The Old Bird’s Case Of BDD

Our Under the Knife Series travels to the Americas.

(c) Todofalcon.com

Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or addiction to cosmetic surgery, is no laughing matter. Those afflicted by it, such as American socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein  are testament to the fact that one would be wise to accept when the limits have been breached. Cars of course have no free will and are at the mercy of product planners and designers as far as changes to their appearance are concerned.

The Ford Falcon started life as a compact by American standards at least, a plain, somewhat nondescript car but through a Wildensteinian quantity of facelifts during its long life outside of the USA, ended up as something of a parody of its former self.

Robert S. McNamara, the first Ford President from outside of the Ford family, and the only President that Henry Ford II did not fire, was the driving force behind the Falcon. One could argue that the resolutely rational and orthodox Falcon was McNamara on wheels.

The sales performance of the Falcon compared to its main competitors, the Plymouth Valiant and Chevrolet Corvair, would prove him right: neither audacious styling in the Plymouth’s case or unorthodox engineering in that of the Corvair managed to sway the buying public from overwhelmingly preferring Ford’s new compact.

The first generation Falcon remained in production in its homeland until the 1964 model year when a completely rebodied version was introduced. Between 1960 and 1963 the US Falcon was subject to three relatively mild facelifts. In Canada, and for the 1960 model year only, a Falcon with restyled front and stern was sold as the Frontenac; this was a stopgap car to allow Canadian Mercury-Meteor dealers to have a compact to sell that year.

From 1961 onwards they would be offered the Mercury Comet which was still in development in 1960. The amount of facelifts undergone by the Falcon during its stay on the North American plain thus stands at four. But the Australians and especially the Argentinians were not finished yet.

To the Antipodeans first: in September of 1960 the XK series Falcon was introduced in Australia and for the first two years would be the virtually indistinguishable from its American cousin, although it was not available as a two-door.

(c) Automotoclassicsale.com/ Oldcarbrochures

The XL Falcon came along in august of 1962 and displayed a new visage with its convex grille and Thunderbird roofline. The following February the XM Falcon took over, a substantially re-engineered version in order to answer complaints about the previous XK and XL Falcons not standing up well to Australian conditions. The XM was the first Falcon with an Australian designed body; the frontal aspect of the car was blunter than before, the newly restyled and generously chromed grille quite heavy looking.

(c) Oldcarbrochures/ Shannons

For unknown reasons, Ford Australia skipped the N and O and went straight to XP for a yet again redesigned Falcon in March 1965. A taller, heavier and more substantial looking front end treatment had been created, perhaps to answer continuing criticism that the Falcon felt flimsy. Under the skin, Ford Australia’s engineers had also addressed the problem by adding a torque box steel subframe to improve the Falcon’s structural rigidity.

These measures seemed to have been successful as the XP Falcon took home the 1965 Wheels Car of the Year award. Incidentally, the altered appearance of the front styling of the XP was cleverly aided by re-using the front wings and bonnet of the concurrent Mercury Comet. In 1966 a totally new XR Falcon, based on the third-generation US version, replaced the XP. In its lifespan of six model years, the Australian Falcon had been subject to three facelifts – all different from the alterations carried out in America.

(c) Arcar org/ Todofalcon

It was in Argentina that the first-generation American Falcon would survive the longest and along the way become the subject of increasingly questionable attempts at keeping the car up to date stylistically. The first Argentinian Falcons were assembled as CKD kits in early 1962; for this and the following year this South-American built variant was almost identical to the American version both in appearance and technical specification. Stateside however would see a newly rebodied second-generation Falcon for 1964 while Argentina’s Falcon soldiered on for two more years with a virtually unchanged appearance.

In May 1966 a restyling of domestic origin, courtesy of Jorge Tomadoni (also responsible for most of the other facelifts that followed), was presented. It was a relatively mild makeover; the grille which (reminiscent of that used on the 1964 Lincoln Continental but with only two headlights) looked quite pleasing and blended in well with the otherwise unchanged bodywork.

