Here’s an example where less is truly more.
When he saw an over-accessorized 1963½ Falcon Sprint at a car show, Norm Schmidt winced. But as he drew nearer he saw a For Sale sign and realized the car was worth rescuing.
“I bought it at a car show and it had a continental kit and fender skirts and was probably the ugliest car I have ever seen!” says Schmidt laughing.
“I brought it home and within 45 minutes my son and I had the continental kit taken off, fender skirts taken off, exhaust shortened 18 inches, and bumper put back on. Then it looked like a real car again.”
Schmidt already had a couple of cars to take to the local shows but bought the Falcon with his son in mind.
“I bought the car for my son because he didn’t like our V8 Vega. He wouldn’t even drive it. I wanted him to have a car to go to the car shows and he really likes this car. It’s very comfortable to drive. It a 302 V8 with a C4 automatic. When it was new it came with a 260 V8 and a Fordomatic transmission. Because it was a V8 it came with an 8 inch rear end with a 5 lug pattern.”
Removing the fender skirts and continental kit made the car look so much better Schmidt decided to go with the flow and try a clean custom look.
“The car was pretty straight and it’s a very attractive body style but we wanted to do something different. So we took off all of the chrome molding. The V8 Sprint has a lot of trim on the side and a lot of emblems and badging. We shaved the door handles, the trunk, the gas filler and the rocker panels. The only chrome we left was the new rechromed hood scoop and the rechromed bumpers. We had all of the stainless steel polished, put in a new windshield, and painted it viper red.
“It already had a velour interior--stock would be naugahyde. The purists don’t like the interior but aftermarket people do. It was an easy way to hot rod the car to make it look like a chopped Chevy or a Merc. And it was a lot more affordable,” says Schmidt.
Schmidt fabricated the taillights from 1967-72 Chevy Truck LED taillights with new Falcon bezels. And with few exceptions the car is done but he has another project waiting in the wings.
“I think the car has a nice stance and presence. It has a really nice design and it’s fun to drive. And it’s easy for my son to drive. While driving it people have yelled at him, “That’s the best Falcon I’ve every seen!” I’ve always been a Chevy person but Ford Falcons have an advantage, they’re cheaper! Compared to a Nova or a Camaro, a Falcon is very affordable. I bought a two door Falcon station wagon which is very rare and that’s the next project we’ll be working on.”