January 16, 2003

Introduced in the fall of 1959 as a '60 model, the Falcon spent most of its production life as a compact car. That's the way we remember the Falcon most. However, Ford offered two types of Falcons for 1970. At the beginning of the '70 model year, Ford's Falcon was that cute little sedan/coupe we remember from '66-'69. On January 1, 1970, Ford dropped the traditional Falcon compact, reassigning the name to the Fairlane/Torino platform.

At first glance, this looks like a Fairlane or Torino. It isn't. It's something less. The '701/2 Falcon sedan actually lacks a lot of those features available on the more upscale Fairlane and Torino that year. Closer inspection reveals a low-buck, bread-and-butter grocery-getter like Mom used to drive. But Mom never had it this good and we'll tell you why. Nick Dichiara of Phoenix isn't much on six-cylinder grocery-getters, which was this Falcon's origin when it rolled off the Lorain, Ohio, assembly line more than 30 years ago. Originally, it was a utilitarian transporter with a 250ci six. In the years since, the displacement has nearly doubled to 460 ci. Nope, Nick didn't bore and stroke the stodgy six--which would have taken a lot more iron and one tremendous boring bar. He opted for Ford's 385-series fat-block V-8, a powerhouse providing more than sufficient power to haul home the bacon.

Truth is, Nick didn't build this car at all. He bought it from Jeremy Measecles of Duffee Motorsports in Glendale, Arizona. Brian Duffee started with the healthy 460 mill underhood. It was a conventional Lincoln V-8 at the start. The block was decked, bored, and align-honed to ensure perfect dimensions. Brian worked the cylinder heads, then installed a .600-inch-lift solid-roller camshaft to bump the stopcocks and excite the mixture. He topped the beast with a Weiand Stealth intake manifold and an 850-cfm Holley double-pumper. A sizzling hot MSD ignition system fires the mist. Hooker Super Comp headers show the spent fumes to the door. That's a Ron Davis custom radiator with trans cooler built in. This engine was dyno-tested at 513 hp at 6,100 rpm on pump gas.

Ford's super-tough C6 transmission with a wide-ratio package sends a potent message to the Currie 9-inch chunk in back. Currie Enterprises built Nick a Detroit Locker with 3.89:1 gears and 35-spline axle shafts from Strange Engineering. Rear leaf springs were tossed in favor of a four-link, coilover suspension system with adjustable shocks. Because the 460 consistently propels this Falcon sedan to warp speed, it needs nothing short of thrust reverse to stop. Nick found something even better in Baer 13-inch discs in front, with 12-inch discs in back. Big 17-inch Boyds marry the car with its roller stock. In front, those are 17x8-inch rollers. In back, super-wide 17x11 BFGoodrich skins hold the road nicely.

Nick purchased this not-so-sedate Falcon sedan because he wanted to experience the thrill of an angry Ford big-block at high revs. As you might imagine, it's not a daily driver. It's a weekend boulevard warrior Nick and his wife, Beth, like to cruise whenever time permits. Considering Arizona's average weather forecast--sunny with killer tomatoes--you can count on it nearly every weekend.

The killer tomato red finish was applied by Nick Sandoval of Custom & Performance Paint in Chandler, Arizona. If you'd like to apply this color to your restomod project, just ask for '93 Mustang Cobra Hi-Performance Red.