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Lizzy Jones

Ford wins by only minutes over Chrysler .

The Ford Motor Company won a close race with coincidence. Both Ford and the Chrysler Corporation, unknown to each other, chose the name Falcon for their new small cars. Because Ford reserved the name with an industry registry first, it won the right to the name. Ford and Chrysler independently settled on Falcon, but Ford won by notifying the Automobile Manufacturers Association of its choice twenty minutes ahead of Chrysler.

The Chrysler Falcon two-seat roadster concept car built by Ghia of Italy 1955 | carmanualsdirect

The Chrysler Falcon two-seat roadster concept car built by Ghia of Italy 1955

The Association is the official industry arbiter and its Proprietary Name File is the trade-name bible for car makers. Actually Chrysler was said to have been the first to indicate its interest in the name Falcon, when it asked that a search be made on the availability of the name. The report was made, but while the Company was making its final decision, Ford called and registered the name, unaware, association officials said, that Chrysler was considering it too.

Ford Falcon - Ford North America's compact car | carmanualsdirect
Ford Falcon - Ford North America's compact car

The Falcon name was not new to the automobile industry. The roster of 2600 names that have graced the automotive scene in the last sixty years shows that Falcon was used by two other manufacturers. A Falcon passenger car was made in 1922 and a Falcon-Knight was marketed in 1926. Industry sources noted that it was possible although not likely, for Chrysler and General Motors to shift to other names for their new cars. Ford however appears firmly decided on Falcon.

Ford Workshop car Manuals | carmanualsdirect

Reprinted from the New York Times 21/05/1959

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