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A Falcon In Trans-Am?: '63 Ford Falcon

Michael Eisenberg Restores A Little-Known Piece Of SCCA History.

Photography by Don Gwynne, , Jim Taylor

Michael debuted the Falcon at the '07 Wine Country Classic Historic Trans-Am race at Infineon Raceway in Sears Point, California. Unfortunately, a loose fuel line cut short its day, and later, a sticking secondary throttle plate on the rear carburetor at its second event in Kent, Washington, prevented the car from taking the checkered flag. But by the final race of last year at the Coronado Speed Festival, the Falcon took flight, finishing Eighth out of 32 cars. At the awards banquet, Michael was bestowed the prestigious Coronado Speed Festival Founder's Cup for overall performance and presentation.

Beyond its pedigree and obvious strong race performance, it's clear why the Falcon has attracted attention. While most race cars quickly take on that shop-worn appearance, one glance at the interior tells you that Michael and the Maeco crew took their time with this resurrection. Like with any good effort, the details tell the story. With the exception of the red-painted floorpans devoid of carpet, this could easily have been a well-detailed street car. The 8,000-rpm factory-correct Rotunda tach is a cool touch, but so is the Falcon bucket seat upholstery emblem in the driver seat. And how many Trans-Am race cars have you seen with a fully upholstered back seat? While the famous-name cars will always take the spotlight with casual observers and historic note-takers, it's great to see little-guy racers having a chance to see their long-ago efforts recognized in such a spectacular fashion.

Back In The DayJim Taylor's Falcon became a race car almost from the day he bought it. Originally, he drag-raced it for a while and then sent it to Carter Maxwell Sports Car Service in Oklahoma City to convert the car to a road racer, complete with a raft of Shelby Mustang hardware. After a few regional SCCA races, he outfitted the car with the driving lights and went rally racing with some success. During Michael's Internet research into the history of the Falcon, he discovered a gentleman by the name of Don Gwynne from Arlington, Texas, who not only knew of the Falcon but also contributed a few action photos of it at an early Texas SCCA race-before the car was modified for rally racing. The event photos are from June 18 and 19, 1966, with the No. 71 on the door. This was before Jim went racing with the Trans-Am monsters. Michael has also been in contact with Jim Taylor, the car's original owner, who sent Michael the circa-1965 photo of Jim in his open-faced helmet when he was racing an Austin 850 (aka, the Mini), which was a popular rally car at the time.

Tech NotesWho: Michael EisenbergWhat: '63 1/2 Ford FalconWhere: Northridge, California, home of Maeco Motorsport and the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

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