Ultrarare 1 of 7 Canadian 1965 Ford Falcon Hi-Po Was Built for the Dragstrip

Ultrarare 1 of 7 Canadian 1965 Ford Falcon Hi-Po Was Built for the Dragstrip

When physics instructor Graeme Thompson sat down at Little Brothers Ford in Weston, Ontario, simply north of Toronto, to order his 1965 Falcon Futura, salesperson Ole Sorensen advised him, “I’ll place the order, but I don’t think they’re going to build it.”

That’s as a result of Thompson had opted for a little-known efficiency package deal that included the 271hp 289 Hi-Po engine, Prime Loader four-speed gearbox, and Traction Lok–outfitted 9-inch rear axle. That might be the Okay-code engine package deal in Mustang or Fairlane phrases (minus the Traction Lok), however for the Falcon, it was merely conveyed as code 992. And it was solely provided in Canada. No American-built Falcons have been constructed with the package deal, and the Okay-code was by no means formally obtainable with it north of the border.

Nick Brouwer was a fan of the racecar Instructor’s Pet again in the 1960s and was “thrilled” when he was capable of purchase it in 2003.

As with different manufacturing unit high-performance packages of the day, the intent was to make the automotive authorized in NHRA Inventory Eliminator racing. Drawback was, solely seven of the automobiles have been constructed by Ford at the Oakville, Ontario, meeting plant: three pillared coupes and 4 hardtops, like this one. NHRA demanded at the very least 50 to qualify for a Inventory Eliminator class. In consequence, they have been relegated to the Manufacturing unit Experimental (FX) class.

Though the unique is lengthy gone, the engine is an internally genuine 289 Hi-Po, dressed with extra modern induction elements.

Understanding the automobiles would go straight to the strip, Ford truncated the regular two-year/ 24,000-mile guarantee to 90 days/Four,000 miles.

A contemporary, Fast Gasoline-prepared 750-cfm four-barrel atop an Edelbrock aluminum consumption takes the place as we speak of the unique 600-cfm Holley and iron consumption of the unique 271hp engine.

Racing the automotive was the very purpose Thompson ordered the Hi-Po Falcon. He wasted little time in attaching a tow bar and pulling it to dragstrips round Ontario, typically bringing house trophies for his weekend’s work. For the first couple of years, Thompson was sponsored by an area store named Weston Race and Customized. When the sponsorship cash dried up, he dubbed the automotive Instructor’s Pet and soldiered on independently.

All advised, Thompson campaigned Instructor’s Pet for about eight years, sometimes operating in the mid- and low-13s. He even labored his method by way of a 24-car class area, together with a 390-powered Galaxie in the remaining spherical, to win the Niagara Gold Cup Nationals in 1969 at Niagara Dragway. It was one of 30 trophies the automotive earned in its eight years on the strip.

The restored inside matches the unique, well-trimmed Futura cabin in Palomino, together with the bucket seats and console.

It’s no shock Thompson was capable of drive round so many rivals. With a curb weight of proper round 2,800 kilos, the automotive had a robust power-to-weight ratio of round 10.7:1. The 1965 Nova SS, by comparability, tipped the scales almost 200 kilos heavier, and its 327 engine was down 20 hp to the 289 Hi-Po.

Because it did many racers of the day, the creation of bracket racing prompted Thompson to place away his helmet. He bought Instructor’s Pet in 1973, and it modified palms a quantity of occasions earlier than Nick Brouwer acquired it in 2003. Greater than a fan of the manufacturing unit Hi-Po Falcons, nevertheless, Brouwer was a fan of the racecar.

A Hurst-shifted, close-ratio four-speed was commonplace fare with the 289 Hi-Po engine and might be matched with a variety of rear-axle gears, as much as Four.11.

“Starting around 1967 and for the next couple of years, I would walk past the car every day on my way to school,” says Brouwer. “Graeme worked on the car in his driveway. I don’t think the rest of his neighbors appreciated that, but I sure did.”

Brouwer even noticed the automotive run at Golden Horseshoe Dragway (later renamed Toronto Worldwide Dragway), then watched it drive round his hometown after Thompson bought it, as a succession of his associates traded possession. Though the automotive stayed native for some time, it will definitely moved away. However not too far. Brouwer acknowledged it instantly when it popped up in an area dealer publication in 2003.

The 60-series, 15-inch drag radials fill out the inventory rear fenders, whereas a set of CalTrac bars used with the inventory rear leaf springs hold axle hop to a minimal.

He says, “It had been painted black from the original Prairie Bronze, and the Palomino interior had also been changed to black, but it was definitely the Teacher’s Pet. I was thrilled to buy it. What it really deserved was to be restored to its original racing condition.”

