Back then it looked vast, a Yankee aircraft carrier of a machine beside a Cortina or even a Jaguar Mk2. Now, alongside a mid-sized European saloon with its bulging safety zones, high bonnet-line and projecting nasal crumple-zone, it looks quite neat and compact. The racy C-pillar, slim window supports and low roof mark the Ford Falcon Sprint as coming from several generations past. But turn the key and duck, as 400 horses fight to be let loose.
It was the brawny V8 engine that made these things a surprise success in saloon car racing. As long as you looked after the brakes, the big Ford could topple the Jaguar from its regular podium, and with Alan Mann’s preparation behind him, Bo Ljungfeldt came close to a supremely unlikely victory on the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally.
This example, in stock with RMD in Belgium, could give you the same ear-splitting feeling of broadside power.
“We’ve known it for a while,” says Marc Devis. “It’s been raced by a Dutch friend of mine and he’s only selling it to move into another category. It’s prepared by Milestone, who are specialists in Shelby Mustangs and Cobras etc. It’s a genuine 1964 Sprint, but was converted to a racer three or four years ago.”
Ford homologated many lightweight parts for the Falcon such as GRP wings, and this FIA-spec car employs them too, making it lighter than its Mustang rival. Its 289 engine boasts all the right bits – forged crank, special con rods and Holley double-pumper carb – which adds up to 408bhp and a mighty 361lb ft of torque, feeding through a close-ratio syncro T10 gearbox. Massive brakes and Koni shocks keep it planted, and it comes with a quick-ratio steering box for those surprise oversteer moments. And as well as race pipes it comes with a road exhaust.
“It’s fully legal both for pre-66 racing and road use,” says Marc. “You could use it for rallies and tours as well as racing. It’s going beautifully and it’s not a handful – though on race tyres you do end up looking through the side windows a lot!”
Complete with current FIA HTP papers, a Falcon Sprint like this is eligible for several series around Europe.
“It’s absolutely ready to go,” says Marc. “No need to spend another €20,000 before you hit the track.”
Engine V8, 4.7 litres, 408bhp
Transmission four-speed manual
Suspension front: wishbones and coils; rear: leaf spring axle. Koni shocks
Top speed 107mph