1961 Pro Street Falcon – Steve’s Bad Bird
Building a car like this 1961 Pro Street Falcon is a personal journey. Anyone who’s spent time wrenching on a project knows what we’re talking about; there’s a certain connection between you and your car that gets stronger and stronger over time.
Steve DiMartino started work on his first-generation Falcon when he was going through a bump in the road of life and, as such, he named the car ‘Doc.’ He was going to spend all his time on the car, and in turn, he knew the car was going to help fix him up, too.
There’s something therapeutic about pouring your passion into a project and this 1961 Pro Street Falcon show Steve’s vision, dedication, and attention to detail. He said the car “Saved his life.”
With Doc, this has all changed thanks to Steve’s work on the car. Now powered by a Ford Motorsport 351c.i. crate engine that makes over 400 horsepower, the Falcon is an absolute blast behind the wheel.
A Holley Double Pumper feeds the thirsty motor with air and fuel, sitting atop a wooden spacer to move the power curve higher up the rev range.
On either side of the carburetor you’ll spot classic Mooneyes breathers. Behind the motor, you’ll find Steve DiMartino’s classic ‘hot water faucet.’ Turn the handle and see what happens… but don’t hold your breath.
With a six-speed Tremec gearbox and a Ford 9-inch rear end, Steve’s kept it driveable on the street and that’s exactly how he uses the 1961 Pro Street Falcon.
The brakes and suspension up front have all been replaced with Mustang II parts, disc brakes, coilovers, and rack and pinion steering furthering the streetability of the machine. Out back the car makes use of a ladder bar setup to help keep those big fat rear tires heading straight down the road.
The exhaust is a home-built setup by Steve, as is the louvered pan under the rear end of the car. The interior was also done up by Steve, and it’s period-correct perfection.
He found original seat covers in pristine condition and covered the fat-tubbed rear with carpet to match. In the back a luggage rack resides where you’d normally find the rear seats. So it’s good for a road trip!
Steve’s sourced an original, hard-to-find center console for the car but along the trans tunnel he’s left things bare. He says he liked the unrefined look, and it’s a reminder that you’re in a Pro Street machine that means business.
Cruising around Keenland Racecourse outside of Lexington Kentucky the Falcon was a dream to drive. With big radials and six speed transmission, you can cruise this thing as easy or as hard as you like.
Steve’s 1961 Pro Street Falcon is proof that hard work can turn life’s lemons into lemonade. No longer a timid family car, Steve’s turned Doc into a bad bird!