During 1970 Argentina’s Falcon paid another visit to the plastic surgeon and reappeared with more substantial bumpers, four headlights and the previous (non functional) scoop on the bonnet turned into a more subtle bulge by deleting the chrome trim. This version would be marketed until the end of 1972.

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More heavy-handed alterations took place for 1973. This time not only was the front of the Falcon restyled once again, but the rear as well. The round taillights gave way to items with a squared-off oval shape. The bonnet lost its bulge, replaced by a slightly raised centre section. The arrow-shaped bodyside indentation on the front wings disappeared as well. These modifications notwithstanding, it must have been increasingly obvious to most onlookers by examining the unchanged main body that the base was getting on in years, but this did not affect sales which were as strong as ever.

The next major change in appearance followed in 1978. The Standard and DeLuxe Falcons could easily be distinguished by their front ends: the Standard had single round headlights which endowed it with a Toyota-esque look, while the DeLuxe was treated to large rectangular headlight units. The taillights were altered as well, and had become slightly more square in shape than before. The Falcon was still a very popular choice with Argentinian car buyers and 1980 would be its best year since introduction with over 34,000 produced.

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In 1982 the fifth and final restyling would see the old bird live out its final years on the market. A simpler black grille with horizontal slats and different bumpers were fitted – the most obvious outward change however was now to be seen at the rear – Ford Cortina MK5 taillights replacing the smallish previous units.

While sales were still good at first, from 1984 on they started to collapse. The Falcon would continue in this final guise until 1991, the only change saw the previously chrome bumpers and mouldings painted black in its final year of availability.

(c) Arcar.org/ Lavoz.com.ar/ Todofalcon.com.ar

On September 23 1991 the last Falcon rolled off the assembly line of the Pacheco plant. During thirty years of production, close to half a million Falcons had been sold in Argentina, only outdone by the also domestically produced Peugeot 504.

Why did Ford of Argentina stick so long to the ancient Falcon? The fact that Argentina was a closed market with no car imports allowed during most of its career certainly was a significant factor, and who could blame them if the car continued to sell very well year after year for three-quarters of its life?

The Argentine Falcon was subject to cosmetic alterations five times – the total amount of restyling actions performed on the first generation Falcon worldwide therefore coming to eleven facelifts (twelve if you count the altered one-year-only Frontenac as well).

An anagram of Ford Falcon Argentina is Don a frontal refacing. While the long life of the Falcon is in some ways a success story it is also a cautionary tale on the inevitable arrival of the sell by date for any product, however new and fresh it may be at its introduction.

Author: brrrruno

Car brochure collector, Thai food lover, not a morning person before my first cup of coffee

34 thoughts on “The Old Bird’s Case Of BDD”

  1. I once drove around the block a brand new (so to speak) Argentinean Falcon back when I was about 18 or 19. I have an uncle who in the eighties and early nineties worked for an advertising and film production company in Venezuela and one day he appeared at our door driving a Ford Falcon he’d just picked up from the Venezuelan Ford assembly plant.

    If I remember correctly, the project was to import Falcons into Venezuela as taxis and they were going to do a promotional film about it. My uncle was tasked with picking up the car at Ford de Venezuela plant and headquarters and driving it to the advertising studios in Caracas. I suppose it was one of those quixotic, so typically South American, government ventures that are set in motion for a little while until they’re abandoned or, maybe it was a Ford de Venezuela proposal going after some juicy government grant. But I doubt it because they had plenty of modern, locally produced four-door cars to choose from, ranging from the cheap and simple Ford Del Rey to the sophisticated Ford Sierra range (all with V6, mind you). I guess I’ll never know because the project never went through and I have found zero references to it.

