1966 Deluxe Falcon Club Wagon
Good From Far ... Far From Good
[left rear corner] A view of the left taillight.

Things don't look so bad -- yet. The non-factory black paint hides some of the rust damage, including some holes rusted through around the light. But worse yet, the valence (metal behind the bumper), the whole width of the van, is shot.
[left rear wheel well] With the rear doors open, a view of the left torque box and wheel well.

The box is there to allow for the gas inlet tube, but it also adds rigidity to the rear ...

[rust everywhere] ... Unfortunately, rust has eaten away the bottom of the box. It, and the surrounding floor is now about as good as a wet tissue.

Yes, that's the outside light seen through the floor around the wheel well. There's not much holding that wheel well on either.

Always pull up the carpet or floor mats when shopping. All of this metal will need to be cut out and replaced.
[driver's seat] A view of the cockpit.

It's dirtier than it looks. Look at the seatbelt to gauge how dirty things are.

This view shows some of the previous owner's ingenious "fixes."

Note the two giant pushbuttons mounted on the steering column -- one to activate the horn, the other to shoot the windshield jets. I've hit my knee more than once on the exposed screws.

This photo shows the original floor mat in place, but removing the torn and dirty floor mat revealed some floor pan rust and a thick layer of black ooze.
Also note the bungee cord around the steering and shift columns. That was to hold the broken shift rod. The shifter would get stuck in gear or sometimes hang in neutral. Not fun in city driving. It was the first thing I fixed.

The steering wheel had a wrap around it. With that removed, you can see the Deluxe white steering wheel, cracked and faded. I have reconditioned the wheel. Those instructions will appear in the DIY section in the future.
[dirty doghouse] A view of the doghouse. For the uninitiated, that's where the engine sits. The cover is dented.

See that brown muck around the base of the doghouse? That's some kind of magical perma-sludge. It's found in every corner and under every mat. At least the van never had carpeting. Falcon vans, even the Deluxe, only came with rubber floor mats.

Even so, three thorough cleanings later, and that sludge still isn't all gone. Don't you love other people's filth? *

Stay tuned for the first set of repairs.

*I recently figured out that this is actually factory body sealer that has migrated. It will be trimmed back flush with the joints and then the rest will be cleaned off.
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