A successful, multi-disciplined race history has inspired many buildups of Ford's humble Falcon, and yet it wasn't historical reverence that originally drew Randy Dunphy to the fold. Instead, it was a matter of dollars and cents. Dunphy began vintage road racing a '65 GT350 in the '90s, but soon concluded the potential of wrecking the car had too many financial implications—not to mention the uneasiness he felt about possibly balling up an irreplaceable piece of automotive history. "I learned that Edelbrock's Mike Eddy was building a '65 Falcon to road race, but had decided to sell it mid-stream. I bought the car to replace the Shelby, and turned it over to Dave Dralle to finish." That red racer has since brought plenty of smiles to Dunphy and other vintage Falcon fans, as it's been a front-running fixture in West Coast vintage grids for more than a decade now.
Considering its racing success, it isn't surprising that Dunphy went looking for another '65 Falcon when he wanted a nice street machine; frankly, he's a bit of a fanatic for the breed by now. Dunphy turned up this original black-on-black, four-speed Futura through a friend near Portland, Oregon, and initially intended to simply clean it up and drive it. Sure, how many times have we heard that one? Before long he had disassembled every nut and bolt, sent it out for media-blasting, and turned the hulk over to buddy Mike Gantz at Gantz Enterprises. Gantz performed the necessary bodywork before laying down a fresh coat of Raven Black in two-stage Deltron, and followed that up with restoration and reassembly of the rest of the bits and pieces.
This time around, Falcon performance history—both long-ago factory efforts, as well as Dunphy's current ride—would shape the build. Nothing was exactly replicated from the '63/'64 factory European rally cars, and yet those Monte Carlo racers were surely an inspiration. Take the dual quads, for example. Dunphy is running a pair of 390-cfm Holleys—modified for dual use by Carl's Ford Parts—whereas the '64 factory racers actually used twin Carters. The unique PS Engineering GT40 wheels surely look the part of a road racer as well, and guarantee the car won't be mistaken for any other Falcon on the road.
The induction choice is an interesting story unto itself, as Dunphy sorted through several single and dual four combinations to determine what was optimal for a Gantz-built small-block that displaces 327 cubes. Testing on a chassis dyno at Blood Enterprises in Auburn, Washington, revealed the 390 Holleys work fantastic on a '67 Ford Trans-Am dual-quad intake—outperforming modern four-barrels and larger dual-Holley setups while offering killer looks at the same time. The Holman Moody valve covers are new castings from the company that was intimately involved with Ford's Euro rally Falcon efforts, and pull the whole underhood theme together.
The rest of the '65 is consistent with Dunphy's desire for a comfortable street car that can still provide some thrills when leaned on. There's no need to get crazy, since this one's more about R&R on the off-weekends from racing, and yet items like Koni shocks, '65 Mustang Kelsey Hayes front discs/GT350 rear drums, and a close-ratio Top Loader assure plenty of competency and fun. We've also got a hunch that the owner's obvious driving skills make it faster around a track than you might otherwise expect. Regardless, Dunphy is pleased with the results, and credits ace wrench Freddy Jonsson for really dialing in the '65 upon completion. Great stuff all in all—we'll take one just like it, thank you!
Who: Randy Dunphy
What: 1965 Ford Falcon
Where: Kent, Washington
Engine: Dunphy turned up an ex- road-race motor from his friend Mike Gantz, which consisted of a standard-bore 302 block, a lightweight, knife-edged Moldex crank, and Carrillo rods. The engine was detuned considerably for the street using JE forged pistons for a 10.5:1 squeeze, a retrofit Comp hydraulic roller, and FRPP GT40X aluminum heads. On top sits a factory Ford dual-quad dual-plane originally designed for 1967's Trans-Am series, fitted with a pair of modified 390 Holleys from Carl's Ford Parts, and dyno- tuned by Blood Enterprises. Air cleaners are period-correct Stellings and Hellings repops.
Transmission: A close-ratio Top Loader is right at home in this original four-speed car, with a Centerforce clutch, pressure plate, McLeod aluminum flywheel, and Hurst linkage aiding the shifts.
Rearend: A narrowed 9-inch from Bill Scribner does duty out back, employing 3.70:1 gears, 31-spline Moser axles, and a Detroit Locker differential.
Chassis: A modified Mustang two-point hoop, subframe connectors, and a Monte Carlo bar add some extra rigidity to the Falcon's attractive hardtop unibody
Dunphy’s red ’65 vintage racer is understandably more radical than his black street car, w
Suspension: Straightforward vintage suspension is comprised of Scott Drake high-rate front coils and rear leafs, a 1-inch front sway bar, and Koni shocks. The rest is basically rebuilt stock-spec with urethane bushings.
Exhaust: Metallic, ceramic-coated 15⁄8-inch long-tube headers from Ford Powertrain Applications, 2.5-inch X-pipe, and Flowmaster muffs. FPA also makes Falcon-specific step headers with multiple cylinder-head flanges.
Brakes: Up front are four-piston Kelsey Hayes discs per an OEM '66 Mustang application. Wide GT350-style drums bring up the rear, with a dual-reservoir master cylinder refit and Wilwood's adjustable proportioning valve.
Wheels/Tires: The sweet-looking 15-inch wheels are "GT40" models from PSE—just 7 inches wide in light of the Falcon's diminutive wheelwells. Street tires are 225/60R15 BFG Radial T/As.
Interior: Dearborn Classics sourced the carpet and upholstery for the Futura spec bench seats, while the 3-inch GT350-style lap belts are from Tony Branda. An original four-speed car meant the tunnel box for the floor shifter was already in place, and Freddy Jonsson built the custom console and gauge pod to hold an array of Auto Meter gauges.
Paint and Body: Mike Gantz Enterprises prepped the car for body and paint after Dunphy disassembled the entire car and had it media-blasted to bare metal. Two-stage Deltron in the original Raven Black is contrasted by a custom silver in the cove. Fiberglass bumpers are from Dearborn Classics, with the front equipped with an R-model–type aluminum scoop by Freddy Jonsson. Jonsson also polished the myriad of stainless trim—much of it specific to '65s.