    So there I was in front of that strange beast of a car that looked terribly old despite feeble attempts otherwise by its use of flush front headlights. An odd-looking beast it was, with, gasp, a column shifter and with a severely plasticky interior that reeked of volatile polymer chains. Oh, that “new car smell”! I remember the vinyl front bench being quite cushy, though.

    So of course I begged for a drive and was handed the keys. After my uncle offered some quick pointers about the column shifter I was on my way, with a huge, loud grind on my shift from first to second. I’d never driven a column shifter before and my hand-foot coordination was thrown off by its location. I don’t remember much more about that brief drive and many, many years later, the only memento I found of that episode of my life was a “FORD” license plate cover forgotten in the back of a closet at my uncle’s home.

  2. Generally, restylings are only worse and worse and worse. For some perverse reason, the Falcon I liked best is the last one, with its 1960s architecture and sort-of-1980s veneer. It reminds of the last Olds 98 Royale which also had pretty old underpinnings and a glazing of art deco roundedness and I like that contrast. The later Falcon also suggests the way Comecon cars were restyled rather than renewed – I am perhaps thinking of the Tatras and Wartburgs.
    Or indeed the Volvo 240, now I think a bit harder. The Falcon is perhaps another example of a mid-sized coelecanth saloon. The only one I could think of was the Volvo.

    1. The shoulder line and flank made me think of a 4-door version of the Bristol 412 Beaufighter/Beaufort somehow.

    2. The last iteration Argentinian Falcon says Morris Ital to me. The Ford arrived a little later – did they look and take lessons from The Mann? By the time the 82 Falcon makeover arrived it wasn’t just intellectual property which divided the two nations.

      Is the Volvo 240 a coelacanth?

      I recall an enjoyable conversation elsewhere on the coelacanths/cockroach matter, what came out of it was:

      Coelacanths were cars or other artefacts assumed to be extinct, then discovered in production somewhere in the world: Azerbijani Peugeot 405s, Egyptian Fiat 128s, Chinese Itals and Maestros, Ibizas and Toledos.

      Cockroaches were products of extraordinary durability – Volvo Amazon, Mercedes-Benz W201, Audi 80 B3, Golf Mk.5 for example.

      We never came up with a category for those vehicles with a an exceptional lifespan. The Volvo 140/240 managed 27 years, far more than the Morris Minor, and is set to pip the Lotus Elsie.

      You would have to trawl the list of slow-metabolism fish and land reptiles for a suitable animal comparison.

  3. Good morning Bruno. Wow! I thought my recent offering of the Fiat 127, with its seven different front end treatments, would be hard to beat, but the Falcon smashes it out of the park. I think we need some larger photos of the last iteration to spot the borrowed parts and influences:

    I spot Granada Mk2 alloy wheels, Cortina Mk3 door handles, Cortina Mk4 door mirrors, Cortina Mk5 tail lights and C-pillar treatment.

    The Falcon puts me in mind of the poor old GAZ Volga, which was subject to similar Wildenstinian abuse:

  4. Awesome. I like the Volga proposal that didn’t make it into production. You’re totally right, it looks like a Lancia Trevi, actually, a modern, parallel universe Lancia Trevi!

  5. Thanks for the story, Cesar and for the oddest linkage this week: Volga-Trevi.
    Good proportions are worth a lot. The red example of the Falcon looks good in that regard. I can understand how StE sees Bristol in the car too. These kinds of cars aren´t what I call design paragons but show the richness that can arise from improvisation rather than ground-up scientific design.

  6. The Australian versions were at least, rebodied and so generally looked contemporary, although still built on the original (albeit updated) platform. I had a XF model Falcon which was introduced in the mid-1980s, I suppose it looked contemporary and it also had updated rear suspension (coils not cart springs) and interior, but it still had the original front suspension which gave it a massive turning circle and a huge fixed steering wheel that was jammed up against your chest because they couldn’t change that layout. It also had a big old OHV 4.1 litre six good for around 130hp when new and redlined at 4500 (and which ran out of puff well before then). A clumsy beast, but comfortable and stress free on the open road.

