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Old April 15th, 2014, 05:41 PM
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ew1usnr ew1usnr is offline
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1953 Willys Aero Falcon!

Holy cow!

Willys sold a compact economy car called the Aero Falcon in 1953!

"The Willys Aero is a car that is all-too easily pushed into the rustier memory banks of the mind. And yet it’s such an utterly remarkable car: a thoroughly state-of-the art compact/mid sized American car, light-weight with unit construction, with a small six cylinder engine, and offering excellent handling, performance and economy. It almost perfectly predicted the compacts that would appear shortly after it disappeared; it even predicted their names: in addition to the Aero-Lark, there was also the Aero-Falcon. Just no Aero-Valiant."

Proposed by the distinguished ex-Packard engineer Clyde Patton, and styled by Phil Wright, the Aero was a fully unitized construction design, sitting on a 108″ wheelbase. Its size and dimensions almost perfectly predict the compacts that came down the pike shortly after, from the 108″ wheelbase Ramblers, to the 108.5″ wb Lark, the 109.5″ wb Falcon, as well as the Corvair and Valiant. The Aero’s 181″ length is identical to the original Falcon too, but with two more inches of width (72″), it was a bit wider and closer to offering that six-passenger room Americans wanted. Listed weight was between 2500 and 2600 lbs. Its handling was considered to be particularly advantageous, and its coil-spring front suspension and conventional leaf-spring rear end gave it a decent level of riding comfort.

The Falcon was a lower priced Aero and had a 75 hp flathead Lightning inline six. The higher level Aero Ace had a 90 hp F-head Hurricane inline six. "The Aero also gave excellent performance, due to its favorable power-to-weight ratio, especially with the more powerful of its two engines. The 161 CID (2.6 L) inline six came in two versions: the Lightning, a 75 hp side valve (flat head) for the lower trim lines like this Lark and the Falcon." "The higher end models (Aero-Wing, Aero-Ace, Aero-Eagle) were blessed with the Hurricane, an F-Head conversion of the little six . With its better breathing, it made 90 hp, which is five more than the 1960 (Ford) Falcon.":


Wikipedia says: "Owners of the 1952 model tended to buy the cars for their good fuel economy. They tended to find acceleration to be 'very good', unsurprising given the cars had the best power-to-weight ratio among US production cars. The primary complaint from two-door owners was the difficulty of access to the rear seat. Many felt the cars cost too much, even if they were a bargain on performance for cost grounds. Floyd Clymer noted the car was quite capable of comfortably cruising at highway speeds of 80–90 miles per hour."[
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willys_Aero

What made me look all of this this up was I saw a really cute 1952 Willys Aero Ace on a used car lot in Bartow today. I didn't know what it was and was surprised to find that it was a Willys.
Dennis Pierson
Tampa, FL
"The Wonder Falcon"

'63 Futura Hardtop (260, Ford-O-Matic, bench seat)

Last edited by ew1usnr; April 15th, 2014 at 07:11 PM.
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