The Art of Falconry

The Art of Falconry

For the past few weeks, I have worked to step out of my hot rodding comfort zone. My case may differ from yours, or it may be nearly identical. As you longtime readers know, my Friday articles usually focus on machines built for the quarter mile (or are at least inspired by these purpose built drag cars). It’s a sliding scale of sorts. But ever since I wrote about the nice, but undeniably mild ’35 Ford from the Pacific Northwest last week, I have been jonesing for something radical.

I need a car with its nose up in the sky and a bumper that has long since been removed. Spun aluminum fuel tank and blanked out headlights should replace any equipment that would ever deem the car streetable. Mag wheels, polished with obsessive care, ought to fill the wheelwells while the rear quarter pannels will be cut and contoured to accommodate massive cleated slicks.

Under the hood, it has to have a big ‘ol motor. You know, something wild. Something that’d look at home hanging out front on a digger or altered or completion coupe. Finned valve covers, stack injection and lots of pipes painted VHT white are additional must-haves.

As complex as things would get up front (under a handful of scoops, of course) the setup would have to stay simple in the cabin. A couple of fiberglass bucket seats (light as can be), three-spoke wheel and chrome tach on the dash are all it needs. Maybe add some Metalflake rolls and pleats for good measure.

When it comes to paint, forget earth tones and handpicked Colors of the Year (sorry Pantone). The car begs for something bright — sure to grab attention as soon as the tow bar was unhooked. Red, yes, red’ll work. And white lettering, expertly applied by a local sign painter with a steady hand and decades of experience.

I didn’t need a car kind of like this — I needed this car. Luckily for you and me, it did exist at one point, and it was known as the Arnew, Mullaney & Hensley “Half Breed? Falcon. Based out of Baltimore, Maryland, the little Ford was a fierce competitor in the Gas classes. Although by the time it was featured in the July 1965 issue of Rod & Custom, I figure it was repurposed for match racing due to its lack of headlights (and who knows what was poured into the Eelco tank prior to 1320 blasts?)

Regardless of class designation or sanctioning body, the Falcon you see here is anything but predictable. It’s a mean lookin’, fire breathing and dragstrip rippin’ bird of prey that was built charge in a direct path on the ragged edge of control. And that’s why it made its way into this week’s feature slot.

—Joey Ukrop

Photos by R.F. Bissell, Rod & Custom, July 1965 

                         

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