  7. Very interesting – thank you, Bruno. The fact that the Falcon was the basis for the Mustang means that its chassis really paid its way. McNamara was an interesting fellow, too – his involvement in the Edsel saga is worth looking up.

    The Falcon’s facelifts bring to mind the treatment the Renault 12 got over its extended lifespan (also covered on DTW, of course) as well as the Hindustan Ambassador. I always thought the latter coped quite well with its facelifts, many of which (especially the 6th generation) were sympathetically done. The original Morris Oxford was pretty baroque and actually benefited from toning down.

    1. gooddog

      There were other styling proposals, it is just that compared the existing Pinto based Mustang II the Maverick based proposal is an improvement IMO (even if the latter could have done with some tidying up).

  8. Is there any truth to claims Ford originally had more ambitious plans in mind to develop a common platform for what eventually became the 1966 US Ford Falcon 3rd generation, the 1966 Aussie Ford Falcon XR (or Ford Fairlane in place of the ZA) and the 1966 UK Ford Zodiac Mark IV / Ford Zephyr Mark IV?

    1. Good question. If they had done so it would have been a world car. I presume it could have been a good basis for a EuroGranada (which came along in 1972?). I presume the claims for local variation put paid to that. And why not? It was possible for regional designs to be more differentiated so there was no harm in that. At the same time, Volvo and Mercedes sold the same thing the world over. So Ford and GM chose to cover the world with varied platforms and other makers like Volvo, Saab etc chose to restrict their platforms and sell the same thing globally. I guess which response is right depends on the firms´ preferences.

    2. Ford did consider importing the European Ford Granada as an alternative to the North American Ford Granada during the 1970s before it was rejected as cost-prohibitive, an earlier mid-1960s integration would have both remedied the issue as well as opened the door for the Granada Coupe* to have become the starting point for the 2nd generation Ford Mustang*.

      * – Including the more appealing alternative Granada Coupe proposals seen in Steve Saxty’s Secret Fords book.

      https://www.stevesaxty.com/prototype-models

      ** – There were two proposals for the 2nd generation Mustang in real-life, proposal one was Ford Pinto based and the more attractive proposal two was Ford Maverick based.

    3. Thanks for posting that, Bob. The interesting thing is how much cheaper US labour must have been compared to German labour so as to make importing cars unfeasible. I´ve been in a US Ford Granada (the Mercury equivalent) and it isn´t noticeably cheaper to look at than a Euro-Ford. It´s bigger, it has more bits and the trim details are horrid but it´s about as good, in cost terms. Americans wanted more car for less money and would not have put up with a 10% smaller car with even a V6 even if the EuroFord was faster and better to drive. It would not have done well in the US for the reasons nearly all Euro cars fail to thrive there (and vice versa).

    4. richard herriott

      It is given the common platform in this scenario would likely be made larger or smaller depending on the market along with featuring a V8 (as demonstrated by the South African Granada Perana V8), essentially being Ford’s analogue to the also V8 capable 1966-2007 GM V Platform (with Vauxhall even developing a Rekord D/Victor FE-based Cortina mk3-sized model as a possible alternative to what became the Opel Ascona B / mk1 Vauxhall Cavalier during the U-Car project).

      Obviously the US importing the European Granada would be a curious move yet the US automakers were frantically on a downsizing trend so it would not be out of place for Ford to adopt this approach and as mentioned above, the European Granada was able to take the Windsor V8 engine used in both South Africa as well as in the North American Granada.

  9. …..”steering wheel that was jammed up against your chest….”

    Nonsense.

    I had three of these cars (well one XD and two XF) and NONE of them had the steering wheel jammed up against the driver’s chest. Perhaps it is a remote possibility though, if one had really short stumpy legs, was obese enough and had the seat moved hard up against the forward stops.

    Australia ran on these cars. There were so many XD through XF series Falcons. They were everywhere. You can still see some from time to time, even now.

