1966 Ford Falcon
8-cyl. 289cid/200hp 2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
If the Falcon ever had any semblance of excitement, it was all lost in the 1966 redesign. While the Falcon was no longer the compact with a surprisingly amount of sportiness, it featured new long hood/short deck proportions with a squared-off, slab-sided body. A shortened Fairlane platform (itself redesigned for ’66) was utilized featuring a wheelbase that had grown to 110.9 inches. Unfortunately, two-door hardtops and convertibles disappeared, and Falcon offerings were reduced to 10.
The base Falcon sedans, both the two-door Club Coupe and four-door sedan, were decidedly more comfortable thanks to integral heater-defroster and fresh air controls. Newly standard were outside rearview mirror, front and rear seat belts, single-speed electric wipers with windshield washers, padded instrument panel, and emergency flasher and backup lights. “Swept-away” instrument panel design kept all important lights and gauges in front of the driver.
Ford claimed that “Falcon Futuras are the compacts with big-car features.” While it was true that the redesign offered “room and comfort you’d never expect in a compact,” the magic of the Falcon Futura was diminished since was it subbing for the Falcon Deluxe, which had been discontinued. Brightwork adorned the window frames, sides, and rear, imparting a premium feeling that was missing from base Falcons.
But it wasn’t all boring for 1966, though, as the Falcon Futura Sports Coupe still lingered. All-vinyl bucket seats were standard, as was the Fairlane Six that was optional for other models. Buyers who moved up to the 200-horse 289 V-8 could opt for a 4-speed or Cruise-O-Matic instead of the standard 3-speed. Deluxe wheel covers, accent stripe, and backup lamps were also standard.
Now only available as a four-door, all Falcon wagons were built on a 113-inch wheelbase (shared with the Fairlane wagon). Its newfound size helped give the wagon a generous 86.7 cubic feet of cargo space. Only Falcon and Falcon Futura wagons were offered, as Ford discontinued the premium Squire model. Both came standard with the Fairlane Six. Optional was the nifty Ford Magic Doorgate that allowed owners to open the tailgate down or swing out like a door.
Available engines continued to be the Falcon Six, Fairlane Six, or the 289 V-8. The 3-speed remained standard for all engines, but Synchro-Smooth Drive (fully synchronized in all three gears) was only available with the V-8, as was the 4-speed. Cruise-O-Matic was available with all three engines.
The redesigned 1966 Ford Falcon did a fine job of sustaining itself despite a reduced product line. A total of 204,429 were sold.