The Ford Falcon was introduced to the US motoring public in October, 1959. The first-year Falcon Sedans were the best selling Falcon models ever, and exceeded Ford’s most optimistic sales expectations.
The first Falcons were “new size” Fords that competed against domestic compacts such as the Chevrolet Corvair, and the Chrysler Valiant. The Falcon was also offered as a suitable alternative to the Volkswagen Beetle.
The Falcon was a revolutionary vehicle due to its single-unit unitized body construction, compact size, and economy. The new Falcons could handle six passengers and go 30 miles on a gallon of gas. Thirty miles per gallon was a phenomenal figure in 1960.
The base price for a new Falcon was just under $2,000. The three speed manual transmission (column shift) was standard, but the Ford-O-Matic transmission was available as an option for an additional $180.
The Falcon Wagons were introduced in January, 1960. The base wagon price was about $2,250, and were only available in a six passenger configuration.
The Ranchero was introduced a few months after the Falcon Wagons. Its body was based on the 2-door wagon, and may have been the world’s first “mini-truck”. The new Ranchero weighed 2,345 pounds and had a payload of 800 pounds. The new Ranchero was well received by the public, and the new model outsold any previous annual editions of the larger Ranchero.