    There were two engine families available. The Cleveland V8 (manufactured in Australia) came in 351 cid and 302 cid forms. The 302 version was unique to Australia. The Ford “small six” came as a choice of either 3.3 litre or 4.1 litre. This engine started out as a US design but was progressively developed. For the XD came a cross-flow cylinder head in cast iron. Later an aluminium alloy cylinder head developed in conjunction with Honda was developed. This engine could be had with EFI.

    There is an interesting story about how this head was developed and how Honda stuck rigorously to the specification they had agreed to attain. Ford engineers began the alloy head project for the six aware that their Geelong foundry lacked experience with aluminium. They decided to seek assistance with a manufacturer that did have the experience (design, development manufacture, process control etc.). Mazda and Honda were approached. The decision was made to go with Honda as working with Mazda proved difficult. Honda won the day by demonstrating a strong passion to do the job absolutely right and create a sound engine of good performance and reliability. After initial meetings, prior to Ford making the decision about who to go with, a Honda senior engineer pulled aside one of the Ford engineers and handed him a file containing Honda’s analysis of what was needed and how to do it. He mentioned that there were a few easy to make mistakes with aluminium and with emissions that Honda had learned about (and learned to avoid) at great cost. These were outlined in the file and so were the solutions. Honda’s position was that even Ford did not choose Honda the engine should still be good. They also said that they would remain available for assistance and consultation even if Ford selected Mazda.

    When Ford eventually did select Honda (Mazda had proven vexatious for Ford Australia to work with for various reasons), a specification was developed and a plan of action. The engine would be developed conjointly. Initially cylinder head casting and machining would be in Japan. The rest of the engine would be manufactured in Australia and the engines would be erected and tested there. Gradually the machine tools and the task of machining the heads would be moved to Australia. Then the casting work would also gradually move to Australia. Honda would provide engineering assistance at all steps.

    During the design and development phase prototype heads had been produced. These were fitted to short-blocks and tested on the dyno. Once the performance targets were reached, the Ford engineers and management signaled their satisfaction and were ready for the design to be frozen for production. At a design review meeting called shortly after confirmation of the engine hitting its performance requirements the Honda engineers surprised everyone by stating the cylinder head did not meet the specification previously set and agreed by the parties. It was a few kilos overweight. Ford was OK with the overweight and wanted to move on toward production. The Honda engineers and management said no. The specification had yet to be met in the area of weight. They went away and made some revisions to the design so the next batch of heads came in a gram or two under the specified weight. This had no effect on performance. Honda then signed off and everything went onwards from there exactly as planned. One effect that a Ford plant manager later demonstrated was a reduction in cost for the heads (less aluminium) than would otherwise have been the case.

    The lessons of hitting the specification was not lost on Ford Australia engineers. It was important to them and recognised to be so. Unfortunately they answered to…… US head office. That was to have consequences over the years.

    Re rear suspension of Falcon. XD had leaf springs. XE introduced the coils with four links and Watts link. XF had that system right across the sedan range. The utes and wagons continued with the leaf system though. In my opinion the coil system was not as accomplished as the leaf spring set up until the XR6 version of the E-series Falcon (until that model the coil system had too much rear roll steer as well as a geometry conflict which introduced excessive roll stiffness under certain circumstances). The changes adopted for the XR6 rear suspension were a major step forward and after that it was continued improvement as that geometry was rolled out throughout the range of Falcon sedans (E-series utes and wagons remained with leaf).

    Leaf spring suspension systems are an old and unfashionable design, but they can still be made to handle quite well. They have their advantages. Be careful of what is reported by automotive “journalists” in the specialist motoring media. They often get matters quite wrong.

    1. There’s a parallel with the Ford CVH, where Ford turned to Fiat as they had no alloy-head experience. They, Vauxhall and BMC were particularly pig (iron)-headed on this matter – there was plenty of alloy head experience in Britain as far back as the 1940s amongst Rootes, Jaguar, Alvis, and The Rover Company.

