1963 Monte Carlo Rally Plate From Bo Ljungfeldt’s Ford Falcon

This week I took delivery of a 1963 Monte Carlo Rally plate that I recently purchased.  The plate is the actual rally plate that was on the hood of the 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint that was entered by the Ford Motor Company.  The 1963 Falcon Sprint was an early Ford small car fitted with their small block V8 engine.  These were in the days before the Mustang was available.  For 1963, the Ford Falcon V8 engine displaced 260 cubic inches.  The Falcon with rally plate number 233 was driven by the Sweden’s Bo Ljungfeldt.

My New 1963 Monte Carlo Plate From The Number 223 Ford Falcon 

This plate had been hanging on a wall in Maryland since the early 1980s.  The previous owner bought it in an antiques shop in Maryland in the early 1980s.  It is not known how the rally plate got to Maryland before that time.  I am surprised that Ford let this plate get away.

Ford Falcon Sprint In the 1963 Monte Carlo Rally With Rally Plate # 223

For Ford, 1963 was an initial foray into the Monte Carlo Rally with an American car.  Next year Ford returned big time with the 289 cubic inch V8 engine in the 1964 Falcon.  The 1964 Ford Falcon was the fastest car at the Monte Carlo Rally and it won every stage.  However as a result of the handicap placed on large engines, the actual winner of the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally was a Mini Cooper.

The 1963 Ford Falcon #223 On The Monte Carlo Rally Stages

The challenge for me now is to display this rally plate in a suitable manner.  I’m still trying to solve that one.  I have other rally plates displayed on a wall at my place, but I think that this plate deserves special treatment.

If you have any comments or questions regarding this post, then please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email address at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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13 Responses to 1963 Monte Carlo Rally Plate From Bo Ljungfeldt’s Ford Falcon

  1. Michael Bruns says:

    Hi Steve, what a great SCORE!! That is a piece of rallye history. I would be willing to display it on my car, on the 2019 running of the RMCH …
    Greetings
    Mike
    #244 Falcon

  2. hans says:

    Greetings Steve,

    That is a truly magnificent find and a true piece of Falcon history! As an owner of a 63 Ford Falcon which I have created to resemble the 63 Geneva Rally winning car I am most envious of you:) I still believe Bo’s drive to be one of the greatest drives in Monte History. A wonderful piece on this epic event was written by George Merwin, the man who ran Ford’s works rally effort in 1963. It can be found in Automobile Quarterly, Volume XVII, Number 4. There is a wonderful story about Lee Iacocca being driven up one of the Col’s by Bo to see what “rally driving” was all about. Apparently he almost fired George on his return back:) Sports Illustrated also published a wonderful article called ” The Awful Ride” describing Bo’s exploits and its definitely worth a read. https://www.si.com/vault/1963/02/04/605108/the-awful-auto-ride

    I have long tried to find out what exactly happened to the works rally Falcons, but I have alas found nothing. The last I found was that they ended up in the hands of Ford of France which used them to win the Geneva and Tulip rallies in 63, but I know not what happened to them afterwards. Falcons were used on the Coupe des Alpes, Shell 4000 and Acropolis rallies as well. Such a shame they are now lost as they are a true part of Ford’s epic rally history.

    Kindest regards,
    Hans

    • Hi Hans,
      Thank you very much for that information and the link to the Sports illustrated story. It would be interesting to documents that dates of those events to see if the cars could be traced. I know that Falcons were in the Shell 4000, but I had assumed that the Canadian Comstock team, who were active in Canadian rallying and racing using Fords at that time, had prepared the cars. The fact that the rally plate was in America in the early 1980s suggests that the final resting (rusting) place for the 1963 rally Falcons was in North America. Interesting to contemplate.
      Steve McKelvie

  3. Charlville says:

    Great post, here’s a display idea from One man and his Mustang

    https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/5562207/posts/1763251419

  4. Lou Lusardi says:

    I’m also building a replica of the 63 rallly Falcon, hope to have it out on some British events later this year.
    As for the three original cars at least one, the Peter Jopp 221 car went back to the States. It was track tested on thr Ford test track and featured in a Popular Mechanics article in June 63. One for sure was used by Ford France for Henri Greder to win the Tulip and Geneva rallies, But then later in the year three cars were entered by Alan Mann for the RAC rally of Britain.

  5. chris collings says:

    an interesting detail about the falcons that ran in the 63 monte carlo they had futura lettering across the rear, not falcon as the sprint road versions have to authenticate them, you can see this on the vimeo video the monte carlo falcons produced by ford, chris collings western australia
    owner 1963 1/2 falcon futura hardtop 260 auto.

  6. John Lissandrello says:

    Hi Steve, great find. Any chance you know where the plates from the other two Falcons are? I believe one of them was 221.

    • Hi John,
      Sorry for the delay in response. I am not sure that there were three Ford sponsored Falcons in 1963. I only know of two Ford Falcons and yes the other one was car number 221.
      Steve McKelvie

  7. Bill Hanlon says:

    I have a single 1963 #207 plate off of the late Anne Hall’s Falcon and both 1964 #361 plates off of the Falcon use for most if not all of the 1964 Monte Carlo Rallye press release photos. The latter pair came from Ford’s famous inhouse photographer the late Joseph Farkas. Joe put tape over most of the number 361 so when photographed at a distance it could represent any of the white cars. #361 was also the number one practice car and I believe later in the year Graham Hill drove it in the 1964 RAC Rally of Great Britain. Anne Hall’s Falcon, which did not finish the 1963 Monte, was later loaned to the late Henri Greder, who drove it to a first place win in the 1963 Tulip Rally.
    I wonder if that was Ford’s first overall factory victory in Europe!

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