Falcon Strip Party Update – What not to do…

1963 Ford Falcon Build Update

Ford Falcon Wagon, ford falcon buildIn case you missed the last story, I’m rebuilding my 1963 Falcon Wagon. Originally, I just planned to put some paint on it and re-do the interior, but after inviting a bunch of friends over (here’s the story), my wagon’s now a stripped hulk sitting in my garage. Borderline panicking but not quitting, I’ve still got great friends helping out. We’re making progress. It’d be easier to get out to the garage if it wasn’t 112 today!

First off, I have to mention the tireless help I’ve been getting from my friend Ken Ford. (perfect name for the project, right?) Ken’s a body guy and was looking for a reason to get dirty on a project. He’s got a Harley at home now has built several VW’s in the past, including a few vans, so he knows how to get body panels looking good.


It’s a good thing too! We’ve been moving around the car looking for disasters. We really only found 1. The previous owner decided to fill the cowl vent. I guess it looks a little smoother, but I’d leave it. (too late now!) I wouldn’t mind putting it back either cause it might be easier when you see the mess he left. Cowl vent removed messWe knew there was a problem there because the bondo had cracked. When we got to work cleaning it out, this is what we found. It’s hard to see from this picture, but there was about 1/2 inch of bondo covering this patch panel. He didn’t finish-weld the patch, so I think some moisture got underneath it and cause the cracking. This is gonna require some minor surgery to repair. I think it might actually be easier to find a new cowl and put it in. What do you think?


Step 1, the before grinding floor: 1963 FalconWhile Ken’s been hitting the outside, I’m inside cleaning the floorpan. It looked pretty nasty at first, especially in the pics. Really, it’s not that bad. Everything all rusty colored, but there was only one small spot of cancer rust. I’ll write about how I handle that in another blog. Here’s the before, during and finished pics of the floorpan. I’m going to use POR-15 to seal the floor up, then insulate the hell out of it. I removed about 20lbs of muck and filth from the car. Ever wonder where that “old car” smell comes from? I can tell you! I’ve also included a pic of the rear floor. I hit this thing HARD with a wire wheel and it still looks pretty nasty. I’ll cover it with carpet anyway, so it’ll get more POR-15.


The during shot. Floorpans of 1963 FalconThe finished floorpans - ready for POR-15 1963 FaclconCancer, but operable: 1963 Falcon WagonRear floor 1963 Falcon wagon


So here’s the progress on the rest of the car. We had to strip off all of the old black primer. The previous owner used some kind of oil or something, (I thought it was Armor Al) to keep the primer looking somewhat shiny. Whatever you do, don’t do that. Ken was using up DA sanding paper like crazy with that crap loading up. The cars all spotty, but when Ken throws down some primer, it looks good. I hit the front fenders with some paint stripper and then with a wire wheel to get all the black off. It’ll look worse before it starts to look better.


1963 Falcon body work update Front fender progress 1963 FalconPaint Supplies from ARS in Gilbert


I also included a shot of the first of many paint supplies I’ll need. The guys at ARS, Finishmaster hooked me up a little and are going to try and help get PPG to sponsor the build. Brandon at ARS didn’t mind waiting a bit since I came right from work, even on a Friday evening. Its nice to work with good people. Rather then buy this and that from a swap or an auto parts chain, I’m buying all quality supplies. With all the work we’re putting in, I want this to be nice.


Brandon also started helping with colors. That’s gonna be a tough choice. I know it’ll be blue cause that’s what my kids want. I know the car was originally Heritage Burgundy. It’s a cool color, but it ain’t blue. A friend said that Ford offered a light blue similar to what I’m looking for in 1963. Brandon said to look at www.AutoColorLibrary.com to find the color. Glacier Blue or Peacock Blue might be cool.


Every story I’ve written about this build can be found here: 1963 Ford Falcon Wagon Build


That’s it for now! Thanks to my current sponsors: