Saturday, November 10, 2012

1974 Ford Falcon Standard

"Falcon Standard. Calidad en acción!"

"Quality in action!"
, we think, is a nice advertisement claim, although there's perhaps not too much action anymore in this battered, 6-cylinder powered Ford. Most of Cuba's large cars come from Detroit, but there are quite a few exceptions to the rule. Meet the Ford Falcon, born in Argentina, but a familiar sight in Cuba, too. Ford was a longstanding investor in Argentina, producing cars there since 1917, but the troubles of the Second World War stopped the activities for almost two decades, as it became cheaper to import Fords directly from the US.

The production of the Ford Falcon in Argentina had pretty modest beginnings: to circumvent a ban on imported cars that the country had implemented between 1961 and 1978, Ford began shipping CKD kits – completely disassembled Falcons – to Argentina, and re-assembled them locally since 1962. Soon, the Falcon became one of the best selling cars in Argentina, and gave Ford good reason to install a proper production line. 30 years later, long after the Falcon was discontinued in the U.S., Ford of Argentina still produced the Falcon in its original shape. Although almost half a million Falcons had been built before the production ceased in 1991, the annual production figures never justified an complete overhaul. Ford just modernized the car occasionally and added some optical touch-ups to keep it in tune with the time's taste. The 1974 Falcon, pictured here, was the fourth facelift since 1962, and sported a straightened body, new rectangular head- and taillights and a reworked interior. The car, its proud owner told us, still runs on its original engine.

Despite the US-embargo, Ford of Argentina sold cars to Cuba until 1975, when the regulations were tightened, and also foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations became subject to approval by the U.S. Commerce Department and Treasury Department. This didn't avert Ford from doing business with the communist rebels, and several times, substantial amounts of Ford vehicles were sold via Argentina to Cuba – all approved by the U.S. government.

1 Kommentare:

Walter Ty said...

Juan Peron's second wife, Isabel, approved the exports of automobiles made by the Argentinian subsidiaries of Ford (Falcon), General Motors (Chevrolet Nova-based Chevy), & Chrysler (Hillman Avenger-based Dodge 1500) to Cuba in 1974, attracting criticism from Washington. These Argentinian-built vehicles were used as taxis & government service vehicles on the Caribbean island.