In the Garage: The Falcon Lives, Sort Of (Part 2)

In the first Falcon post, I gave a little history on how I came across the bird and the first few years of its life when I had it. Now it’s time for part 2: engine swap time! I build an engine in tech school and started to drop it in, but I ran into a bunch of problems and made a metric TON (tonne?) of rookie mistakes. Those myriad mistakes meant the swap never got finished while I was at school, so I dragged the old girl home and let her sit for WAY too long (I have several pages of excuses why). Apologies for the lack of pictures in this article; I didn’t take as many pictures back then and frankly didn’t care much about documenting my automotive tomfoolery. What lessons time teaches us, but I digress…

A few years went by and I met a girl while we were in college and I decided to go and get married! College was a crazy busy time for me (more excuses, I know), and I never did any real work on the car. I dinked around with it a little but never made any real progress. My then-fiancé always loved the little car, and we decided it would be really cool if we could drive away from our wedding in it. What a girl right?! I knew I’d found the right one for sure!

After many months of it sitting dormant, I dragged the Falcon back down to the shop and blew the dust off of my SAE wrenches and tried to make sense of what I had done previously. I ended up having to pull the engine out and re-ring it because of the rust in the cylinder walls.

Coming down to the wire, I told my fiancé that I didn’t know if the bird would fly on our wedding day or not and that we may just have to take the Jeep. She kept encouraging me to get it ready and saying that it meant a lot to her, so I pulled a bunch of late nights with some friends and finally got the car pieced together enough to limp to the church and back. I was working on the car at 10 AM the day of our wedding which was scheduled for 2:30 PM.

Turns out that my girl had gotten me a really detailed scale model of our Falcon which she decorated for the occasion.


The Falcon was pretty much part of the wedding party, we just couldn’t fit her inside the church! The decorations were tasteful and not harmful to the car. I threatened our wedding party with their lives if they hurt the car, and my fiancé was 100% on board.


The only right way to leave a wedding in a piece of old American iron with a V8 was with a burnout. Peg-leg burnouts for now, but a limited slip is in the future (somewhere…).


We drove a couple miles to the service station that my Papaw owned for 30+ years for the last few wedding photos. We faked a breakdown, but I really did pick up a nail in the left rear tire and had to hurry home pretty quickly before I lost all the air (obviously I didn’t have a spare because that would be way too much preparation). Pic9Pic8 copy

I drove (flew?) the old bird home and parked her for a while. Are you seeing a theme here? That takes us to part three. Stay tuned and Happy Wrenching!

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