At first glance, you might think this is a plain first generation Ford Falcon–but now look a little closer, especially at the front grille. Different, huh? Yes, this is a one-year only (1960) Ford Frontenac, only sold in Canada. This particular one has found its way across the border into Snohomish, Washington and is for sale here on eBay with an opening bid of only $1,000 and no reserve. And to top it off, an online magazine says there are only 16 of these left anywhere!
From the side view you can see some other trim differences between the Frontenac and the Falcon. How did this car come about, you may ask? Well, I’ll give you the short story. Mercury dealers north of the border needed a compact to sell, and the Falcon was being introduced. Change some trim, put some maple leaf badges on it, and you have a Frontenac. By the way, Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac et de Palluau was a late 17th century governor of New France. Why someone decided to name a car after him, I don’t know.
If you look closely, you can see a maple leaf in that center emblem. 9,536 Frontenacs were built in 1960 before the model was replaced by the Comet in 1961. This particular car appears to be very solid with little to no rust and reasonably shiny chrome and trim. I’m guessing some of that Frontenac only trim would be darned hard to come by. By the way, according to this article, the one I raced against in the 24 Hours of LeMons was one of only 16 left; I have no idea if that’s true or not, but hey, have you ever seen one before?
Being a seller of few words and pictures means we don’t get an interior shot apart from the nice looking dashboard. I’m guessing it isn’t too great, though. Hopefully it doesn’t differ much from the Falcon interior.
Just in case you think I’m making all this up, here’s an ad for the Frontenac. There’s an interesting story floating around, probably apocryphal, that a 1961 Frontenac prototype was produced and was taken to a photo shoot where the folks that had it were informed that it was going to be replaced by the Comet for 1961. Don’t know if it’s true or not, but when you consider a marketing department that came up with “The Eventful Frontenac” as a slogan, it doesn’t completely surprise me that they were out of the loop.
There are two issues with this car, apart from finding trim or anyone else that knows what it is. One of them is that the engine doesn’t run. I’m guessing it’s more than the taped off air intake keeping it from running. The second is that the front left wheel is locked up; I’m guessing the drum has frozen to the linings. So how about it? Interested in owning 1 of 16 cars left of this short chapter in Canadian automobile history? You certainly can’t argue with the price, can you? Let us know if one of you wins this bid!