Quick Look: Argentine Falcons

My buddy, K V Dahl, whose 1960 Chrysler New Yorker convertible was featured right here on RG a couple years ago, loves to travel. I’ll see him at the dealership on a Tuesday (as I did recently, while test driving a final-run 2019 Flex SEL), then Friday, he’s in Miami, then the following Wednesday, he’s in Rio.

He gets around, for sure. But the best part is he sees cars not often seen in the contiguous United States. Such was the case earlier this evening, when he texted me this picture of a burgundy ’80s/early ’90s Ford Falcon.

Yes, Argentina has had, shall we say, a checkered history? But I’m into old cars, not political history. Let’s not go there, as the man said. Suffice it to say some bad stuff went down in the past. But at the same time, the original 1960 Ford Falcon, locally produced there, had a remarkable run.

Sure, changes were made over the years-many!-but the essential 1960 Falcon shape remained way, way, wayyyyy to 1991. A remarkable run.

They were popular there as police cars, taxis, and-less thrilling, or at least thrilling in a bad way-by the Argentine secret police. Station wagon and pickup versions were also offered.

Ever since I first started checking out the Internet, back in 1997 or so, I somehow found a page on these Falcons from Argentina. They fascinated me. Sure, it was old, old technology with a thin veneer of modernity and an ’80s Ford Tempo-like interior, but I still found them compelling. Imagine bringing back a station wagon or pickup as a fun summer cruiser today! Hey, I can dream.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to see if I can find a 1/43 scale model of one of these!

12 Replies to “Quick Look: Argentine Falcons”

  1. AvatarSal Darigo Jr

    I love Falcons anyway-my grandpa had a green ’66 wagon that I remember from my early years-but I’d LOVE to put one of these in my garage. I wonder how much of the oily and spinny bits are available in the US?

    Reply
  2. AvatarJohn Van Stry

    My brother had one of the wagons for years, back in the late 70’s early 80’s. Don’t remember where he found it. That was a great car. Would love to find one now, but I suspect it would cost a fortune.

    Reply
  3. AvatarMLCraven

    I understand the desire not to go there. But an unknown Falcon showing up in the wee hours of the morning in front of a Buenos Aires home or apartment all too often marked the beginning of an everlasting nightmare for Argentine families. The car’s role as a conveyance into detention and, all too often, death during ‘la guerra soucia’ is an undeniably sad blemish on an otherwise sturdy, reliable, durable and affordable automobile. I know, not the Falcon’s fault.

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      Remember the disappeared ones were lefty radicals doing much bombing and assassinations so were not exactly of clean hands. Mostly young educated fellows, not peasants like the bulk of the country. So that was the real outrage, the perfumed princes with their sticks of dynamite thought themselves above the law and so did their connected parents. In a country like Argentina, there were reasons to allow the generals a turn in power, you hoped they had the fortitude to save the country from the never ending turmoil of a corrupt right and a violent left.

      Reply
      • AvatarMLCraven

        Let’s fix that statement. “Remember [some of] the disappeared ones were lefty radicals doing much bombing and assassinations so were not exactly of clean hands.”

        Reply
  4. Avatarstingray65

    Surprised they didn’t also make Mustangs and Versailles since they were all based on the original Falcon platform. Those South American tinpot fearless leaders should have something special to convey their superior status as they traverse between palaces, execution sites, bribery payoffs, and their mistresses’ apartments, but locally made to confer their standing as a “man of the people”.

    Reply
  5. AvatarJohn C.

    I had a nice trip to Argentina in 1999. By then the Falcons had faded but you still saw and rode in as taxis Renault 12s and Peugeot 504s. The place had a little bit of a frozen in time feel. They had a boom in the early 20th century when they first figured out how to export their great beef. So most of the grand buildings were from then. They were not rich in 1999 but the old, but current cars added to the feel of a sort of threadbare elegance that I found charming. The 504 was an interesting choice of models to keep around for a second life. It was part of that Euro young executive class of car from around 1968 that did not rely on America or prewar leftovers and in doing so showed definitively that Europe had recovered from the war and was progressing beyond basic transportation. The more modern style grills, headlights, and taillights seem to be the cars saying there is life in us yet.

    Reply
  6. Avatar-Nate

    It’d be fun to direct import one if a decent one could be found .”Take it to the local Cars & Coffee and watch the others go ” ?! WTH ?!” .

    -Nate

    Reply
  7. Avatarrambo furum

    I want clean, simple, honest cars like this again. Such evolved cars are always a bit polarizing, as the original design is not always preserved well. I would say they tend to be jolie-laide.

    Reply
  8. AvatarGeorge Denzinger

    These Falcons are alternate universe beings, with mostly cosmetic updates after the initial run, the basic 1960 design shows through clearly. This reminds me of the era of Soviet cars well into the 1970’s and 1980’s. They were obviously peddling 1950’s and 1960’s designs long after their “sell-by” date along with questionable-looking “enhancements” to attempt to make the cars look more modern.

    These cars should really appeal to me, as I’m one of those folks who likes to buy cars late into their production run. This model of Falcon somehow misses that mark for me, as the cosmetic updates were rather obvious, like the Soviet cars. OTOH, I’m reasonably sure that the Argentinian market isn’t nearly as demanding of updated features as we are here in the US. I have to imagine that durability and simplicity were far more important features in that market.

    I have to agree with one of the other posters further up the string, having one of these at a Cars and Coffee would elicit a ton of WTFs?

    Reply

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