Jim Smart
June 1, 2000

They say the world of Ford performance belongs to Mustang, but we're not completely convinced, especially after checking out Mike Walls' 14x6-foot piece of Southern California real estate. Mike, an avid Ford buff who lives in the Los Angeles area, has never been inclined to walk the same path as his Southern Cal contemporaries. As a result, he grooved into this '64 Falcon Sprint hardtop like you would a juicy steak--with passion.

At Mike and brother Ric's hands, a dated V-8 Falcon driver was reborn a high-flying performer bent on refining the future of restomod. Miguel's Auto Body in Gardena, California, worked the body and laid down the brilliant orange finish from House of Color. The door handles and other exterior appointments were shaved to give the Falcon a low-and-lean street-rod attitude. It struts its bad self all over the City of Angels.

But strutting around Los Angeles (and anywhere else for that matter) takes more than just a fancy facade (although we're big on illusion around here). It takes a well-thought-out plan and execution to teach an old Falcon new tricks. Nestled into the also-orange engine compartment is a '94 5.0 small-block sporting traditional carburetor induction from Edelbrock. The late-model 5.0 provided Mike with solid, reliable power without having to build an engine from scratch. Because range and cruiseability are so important to a good restomod, he installed a modern AOD transmission for a combination of low-highway revs and mechanical advantage in gears one through three. He stayed with the tried-and-proven 8-inch rearend with 3.00:1 gears.

Those are Budnik 15x6-inch wheels in Remington 205/50R/15s front and 225/50R/15s back. This combo, when coupled with the right body rake, is retro, yet very 21st century. Inside, Dakota Digital provides engine vitals and speed info in an ultra-sleek fashion we're not accustomed to seeing in a classic Falcon. The dashboard has been extensively modified from door to door yielding a look you'd expect from a factory show car. Check out the Boyds steering wheel and custom-upholstered Mitsubishi bucket seats.

Mike Walls' Falcon restomod proves what's possible with imagination and passion. It means we can take an old Ford down on its luck and create a high-flying ride.

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