Ryan Upham's - Ford Falcon.
Updated: Aug 21, 2022
This is my vintage inspired, road race falcon that started life in my possession as a rat rod that couldn’t be driven with out something rubbing....horribly, lol. After being motivated by the Hollman and Moody challenger Falcon race car that was built to take on the European road race cars in the 62 season. It was time to grab the sawzall and get going. The important advice I received from my grandfather in law was not to try and do so much at once where I can’t drive the car for months or even years on end and I’ve continued to practice that to this day. What started as a fender radius job quickly became a entire front and rear suspension overhaul. Being an avid wheel to wheel racing driver I knew what I wanted the car to achieve. It was just down to marrying the few parts available with all the parts we had to modify as people commonly say mustangs and Falcons are the same, unfortunately they are not in every aspect. The benefit to actively racing and knowing the procedure to set a race car up allowed me to focus on what I felt the car needed piece by piece all the while driving It almost every weekend. The cars original goal was to maintain a vintage style / legal suspension as visceral feed back was key, I wanted it to feel like a 62 race car. The rear still uses leaf springs custom fit from mmi for a mustang, bilstein shocks, and a complete custom adjustable pan hard bar. The front at first was all modified oem style, but recently went to a coilover conversion from street or track. What I loved about it was I felt it took an approach that in racing series rule books would call “grey area” as its a compete adjustable set up with a bilstein coilover that goes through the upper control arm and mounts to the lower, but all other suspension pick up points are oem / stock. From there the last big thing we did was retrofit a custom power steering conversion utilizing a borgeson close ratio steering box, bearing mount idler and pitman arms, and lastly a 12v powered hydraulic stand alone power steering pump from Mercedes. The cars stand out all steel wide body kit is actually the result of being hit by another driver, while pushing the car after it (I) ran out of gas one day, lol . A good friend at of mine, owner of Dempsey kustoms sculpted the flares with steel rod and welded steel over the top all while tubbing the wells. It was a process of back and forth as I had this idea of “my” perfection and how the flares covered the wheel. Knowing I’m a huge fan of road racing and race a newer car he wanted to add some of that to the design. We ended up on the rear lower fender cut outs as seen on current fia GT3 spec race cars, all formed with hammers and age old forming and shrinking techniques. To finish off the look basset 15” x 10” circle track race wheels delivered the look I envisioned from day 1. As far as Paint goes I wanted something subtle but loud. The hellcat cars came with that destroyer grey and it just fit the bill perfectly. You’ll notice the hood it’s a different color, when I first got the car I only had a budget to vinyl wrap it. When it went in for paint I was adamant to keep it the way it was to remember the car as it was to me at that time. Last add ons are the Louver vents on the hood, and the Ford stripe on the side that replicates a Shelby look, but if you look close it’s the same font and size as used by the porsche 911s. We can’t not talk about the power and drivetrain. The falcon sports a modified 69 Ford 302, aluminum heads, cam, and all supporting mods. Worth mentioning, this is and always will run a carb. Good old Holley Classic DP 600cfm. This adds to the complete visceral experience, it’s a different car as temperature swings and I love it. Exhaust is side exit spin tech mufflers and are their for a reason. With the pan hard bar in place the over axle exhaust was out of the question. We also run a Ford Motorsport T5z tranny and built Ford 8”. Braking is Kelsey Hayes period non power 4 piston discs up front and enlarged drums in the rear. Lastly the interior is clean and filled with everything you need and nothing you don’t. No dash cover, custom door cards removing the arm rests and ash trays abs and some of the loud 60s styling, but we did add 911 gt3 rs style door pulls. They call this body style the round body falcon and it you pay attention to the details the subtle hints circle around this (dad joke, lol) the shifter, momo prototipo, seat vents, obviously the gauges and dash mounted tach it all flows. Even looking at the exterior the shape of the flares follows the wheels exactly to amplify the round body and it flows with the rear shape of the car.