First ride in the Falcon. Neil Yessick is a hot rodder. To be clear, he lives in the south (Alabama), but his heart is definitely West Coast. Here is a list of what Neil loves:
- Flat Hot Rod paint
- Tunnel Rams and Carburetors
- Hilborn Injectors
- Von Dutch style pin stripes
- Vintage stickers in the back window
- Sedans with a post for strength and stability
- Steelies and hub caps (hub caps optional)
- High in the front, low in the back rods
- High in the back, low in the front rods
- Lowered all the way rods
- Hot Rod jackets with real patches
- Exhaust systems you can feel through the ground
- Any wagon resembling any of these things from the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s.
|Neil Yessick at home behind the wheel of his ’62 Falcon wagon.|
All these things we know about Neil, so it did not surprise us at all when he located a non-running 1962 Ford Falcon wagon in need of a new home. Neil thought his home would be just fine. Sold. A little driveway tinkering and this flat black beast roared to life.
This is why we love this guy. Instead of jumping right in and hitting the road, he calls me and offers the job of riding first mate. Me, at shotgun for the maiden voyage.
“Stay right there!,” I yelled into the phone, as I scrambled for car keys and a camera to document this monumental, and experimental ride that I will never forget.
|Gauge cluster is amazingly clean. It was surely removed and cleaned, but it|
has mysteries. Like why would you put that much work into a cluster and
not connect the speedo? A little Car Guy CSI is in order – I know just the detective for the case!
We hit the road like the excited car guys we are. A driveway gravel skid test for the brakes, which it passed (kind of). Bad fuel in the tank? We could smell it. Unsure of exactly how much old gas we had, because the gauges are not working yet. This made us even braver* as we took to beautiful country roads as the sun was going down.
Do we have lights? I guess we should have checked, but there was no time for those shenanigans. We had a hot rod Falcon wagon that demanded that we drive it!
|Bare bones on the road! Note the extra trim Neil found in the Falcon.|
The inline 6 cylinder, packing 170 cubic inches and automatic transmission combination performed flawlessly! It wasn’t smoking or ticking, other than a leaky exhaust system. The manual steering wasn’t bad. I really enjoyed the drive.
Neil managed to find a small and light weight car with a lot of room and a ton of character. Our favorite part... it’s a wagon! We love wagons.
|*Editor’s note: Is “brave” really the word we are looking for here?|
Future plans include a little interior work for comfort and a calendar full of plans and events to enjoy the wagon way. I know Neil, and I expect to hear of him tossing a V8 in there at some point, but no hurry. This 6 cylinder runs great and has a lot of miles left.
We welcome Neil to the vintage wagon family!
— Junkyard Life
|We were also plagued by an electrical gremlin that found it funny to arbitrarily turn on and off the interior lights. We shall banish the little prankster from the car.|
|Red steelies and hub caps on the 1962 Ford Falcon wagon – almost perfect. These are of the 13-inch variety. Neil plans on a 5-lug 15-inch wheel conversion.|
|Neil named the ‘62 Falcon, Loretta, after the raven-haired Loretta Lynn.|
|4-door Ford Falcon station wagons sold for around $2,400 when new, in 1962.|
|A 1962 Ford Falcon station wagon rides again.|