Thankfully, the automotive’s early years as a devoted monitor software stored it off the road in the salted months, serving to protect the physique. The miles have been comparatively low, too. Thus far, the odometer exhibits 54,800 miles, the first few thousand, as it’s stated, racked up a quarter-mile at a time. The unique shade was resprayed, and momentary copy “Teacher’s Pet” graphics have been added to the sides. They have been finally eliminated, and discreet variations of the racecar identify now reside on the rear quarter-windows. It’s a delicate however figuring out tribute to the automotive’s heritage.

The automotive additionally rolls on up to date wheels and tires, however it carries that basic big-and-little dragstrip stance. With a deep oil pan and a set of CalTrac bars out again, the impact is a pleasant mix of restomod and classic drag automotive. Frankly, we simply don’t see many Falcons with such a glance, and it’s refreshing.

The unique “Teacher’s Pet” graphics are honored in quarter-window decals.

Like so many devoted racecars of that golden period, the unique 289 Hi-Po engine had expired lengthy earlier than, and a alternative engine was nestled between the shock towers. Brouwer had an accurate alternative construct that includes all of the 271hp goodies, together with a solid-lifter camshaft, heads with smaller chambers that supported a 10.5:1 compression ratio, a dual-points distributor, the applicable crankshaft, and extra. It was all to allow 6,000-rpm engine speeds, and it was a potent mixture.

Classic participation stickers present that the uncommon Falcon acquired round in the early 1980s. The Road Machine Nats have been in Indianapolis in 1981, whereas the Movement occasion was a Toronto present that ran from 1974 to 1989.

Externally, the engine varies barely at the moment, with an Edelbrock Victor Jr. aluminum consumption, a Fast Gasoline 750-cfm Holley, finned valve covers, and some different bolt-on gadgets.

After the restoration was full, Instructor’s Pet was displayed at the 2008 Velocity-O-Rama in Toronto, in addition to the Toronto Efficiency World Automotive Present, the place Brouwer reunited it with Thompson for the first time in many years.

“It was a great moment,” he says. “And after the show, I took the car over to Graeme’s house. He still lived in the same one I walked by more than 40 years earlier. He and his son took the car out for a few blasts down the street. It was just like 1967 again.”

There’s not a Okay to be discovered on the Canadian knowledge plate. The 992 engine code doesn’t correspond with different normal engine codes for Canadian Fords and is an indicator of the special-order choice.

Brouwer has collected copious documentation on the automotive, together with pictures and notes of Thompson rebuilding the engine in his front room, a letter from NHRA indicating the low manufacturing excluded the automotive from Inventory Eliminator courses, and, curiously, a replica of the unique supplier bill, which was proven in the Jan. 2002 difficulty of MCR. It was half of a narrative on one other of the seven don’t-call-it-a-Okay-Code Hi-Po Falcons.

“I’m not sure how the invoice for my specific car ended up in the story, because it wasn’t for the car in the story,” Brouwer says. “But there it was, which prompted my contact to the magazine.”

For the document, we don’t know, both. It’s an MCR thriller courting again to the days when photograph shoots concerned a brick of Fujichrome slide movie and when flip telephones have been nonetheless a factor.

At the moment, the automotive is a component of Brouwer’s enviable muscle automotive assortment. To be trustworthy, his true penchant is for Mopars, however the Falcon is one of these automobiles that, like many of us, has burned into the mind: the muscle automotive you noticed in your adolescence that you simply simply needed to have in the future. Brouwer made that occur, with one of the rarest high-performance Fords on both aspect of the U.S./Canada border.

At a Look
1965 Falcon Hi-Po
Owned by: Nick Brouwer
Restored by: Chris’s Auto Physique (ext. and int.); Autoserv 98 (engine)
Engine: 289ci/271hp Hi-Po V-Eight
Transmission: Prime Loader close-ratio Four-speed guide
Rearend: 9-inch with Traction Lok (Detroit anti-spin) differential and Four.11 gears
Inside: Palomino vinyl bucket seats with middle console and Hurst shifter
Wheels: 15-inch Cragar Road Professional five-slot
Tires: 5.60-15 entrance runner entrance, P235/60R15 Mickey Thompson ET Road R rear
Particular elements: Manufacturing unit efficiency package deal with 289 Hi-Po engine and driveline, together with transmission; 9-inch rear axle with limited-slip differential; heavy-duty suspension; heavy-duty 10-inch drum brakes

Racing Days

Unique proprietor Graeme Thompson confirmed the automotive in 1966 at the Velocity-O-Rama automotive present. It’s the similar occasion at which present proprietor Nick Brouwer reintroduced the automotive to Thompson in 2008.Graeme Thompson, a physics instructor himself, hand-painted the lab-coat-wearing namesake character on the Falcon’s flanks, circa 1968.Instructor’s Pet at Cayuga Dragway (now half of Toronto Motorsports Park), circa 1968 or 1969. Word the full home for the heads-up motion.Right here’s the letter from NHRA tech director W.E. Dismuke indicating that the low manufacturing price of the 271hp Falcons would maintain them out of Inventory Eliminator and push them to Manufacturing unit Experimental.

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