Hanalei Bay, Circa 1987
Hanalei Bay, Circa June, 2002
The First Falcon
By Joe Surfdog Abramo
The year was 1986. I had been living on Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands for about 3 years. Being a long time surfer, you get to realize that after a time, surfers cars just don't last that long. Always at the beach. Sand, wet trunks, wetsuits, damp towels, empty food containers, and surfboards dripping saltwater all over the vehicle. New or old, surfer's rides take a beating. Over the years I've dissolved my share of vehicles.
During that period, the 1976 Ford Courier trucklet that I had bought new in California and had shipped over to the islands in 1983 when I moved here, was starting to disintegrate. I had heavy gate hinges welded on to keep the doors in place. The floor was of the Fred Flintstone variety and the roof had gaping holes in it. The only thing intact was the bed which was covered by a fiberglass shell. The engine seemed to go on forever and was at 100,000 miles when it started to falter after years of little or no service. I was in the market for some reasonably priced, economical, dependable transportation. I was always checking the bulletin boards and Want Ads for the perfect Surf Car.
I knew of the Ford Falcons. After all, I was a teenager during the '60's, just when our Birds were populating the streets. Although I had never owned or desired one, I was attracted to an Ad I saw on the local super market bulletin board. It read:
1965 Falcon, 6 cylinder, 4 door sedan, runs good. $150.00
I called the guy and he basically told me what the ad said. He added that it wasn't in very good shape appearance wise, but did indeed run good. He wanted to point out its most detrimental feature. The rear window, the back glass was busted out of it. No back window!!! The phrase sounded strangely familiar, as if taken from Jan and Dean's early '60's smash hit "Surf City". I went to see the car. I talked him down to $75 bucks and drove her home.
The car had been sitting for a while. The seller had a tarp taped to the gaping hole where the rear glass used to be. It flapped in the wind as my Falcon cruised right up to 60 mph without balking. As soon as I got her home, I removed the tarp, cleaned her in and out. I painted the wheels and side stripe black. She was a Futura. The deluxe model for a sedan. The dog dish caps cleaned up perfectly with a little steel wool. This car actually looked pretty sharp from about 100 feet away. I even touched up the rusty spots with a spray can. This was a true daily driver. The car must of been originally sold in Hawaii. It had the rare heater delete plate. No heater or defroster.
In the pictures above she is captured in all of her glory. Note the missing back glass. And Futura gas cap!!! At the beach. Going surfing is what she did best. Even though the picture shows surfboards mounted on top with soft racks, I usually just stuffed 'em through the back window. Roof top mounting was used when surf buddies came along. She could transport 6 surfers comfortably. I drove her for about 2 years.
Then, sadly, she was taken from me in a car wreck. I was ok, but she was totaled.
So, in 1999, when I was hunting for a classic car, a nice one, one that I could identify with, naturally "The Falcon" came to mind.
About the surfboard that is in both pictures.
It is a 1967 Yater Spoon. I bought it in 1986 in Santa Barbara, during a return visit to some old haunts. I rode it for several years here on Kauai and then retired it to a position under the house. About 5 years ago, I remembered it was under there, so I had it restored. It is the very same board on the car in the original picture.