We joined the Falcon, Fairlane, Comet Club in 2001, after having to find a replacement for our 1982 Honda station wagon. Iíve always had an attachment to Hondas, since being a small car demolition derby, rollover and Figure 8 driver. Hondas are tough little cars. I had one Honda station wagon that endured four 1st place wins, and then ended its life with a 5th place standing. My ďPatty WagonĒ was particularly mangled at the end. But the racing ended, and those types of Hondas are nearly 25 years old now. We needed reliable vehicle to get me to work and back. Anything that was newer wasnít in our budget, and there werenít very many newer cars to choose from that had low miles and would be reliable, and also not too hard to work on. Then we thought we would look at some older vehicles. We went to see a 1961 Ford Galaxie. It was a nice car, but was going to need some serious bodywork in the near future. Then the Classic Car Show & Auction came up at the Abbotsford Tradex. We went to see the show, and then checked out the cars in the auction. Out of all of them, the little 1961 Ford Falcon 2dr just jumped out and said Ďtake me homeí. What a perfect car. The size is great because the car fits into ever shrinking parking lot spaces, the drive train is simple to work on, and it gets very reasonable gas mileage. We ended up staying around to the end of the day and buying the car. After the gavel fell, Mr. Joe Cardosa, one of the infamous founding members of the Falcon Club came up to us to introduce himself as the owner of the car. He had included a whole trunk full of extra parts and pieces, and said he would drop off an original pushbutton radio, too. Some of the cars we have seen since donít even come close to the quality or value of our little white Falcon. He told us when the next club meeting was.
So that is how we came to join the Canadian Fairlane, Falcon and Comet Club. The Falcon bug has since bitten us again. We came across a 1961 Falcon 4-dr. It was a reasonable price, was in good shape, so we bought it with the purpose of driving it in the winter, and keeping the 2-dr out of the salt. The car had suffered from a carburetor fire, so we replaced the motor with a 200ci motor out of a 1966 mustang that my Dad found for a $100. Then last year, we dragged home a 1962 Falcon 2dr station wagon from a wrecking yard in Clinton. It had no rust, no tranny, a seized motor, and no front suspension. The front end went in from a í62 Falcon we bought for spare parts, and the engine will either be a 200ci straight 6 out of a Comet or the 289ci out of Grantís brotherís í65 Comet. The tranny is a C4 automatic from the 66 Mustang motor we collected a few years ago. Grant has fixed the dents; the car is running now, with brand new brakes and front suspension. We still need a few trim pieces and a better grill. Grant painted it flat black recently.
Clubs are a great place to meet new people with a common interest. Grant and I met in the British Motorcycle Owners club after I joined it to get more information about my 1958 Triumph. He had belonged to the club since 1993. We both had a lot of motorcycles in common. We decided to get married in September 1998. Our wedding vehicles werenít Falcons, but they were old. The hall where the wedding was held was about 2 miles from my parentsí house. So on the afternoon of the wedding, my father drove me to the hall on my í58 Triumph with me on the back in my long wedding dress I had just finished that morning, and with a white lace covered helmet. Grantís fully restored 1951 BSA 500 Star Twin and my 1958 Triumph 650 Trophy were on either side of us during the ceremony.
Actually, weíve acquired more motorbikes since we got married. We now have a total of 12. They are all pre-1975. The oldest is a 1918 Cleveland. Itís basically a basket case consisting of a frame, a 4 Ĺ HP single cylinder 2-stroke engine and some tires. Give us a few years, and it will be restored to as close to original condition as we can. The strangest is the 1975 Ish Planeta 350cc. It is a Russian 2-stroke single cylinder bike that only had 250 miles on it when we bought it. We have the Ď51 BSA and Ď58 Triumph on vintage plates, a 1970 and 1971 Triumph on collector plates, a 1973 Triumph Trident triple that is just finished being restored, a couple little 1960ís Japanese bikes that are ready to license but arenít restored, and the remainder are needing a fair amount of work.
Those are our motorcycles. Our other passion is automobiles. Grant bought his 1941 Plymouth Businessmanís 4dr Sedan in 1980. It had been involved in a rear end accident in the 1960ís. Grant welded a whole new back end on the car and got it running. It doesnít get out much so it needs a bit of brake work now, and a new interior. I bought a 1971 Honda N600 in 1996. It has a 600cc air-cooled motorcycle engine in it, and looks like itís a direct copy of the Austin Mini. We had a 1956 International pickup for a while, but it was taking up valuable space in the back yard that we needed for Falcon parts cars.
We come by our interest in vehicles honestly. Both my father and Grantís father have had bikes and cars for years. My father actually belonged to the Falcon club until he sold his 1962 Falcon. We go to a lot of swap meets, and every few years itís for something different, until that project gets finished. We both get things done on the vehicles. Iím a machinist, so I can make valve guides, bushings and spacers, and I made a new clutch basket for Grantís í51 BSA. There arenít many parts available for some of our bikes anymore. Grant puts all the parts together, does bodywork, paints, and finishes most of the work. I usually help him with putting difficult parts together that need more than 2 hands. I recovered the front seats on the Ď61 Falcon. Itís not a great job, but maybe someday I will take a proper upholstery course. Then we can redo the station wagon. Grant has been working in construction for 20 years now, and I have been machining for 15, both of us straight out of high school.
We seem to be a little shorter on time to get things done. We had our son 20 months ago, and Iíve gone back to work now. Austin will hopefully carry on where we have left off, if we donít get all our projects done. He already likes to drive the 61 Falcon; he sits in the front seat and steers away. Heís a real joy.
So this is our member profile. So far we have truly enjoyed the company and help and expertise of a lot of people in the club. But then, isnít that what clubs are for?