The Original 1957 Ford Ranchero (left), along with the car from which it was derived, The 1957 Ford Fairlane. Note the difference between this body style and the Radically Restyled 1960 Falcon Ranchero.
The Falcon marque began to realize its potential when, late in the 1964 model year, Ford introduced the Mustang, another sporty compact car that achieved some (small) amount of popularity. Ford utilized the Falcon's unitized chassis, as well as many elements of the Falcon drive train, to "re-skin" and "re-market" the Mustang. From then on, the Falcon existed in the shadow of its more popular offspring, finally fading away in 1971, a victim of corporate marketing neglect. The success of the Volkswagen and other compacts, along with the Arab oil embargo just a few years later, proved how forward-thinking the original Falcon designers were. Like many good ideas, it peaked just a little too early. Collectors of these great cars appreciate the compact design, the simplicity of maintenance and operation, and the innovative thinking of its designers. Simply put, they are a lot of fun. If you are looking for a great car to restore and enjoy, consider a classic Ford Falcon or Falcon Ranchero.