Rod Short
January 7, 2014
Photos By: Mark Houlahan

Wild Child Falcon

Unlike the Bonner and Platt Falcons, the "Wild Child" Falcon was reportedly built by Ford of Canada as a factory B/FX race car, which was a Factory Experimental class for small-block cars—just a handful were ever produced. With elapsed times in the 11-second range, the car was raced in 1965 out of Rankin Ford in London, Ontario, Canada, with Ev Rouse as its driver and John McIntyre as the chief mechanic or crew chief. Running a 289 Hi-Po (which was never offered in a Falcon in the states) with Weber carbs, the car reportedly ran as quick as an 11.76 at 118.95 mph.

The following year, the car moved up in class with a 427 wedge engine in place of the original 289. Ford factory part numbered fiberglass doors and fenders with a lightweight hood and trunk were added as the car was put on a crash diet. Running on fuel rather than gas, the car ran a variety of NHRA classes including B/Altered and C/Dragster, but suffered from inconsistency and breakage. This was later followed by the addition of an SOHC 427 that was backed by a C6 automatic.

The car was later repainted and campaigned under different names before it eventually disappeared from sight. John Germann located the car, bought it and restored it in 2003. It is still seen at occasional special events today.

Forty-three years have passed since the last Ford Falcon was made stateside. Yet, it remains a significant car in drag racing history and a number of people are still quite passionate about these cars. Looking at the vintage birds we have here, it's easy to understand why.

Hubert Platt: A Good Ol' Boy Done Good

"I had wanted one of those new cammer engines, but didn't get one...and it kind of pissed me off," the 81-year-old former racer said. "So, I built a Falcon and put a hi-riser in it with injectors on alcohol and I ran those factory boys' ass."

Thus began our phone conversation with Hubert Platt, who still seems like he has enough piss and vinegar in him to intimidate any number of today's racers. Of course, that's exactly what one needed back in the mid-'60s to survive as an independent racer. Mechanical savvy, showmanship, and a heavy foot mixed with some nerve is what it took if a racer was going to not back down against any number of factory teams that were all competing for that very same match racing dollar. Hubert Platt was all of those and more, which is why he's still a popular legend today.

"You could drive that Falcon with one hand," Platt continued. "I built it in my basement. I put a straight axle under it from an Econoline van, cut 6 inches out of the center, welded it back together and moved the rear wheels up. The hi-riser was all I ever ran, and that car made me more money than any other car I ever had."

Match racing from coast to coast against some of drag racing's biggest stars helped make Platt a hot commodity—and Platt became known for his antics. Throwing everything he owned in the trunk for monster wheelstands, running on the ragged edge between victory and disaster and abusing his car and parts for maximum performance were all things that made people buy tickets when he and his Falcon were in town.

"We went out to California and I had to get the headers replaced, so we went out to Lion's the next day to try them out," Platt said. "The promoter was there. He saw how the Falcon picked up the front wheels and he liked that. He said that if I could make it wheelstand like that, he'd pay me $500 if I'd stay and match race. That was a lot of money back then. So, I did and then he said he could get me two more match races for $500 a piece. We toured everywhere!"

By 1966, Platt had stopped racing the Falcon in favor of a long-nose Mustang. He would eventually drive a number of other cars before heading up the Ford Drag Team in the late 1960s. The Falcon would sit forlornly in another racer's trailer for 21 years before the floor rotted and the car fell through. The damaged car was eventually rediscovered and saved—with the same parachute and tires that were on the car when it was put away nearly 50 years ago. Today, Hubert Platt and his Falcon can still be seen at selected reunion events around the country.

Rankin Ford’s “Wild Child” was originally built by Ford of Canada as a B/FX car before it was converted to A/FX trim with an altered wheelbase in 1965.