The Argentine Ford Falcon is a car that was built by Ford Argentina from 1962 to 1991. Mechanically, it was based on Ford USA's 1960 Falcon. The Falcon retained the same elegant body style throughout its production, with several substantial face lifts taking place during its lifespan, giving it a more European flavour and bringing it into line with other more contemporary Fords. However, several decades later it was apparent that it was a 1960s design wearing a 1980s grille.
The robust Ford Falcons became popular as black and yellow taxi cabs and black and blue police vehicles, with the green painted Falcons used by the secret police of the military junta of the 1970s associated with them to this day.
Falcons are still raced in the Turismo Carretera stock car racing series.
The story of the Falcon in Argentina began in 1961 when Ford Motor Argentina imported two Falcons from the US to test.
In 1962, local production began with complete knock down kits imported from the US assembled at the Ford factory in La Boca. Only a sedan was offered, with Standard and Deluxe trim levels, and a 170 cubic inch Ford Straight-6 engine. The official unveiling of the Falcon to the country took place in the theater "Gran Rex" in February 1962.
The first restyle of the Falcon came in 1963 and was produced until 1965. The Falcon now had a horizontal aluminum grill. New models included the Taxi model in 1964, and the Futura in 1965, with a vinyl roof and bucket seats. A larger and more powerful 187 c.i. engine was available. More parts were manufactured locally.
The second restyling of 1966 brought a more ornate grill, hood and side panel ornamentation. Most parts were now locally produced. In 1968, the new Falcon Rural station wagon model began production, with its own Futura and Deluxe variants. High compression engines producing more power were available from 1968, and in 1969 Ford introduced a higher performance 3.6 litre 132 hp engine that became available as an option (model 221XP), it employed a freer-breathing cylinder head and less restrictive exhaust system to boost power. A floor mounted 4-speed transmission became available for the first time.
The third restyling of 1970 began drifting away from the original design as quad headlights were introduced on Deluxe and Futura models, new front and rear bumpers with vertical nudge bars and disc brakes with 14 inch wheels and low aspect red stripe radial tyres are now available as options. The 188 and 221 c.i. engines were now standard, and the Deluxe version of the Futura Rural station wagon is discontinued.
By 1973, its fourth restyling, it drifts even more away from the original design as it gets a new redesigned dashboard with round instruments and tachometer on deluxe models, a new grill with several thick horizontal bars and quad headlights become squarer in design. A sporting Falcon Sprint was introduced with new refreshing color schemes, painted stripes, 14 inch sports wheels and a higher performance 166 bhp (124.5 kW) specially tuned 3.6 litre (221 c.i.) engine, on the interior it included additional gauges and leather-covered sports steering wheel. The Deluxe trim of the Rural station wagon was dropped. A pickup, called the Ranchero, was introduced with Standard and Deluxe external trim and a heavy-duty brake option.
The fifth restyling of 1978 brought further cosmetic changes, with another new grill this time in plastic, Ford's new oval logo emblems, new updated door handles, improved cabin ventilation with exhaust vents on the c pillar, single large rectangular headlights and 175/70 R14 radial tyres on sporting or deluxe models amongst several other changes.
On its sixth and last restyling it tries to bring its design in line as it is sold along its more modern "siblings", the Ford Taunus, Sierra and later the Escort. Changes include new bumpers with rubber strips and rubber end caps, new large rectangular taillights with amber turn signals, bronze tinted glass replaces green and a larger trunk by reconfiguring the trunk floor and repositioning the spare tyre and other minor cosmetic changes. The Taxi and Sprint versions were dropped, and the Futura becomes the Ghia. A 2.3 litre four cylinder petrol engine was now available, and from 1988 a 2.4 litre diesel. In 1989, the new Max Econo version of the 188 c.i./3.0 litre engine became available, with better fuel economy at the cost of performance. Chrome was removed in 1990, and the Falcon was finally discontinued after 1991.