- The Washington Times - Friday, February 9, 2001

Despite the shaky start Phil Boyer had with Ford Falcons he persevered until today when he can correctly be classified as a Falcon fanatic.
He bought his starter Falcon, a 1965 model, in 1975. "I paid $200 for it," Mr. Boyer remembers.
After a stint in the military he came back to Maryland and his Falcon. By 1981 he married and was moving into an apartment with his bride, Debbie.
When the last load had been emptied from the car and trundled into their apartment Mr. Boyer went back outside to discover his Falcon had been stolen.
Fortunately, the police found it later that same day. Because the car was never the same, Mr. Boyer sold it after a year. Nevertheless, he never got over that car.
Seventeen years later he decided he needed another Falcon and fought a two-door sedan. Located in Damascus and in so-so condition, it was brought home and work began.
A couple of months went by. One June evening in 1998 Mr. Boyer was surfing the Web. He checked out one auto-related Web site at 9 o'clock on Monday and, not finding anything of interest, went on to other sites.
For some unexplained reason at 9:15 he checked back with the first Web site he visited 15 minutes earlier. This time he found a 1965 Ford Falcon Futura Sprint being offered. "It wasn't there at 9 and at 9:15 it popped up," an incredulous Mr. Boyer exclaims.
The car was a two-door hardtop residing in Austin, Texas. Fifteen minutes later, at 9:30 p.m., Mr. Boyer was on the horn to Texas.
After a brief chat with the owner the Falcon sounded like his dream car. "The owner said he had just posted the car on the Internet minutes before," Mr. Boyer recalls. By 10 that same night, only 45 minutes after he first saw the cyber-ad, Mr. Boyer had tickets on a Southwest Airlines flight leaving in eight hours.
Mr. Boyer, an elevator and escalator installer, called his employer to say he'd be out of town for a few days.
Tuesday morning he flew off to Texas. He was met at the airport by the Falcon owner who had not expected such a rapid response. The car was not totally assembled when Mr. Boyer first saw it at 1 p.m.
Impressed with what he saw, he and the owner worked together to make the car roadworthy.
The carburetor was reattached and the driver's seat was bolted in place. A temporary temperature gauge was installed and a manual transmission was loaded into the space normally occupied by the back seat.
At 11 p.m. Tuesday Mr. Boyer fired up the Falcon and, though running low on sleep, headed for his Maryland home, 1,700 miles away.
Along the way he broke down in Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee. In North Carolina he took a break from the rigors of the trip at his father's home.
He needed a respite since his odyssey included:
A chewed up tire at 4:30 a.m.
Lug nuts overtightened by an air gun.
Failed automatic transmission main seal.
Leaking fuel pump.
Four new 6.95x14-inch tires.
New spark plugs.
In-line fuel filter.
On Wednesday, every few miles in the rain while approaching Nashville, Tenn., he had to repeatedly disconnect the fuel line and suck on it to get the fuel flowing again.
Thursday night he arrived at his father's home in Sparta, N.C., and got his first full night of sleep since Monday.
After recharging his personal batteries Mr. Boyer pressed on and arrived in Laurel on Saturday about 2 p.m.
Mrs. Boyer could hardly believe her eyes: The first thing her husband did after the arduous trip was to get the hose and bucket and wash his newly acquired Falcon.
When cleaned and polished the "Vintage Burgundy" Sprint was highlighted by the spear on the sides of "Wimbledon White."
Mr. Boyer discovered that Ford manufactured just 2,806 Falcon Sprint models like his. Each one carried a base price of $2,337.
Additionally, he learned that his car was built in Los Angeles on Jan. 12, 1965, and left the factory with a manual transmission. The exact details are sketchy, but he believes that after the car left California it was taken to Mississippi before the man who sold it to him took it to Texas. There it stayed for 11 years. Somewhere along the line the original transmission had been substituted with an automatic. He has since reinstalled a manual transmission.
The 2,749-pound weight is spread across the 15-foot, 10-inch length of the car supported on a 109.5-inch wheelbase.
Mr. Boyer's Falcon Sprint is powered by a healthy 289-cubic-inch V-8 capped with a two-barrel carburetor. Power is controlled by a four-speed manual floor shift set in a console.
On either side of the console is a bucket seat upholstered in black to match the rest of the interior. The dashboard is crowned with a 6,000 rpm tachometer with a redline of 5,000 rpm. An AM radio occupies the center of the dashboard.
Only Sprint models were dressed up with special "Sprint" rocker panels, as well as "Sprint" emblems for each front fender. Under the hood Falcon Sprints have the air cleaner and both valve covers painted a gold color.
Since Mr. Boyer has had his Falcon Sprint he has steadily worked on restoring the car to the condition it was in when it was new. All the brightwork has, he says, either been replated, repolished or replaced.
All the windows have been removed in order to replace gaskets and seals. The aluminum grille wasn't in bad shape, but Mr. Boyer found a better one at a Pennsylvania swap meet. Because the original fake wire wheel covers needed attention, he found four in Washington state and another pair in Frederick, Md. From the six he made four very handsome wheel covers. They fit beautifully on the four new wheels he purchased.
Since the Falcon Sprint has arrived at its current condition Mr. Boyer has driven it to shows in Connecticut and North Carolina.
On such trips Mr. Boyer keeps an eye on the 120 mph speedometer. "It'll do that," he said, "but it's bouncing with these shocks and springs."

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