While there’s often great satisfaction to be gained from building one’s own automotive project, it can be equally gratifying to seek out and buy the elusive ride that has already been crafted by someone else just the way we might have done it ourselves-- if we had the time and/or the skill set. Sure, that means someone else reaped the pleasure and pride of the design/build process, but it also means they did all the hard work. Bill and Karen Poole found just such an appealing acquisition in this eye-grabbing ’65 Futura, but it almost slipped through their fingers.
At 63 years young, Bill has been a Falcon fan for a long, long time.
"My wife says I’ve been in love with Falcons longer than I’ve been in love with her. That’s true, but only because I saw a red ’63 1/2 Falcon Sprint about six months before I saw Karen." And while a few of his friends drove new Falcons in high school, Bill couldn’t even think of looking for one until after college, marriage, and some time in the Army. Circa 1975, he finally started the search for his first Falcon. Now this was long before the Internet, so he was limited to local cars and auto trade papers like Hemmings. He says he looked at many unacceptable candidates before finally giving up and buying a ’63 Impala SS 409, which, being a Chevy, also proved unacceptable and was sold just a year later.
Time passed until Bill and Karen finally bought their first Falcona ’64 Sprint, which began a succession of Ford’s charming compacts including a ’64 Futura, and then a ’61 Futura.
"I was getting closer to what I wanted," says Bill, "but still wasn’t satisfied." So, in 2009, the ’61 went up for sale and Bill and Karen once again went searching for their version of Falcon perfection. Eventually, the World Wide Web went online, making the Poole’s latest search a little broader and more high-tech.
"I found the car on eBay...a customized ’65 Falcon Futura two-door hardtop. The car had a tasteful custom interior, a Crites Thunderbolt-style fiberglass hood, had most exterior trim shaved, and was painted a bright orange. It also sported my favorite wheels: 17-inch Billet Specialties Fast Lane."
Trouble was, the ’61 still hadn’t sold, so Bill found himself unable or unwilling to commit to buying the ’65though he did express his interest to the seller in no uncertain terms, and promised to hook up with him as soon as his other project sold. How many of us have found ourselves in similar positions? A few months later, he got the inevitable word from the seller that the ’65 had apparently found itself another buyer.
"I was disappointed," says Bill, "but wished him well. I told him to call me if the deal fell through, but did not expect to hear from Brian again."
However, a month later, Bill got a call saying the other deal had fallen through and that the ’65 was his if he wanted it. But Bill’s ’61 Falcon still hadn’t sold, so he was back in the pressure cooker.
"Since we’re retired, my banker/best friend/wife is reluctant to spend large amounts of money on frivolous things like 45-year-old hot rods!" Ah, but Bill, is a classic Ford purchase ever frivolous? So, you guessed it, in September 2009 they went and looked at the ’65 anyway, found it to be exactly what they were looking for, bought it on the spot, and loaded the bright orange Futura onto their open trailer. But they still had to get it safely home from Ashville, North Carolina, to Midlothian, Virginia--a trip that apparently had its challenges, like the guy with the horse trailer that almost hit the Falcon in a parking lot, and then the sudden deluge of rain (something the Falcon hadn’t seen since its completion) that slowed them to a mere 20 mph crawl on the interstate. Eventually, Bill, Karen and their latest Falcon arrive home unscathed.
As for the Futura itself, Bill says the previous owner, Brian, had "rescued" it as a basket case from a younger guy who was intending to drag race the historic hardtop, and had thus tubbed it, removed its stock fuel tank, and filled the trunk with "a maze of bracing." Brian then spent four years, and more than $20,000 in parts, working on it until another project caught his eye, at which point Bill and Karen stepped in as the Futura’s new stewards. In other words, Brian had been just like Bill: he had to sell one project to help finance another.
"The quality of Brian’s workmanship and the parts he put into the car were excellent," notes Bill. He and Karen have since done a few little things, like some maintenance items and the detailed pinstriping on the flanks and tail, to make the Futura "their own. Brian never quite got around to finishing the trunk area, so Bill plans to get rid of the fuel cell and extra bracing, then fit a stock-style tank under the floor and finish the trunk to match the interior. They also plan to add air conditioning and "drive the wheels off it."
Oh, and Bill never did tell us if their ’61 Falcon ever sold...