Roy Lange holds a picture of his 1963 Ford Falcon. The Chatfield barber bought the car after he gave up motorcycles, but is very glad he did.  GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPERS
Roy Lange holds a picture of his 1963 Ford Falcon. The Chatfield barber bought the car after he gave up motorcycles, but is very glad he did. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPERS

Roy Lange’s got a bird for the road, and man, he’s so happy to put the top down.

“I’ve had it since 1992, and I got it because I gave up motorcycles because I had a close call with my motorcycle,” related the Chatfield barber, speaking of his candy apple-red 1963 Ford Falcon convertible. The car is now the apple – or bird — of his eye.

Lange recounted that shortly after he sold his motorcycle, he went down to a local store to get a car magazine and that’s how he found his Falcon.

“I got it from a guy in Iowa – down near New Hampton and Charles City – and I went down to get it, drove it home,” Lange said. “He claimed that it came out of Missouri, and I think it did because the fenders were just like new…they don’t use salt on the roads down there.”

Lange said the car needed a lot of work, so he repainted it, redid the upholstery, worked on the engine and replaced the transmission. He said it now has a Fairlane transmission.

The ragtop convertible rolled off the production line as one made in the 10 years that Ford produced Falcons.

Lange stated, “They made the Falcon for 10 years – they discontinued it and the Mustang came out in 1965 on the Falcon chassis, but was a nice medium-size car. When we got married, we had a Ford Falcon two-door, and we liked that car.”

Now that he has his collector’s Falcon, he and his wife spend weekends touring the country.

“It’s our weekend car,” he added. “She likes it a lot better than motorcycles. We usually put a couple thousand miles on it every year…I’ve been all over the United States with it. It’s a fun car – even though I put air conditioning in it, we put the top up and roll the back windows down, and at 55 miles per hour, there’s extra wind in the cabin area.”

Lange shares his affection for Ford Falcons with his wife, but also with his twin brother, Ray, who has a hardtop Falcon. The difference between the two cars, however, is that since his is a ragtop, Lange’s car is generally a summer toy.

“We take it out in the rain during the spring and summer, but once it starts to snow, it goes up on blocks,” he added. “I do go to a lot of car shows…I get to meet a lot of people that way.”

He swears by American-made vehicles, and especially Ford.

“I try to keep to American cars,” Lange added, concluding that the convertible is “a fun car to drive, especially when I’m able to put the top down, and it’s as good as motorcycling…I like to have the wind blowing in my face.”