BIRDS THAT FLOCK TOGETHER – Mooneyes Falcons

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Would you be surprised if I told you Instagram can actually be helpful and is not just a collection of basic chicks pulling dumb faces and useless photos of some clown’s breakfast? Well, Andrew Goodwin and I used Instagram as a communication piece with our new friends from Mooneyes Japan to score me this shoot!

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While we were in Japan for the Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod & Custom Show, my brother Clayton was desperate to hit-up the Mooneyes store – Area-1 in Honmoku. It was at the top of his wish list so we trekked out there and whilst walking around the store, Andrew noticed one of the guys doing some pinstripe work. He wandered over and introduced himself, and pulled out his phone to show him an Instagram page of an early Falcon wagon. A smile and a laugh was all we needed to know that he was in fact the owner of the car on the page.

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We soon found out that Masakazu ‘Pan’ Sumi was kind of a big deal at Mooneyes – he is the resident photographer and a very talented one at that. He is also the public relations guru there. It wasn’t long before we were engaged in a conversation with us showing him some magazines the featured our workand with him showing us his work in the Mooneyes magazine.

Sumi then offered to bring his car, a ridiculously slammed ’61 Falcon sedan delivery, in the next day for us to check out. Of course I asked if it was cool to photograph it and as soon as I did, he mentioned that one of the guys in the storeroom, Tadashi Oku, the mail order division director, owned an equally cool ’62 Falcon wagon and he would get him to bring that in too. We were set! The next day we raced around grabbing photos for 30 minutes before our time was up and the guys had to head back to work. Did we have a good time? Hell yeah!

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SUMI’S ’61 FALCON SEDAN DELIVERY

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Slammed is an understatement when describing Sumi’s ride. Massively kicked up rear rails, drop spindles and airbags all round get it buried low over the 14-inch Elstar rims. The paint scheme was of high-importance to Sumi. “I wanted to emphasise the press line on the body with painted fade in a colour that nobody else was using,” he explained. The legendary pinstriper, Sugi Sack Sugimoto, then did all the stripe work and signwriting which is the icing on the cake. A custom grille completes the cool external look.

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Powered by a 289ci motor, backed by a C4 box and 9-inch diff, the car is more cruiser than bruiser. Who needs to go fast when you look this cool anyway?

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The inside of the car is sparse and unfinished, eventually a full ‘60s-style custom job in green will match the next step of the car – a wild candy green paint scheme that Sumi has in his head. “I have some radical ideas I am kicking around with, but the way I travel, the car won’t be completed until I am a grandfather,” he laughed.

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TADASHI’S ’62 FALCON STATION WAGON  

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There is a heap of effort put into Tadashi’s cool-as wagon and the best part, it is a daily driver and all of his own work! Purchased off a friend in 2006, Tadashi has systematically modified the car one step at a time to reach the current look.

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The lack of respectable wheels for the ’61 saw Tadashi setting the car up with 5-lug spindles all round so the 15-inch OEM wheels with Spider Caps could replace the 4-lug, 13-inch stockies. The blue paint scheme is accentuated by lace work over the roof and the bellflower exhaust tips finish things off nicely.

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Performance wise, the car runs a mild 289ci V8 backed a C4 ‘box and a standard rear end. Lowered front springs and lowering blocks on the arse-end make the ride height more impressive.

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