published Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

First Falcons Club show set for Chattanooga Choo Choo - Oct. 4-5

IF YOU GO

* What: Falcon Club of America Choo-Choo Regional and Old Ford Show.

* When: Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4-5.

* Where: Chattanooga Choo Choo, 1400 Market St.

* Admission: $25 to enter, free to view cars.

* Website: www.tnfalcons.com/2013TVFCRegional.htm.

CAMARO CLUB SHOW

Scenic City Camaro Club will present Showdown in the Scenic City, an open car show and fall festival, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Mountain View Chevrolet, 310 E. 20th St. The event includes arts and crafts, food, children's activities, raffles, live music, trophies in all classes and a grand trophy showdown between Chevrolet and Ford. Car entry fee is $15. Spectators get in free. Proceeds benefit T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger. Find out more at www.scccevents.com.

Mary Wagner says the first car she and her husband, Dave, had after their marriage was a 1965 Ford Falcon convertible, so she’s always been a little partial to the model.

Their Falcon was totaled when it was hit by a pickup truck in 1971, and it took them almost 25 years to get another one.

Once the Wagners bought another Falcon, they didn’t stop there. Today, they have four: a 1965 Futura convertible the same color as the one that was totaled and one they plan to restore, a 1964 hardtop, a 1965 Sprint convertible and a 1967 sports coupe.

When the couple retired and moved back to the Chattanooga area, they started the Tennessee Valley Falcon Chapter of the Falcon Club of America.

On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4-5, the club, which now has 53 members, will host its first regional show, the Choo-Choo Regional and Old Ford Show, at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

As of late last week, 62 cars from 18 states, including Delaware and Texas, were registered. Entry categories include Stock, Lite Modified, Modified, Daily or Occasionally Driven, Old Ford and Master. A popular vote of entrants will determine winners in each category.

The Falcon, an early economy car, was produced in the United States from 1960 to 1970. Over its lifespan, it was offered in a wide range of body styles, including two-door and four-door sedans, two-door and four-door station wagons, two-door hardtops, convertibles, a sedan delivery car, station wagon and the Ranchero pickup.

Many of those body styles and most years of the model will be on display this weekend. Among the non-Falcon models are a 1948 Ford F-1 pickup truck, 1957 Ford Skyliner, 1963 Mercury Meteor S-33, 1965 Mercury Comet (sister of the Falcon), 1967 Ford Mustang and 1968 Mercury Cougar.

The cars also may be glimpsed on Friday, in addition to the Choo Choo, at Coker Tire Museum and the International Towing and Recovery Museum, both of which owners will visit, and Saturday in the Choo Choo’s rear parking lot.

Even “Tonight Show” host and car fancier Jay Leno includes the Falcon among his favorites. He owns a two-door, white 1963 1/2 Falcon Sprint with red interior, a car he says he has “fantasized about since I was a kid.”

Nearly 50 years after he first dreamed of owning such a car, he said on an episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage,” he bought one outfitted like the one in his dreams.

“I drove one of these when I was a kid,” Leno said, “and I just thought it was the greatest car in the world.”

The Falcon, according to Wagner, may have even more of a legacy than many people realize. Its frame design and drivetrain were used for the original 1964 1/2 Mustang, which swept the nation in popularity when it was released.

Contact Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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