Your Projects: The Flying Monkey Bus, a Vintage Ford Falcon Wagon

User jerrysarcastic admits that his 1967 Ford Falcon Wagon–dubbed the Flying Monkey Bus–isn't what comes to mind when asked to picture a "classic car with awesome handling," but that doesn't mean the wagon doesn't have the potential.

The Falcon landed in jerrysarcastic's ownership about 10 years ago back in the Cash-for-Clunker days when some people were eager to get rid of their old cars on the cheap. The Falcon wasn't the first choice, but with an open mind and some extra cash in hand, jerrysarcastic figured that it wouldn't hurt to look. Some 30 minutes later, a deal was made and the cash was handed over.

Normally, this is when all the upgrades start happening, but that's not exactly how it went. Instead, jerrysarcastic just enjoyed the Falcon for what it was: a comfortable, low-maintenance daily driver. The only problem? The handling was "scary at best."

Nonetheless, jerrysarcastic saw the potential of the Falcon. Since the platform was similar to that of the Mustang, many go-fast parts for the Mustang should, in theory, bolt onto the Falcon with little-to-no difficulty. The plan was to build up the Falcon into a competent driver, while still keeping the old-school vibe.

The front suspension was the first project tackled, replacing a lot of the worn-out suspension bits with new ones, while also upgrading to some better parts like heavy-duty springs and a thicker anti-roll bar. The A-arm pickup points were lowered as well. jerrysarcastic felt more confident driving now that the suspension has been improved.

Next on the list was to tidy up the engine bay and add a light modification in the form of a four-barrel carburetor.

Before:

After:

All projects end up hitting some kind of snag, but jerrysarcastic's was pretty big: packing up everything and moving from San Jose, California to Honolulu, Hawaii—a pretty significant move in our eyes. If you are worried about how this story goes, don't be. In a few weeks, jerrysarcastic was happily parking the Falcon out on the beach.

Now in Hawaii, it became clear that the adequate-for-Northern California cooling system was no match for the heat and humidity of the Big Island.

One Griffith radiator and some crafty bracket-making later (the landlords weren't too keen on welding sparks for some reason), jerrysarcastic had a pretty nice cooling system mounted. Wiring it took a bit of work since it was a little out of jerrysarcastic's comfort zone, but, thanks to some diagrams on the internet, the system works perfectly now.

A little while after getting the cooling system put together, jerrysarcastic decided it was best to rebuild the top end in order to improve some oil burning and low compression in the cylinders. To fix the oil burner and low compression, he replaced the heads, which he ported before installing. jerrysarcastic even put in the time to modify the existing valve covers to keep the engine looking stock—a total sleeper move.

This Falcon Wagon is well on its way to becoming something truly awesome, and we can't wait to see further updates. Also check out Jack Heideman's Ford Falcon Wagon prepped for CAM-T, and keep an eye out for it in the upcoming June issue of Grassroots Motorports.

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Comments
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jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter)
jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) New Reader
5/13/20 3:24 a.m.

I’m amused that the picture of my engine with stock parts looks just like my engine with speed parts. Mission accomplished!

Thanks for the shout out!

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