mike New Reader
12/5/19 2:33 p.m.

Back in the early 70's a friend had one of these.Used to tow trailer with autocrossing Lotus Elan.Heater quit one time so just raised the motor cover a little to let heat in while driving.Then at stop lights opened the whole way....worked but had to be aware of fumes...memories

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Reader Services
12/5/19 3:34 p.m.

I'm enjoying hearing all these stories.

Clearly Falcon wagons like this one made an impact on a lot of people's lives.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/6/19 10:21 a.m.

I worked in a bike shop while in high school, and the owner had a forward-control van--pretty sure it was a Chevy, though. 

At some point, they repaved our street. Totally smooth asphalt. 

I was with him on a warehouse pickup. 

As we approached the shop, he put in the clutch. Then he turned off the engine. Then he let out the clutch, and we skidded all the way to a parking spot in right front of the shop. 

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
12/6/19 11:20 a.m.

I had a Dodge A100 pickup which is the same idea in a mopar platform pickup form factor. A previous owner had swapped in a 351 Cleveland. It was a constant battle against heat and rear traction. It sounded amazing and was decent riding, really. I hated to let it go but it was falling apart from rust and some kids broke the fron windshields. A friend was on me to buy it to restore so I sold it to him. Hes still got it last I checked!

Id love to get another one some day. The Dodge does it for me on looks - the chevy and ford versions look awkward to me. I think it's the dog dish headlight surrounds on the dodge along with the generally cleaner lines. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/6/19 12:48 p.m.

Sort of seemed approrpiate.

 

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