Dale Amy
March 15, 2011

As one of those "seasoned" enough to personally remember its rollout, it's chronologically depressing to realize that Ford's fine-feathered Falcon turned 50 years old in 2010. Still, any half-century anniversary is good reason for a party, so the Falcon Club of America decided to schedule last summer's annual Nationals event in Dearborn, fittingly enough in a location directly across the Southfield Freeway from Ford World Headquarters. There, over the span of three uncharacteristically hot and humid Michigan July days, FCA president Chuck Beason and the Metro Detroit Chapter welcomed home more than 300 pre-registered Falcons, spanning the sporty compact's amazingly diverse model lineup from 1960 through 19701/2. They also made this Modified Mustangs & Fords correspondent feel very welcome. My main task there was to digitally capture some feature-worthy modified Falcons-which you'll see in upcoming issues-but what follows here is a sampling of the broad selection of cars on hand.

Most of the event festivities and tech sessions took place in and around the host Hyatt Dearborn, but some of the more popular side trips were to the Henry Ford museum just down the road, the Roush Racing museum in nearby Livonia, and most significantly, to the secretive, sprawling test facilities of Ford's Dearborn Development Center (formerly known as the Dearborn Proving Grounds). There, participants got to learn some of the history of this Dearborn landmark, and then even drive their Falcons on portions of the test track.

The Falcon owner community is a dedicated, knowledgeable, and friendly flock, but one whose feathers can get a bit ruffled if their rides are perceived or remembered only as sedate economy transportation. These folks like nothing more than to point out that much of the original Mustang's mechanical DNA was Falcon-based, and that even though the ponycar ultimately dominated the popularity race, there were plenty of sporty coupe and convertible offerings in the Falcon's prolific lineup, too. Not to mention wagons, sedan-deliveries, Rancheros, and even Econolines.

If you missed this one, FCA's 2011 National event is scheduled for Steamboat Springs, Colorado, on July 14 through 17.

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