      The only justification for the driving position described for the Falcon was the odd Australian aversion to power assisted steering well into the ’90s. I don’t recall having to get the shoulder to the wheel in Kingswoods, Commodores or Falcons – big steering wheels and suspension geometry sorted it out.

      The Falcon really rattled Holden out of their complacency, despite being scarcely changed from the US version. The XY GTHO was an object of lust for my generation, but I also held the much later EA in high regard, with its clean unpretentious styling as good as anything Europe was turning out at the time. It’s a pity it – and Ford’s reputation – suffered so badly from unreliability problems which seem to have resulted from being brought to market too soon.

    2. JT: I appreciate your exposition, both in this case and elsewhere – which is usually both informed and interesting. But I would kindly suggest that there are more pleasant ways of disagreeing than to simply decry someone else’s opinion as nonsense….

    3. I do like that story about the Honda engineers. Presumably it was professionalism and pride in their work. That is something I find strangely moving. Another reason is old-fashioned kindnesss. I find it very noble.
      About leaf springs, yes, you´re right. Depending on the application and all the requirements, any solution can be the “best” one. I found this out with regard to V6 versus straight six. Neither is a priori superior. What happens is that company x finds solution y is the one for them, this time, and this is translated into the story that solution y is the best things since sliced meat. You´ve seen what Chevrolet and Volvo have done with leaf springs?

  10. That Mustang has the face of a Holden Belmont HQ…

    On the matter of the Falcon as a Zephyr / Zodiac replacement, the possibility was there, but was it ever considered?

    Harley F Copp was lead engineer on the first generation Falcon, then was sent to Brentwood as Vice President Engineering, Ford of Britain to work on the ‘Panda’ Zephyr Mk.IV, which had a similar footprint to the Falcon and an even longer wheelbase, but probably not a single part in common. The contemporary 17-26M from Köln took up as much roadspace as the British car, despite using an adapted version of its more compact predecessor’s platform. Again no commonality between the two cars. The most convincing reason I’ve heard was the intransigence (for which read self-protective instincts) of local component suppliers

    We look for logical synergies but rarely find them, GM at least tried with the ’60s V-O-H project, although the participants chose to find their own ways.

    I’d rather hoped to find a Jowett link to the Falcon, but despite moving to Dearborn in 1958, Roy C Lunn doesn’t seem to have been involved. He and Copp later worked together on the GT40.

    1. I think that each division in each country wanted to keep their autonomy / themselves in business. There would also have been the imperial vs metric problem between markets as another complicating factor / excuse.

  11. Thanks for the great story Brrrruno. Interestingly, the next series Australian Falcon had another sort of extra life. A Ford engineering executive named David Ford (apparently no relation to the family) developed the idea of grafting the front (cowl forward) of the Australian XR Falcon onto the 1966-67 US intermediate Fairlane sedan. This was done to produce an “upper medium” quality (premium) sedan for the Australian market. They created the car they wanted while still meeting new Australian local content requirements to which Ford Dearborn had committed. I never heard of any of this until having just read the December, 2020 issue of Collectible Automobile. They did a fantastic feature story on the history of this car. It’s worth the read if you get the opportunity.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Philip- and thanks for the Collectible Automobile tip. It’s an excellent magazine but (at least in my area) not easy to locate unfortunately….

  12. I’m not entirely convinced about the imperial / metric issue. There are modern day Chinese manufacturers whose products’ components have blatantly imperial dimensions – 76.2, 85.8, 88.9mm.

    Different industries embraced change at different times. Despite its Anglo / Irish cultural base 50 years ago, Australia metricated early – possibly the influence of mainland European expatriates in the engineering and building industries.

    In the UK the building and civil engineering industries were early leaders, automotive and other mechanical engineering disciplines were relative laggards. US and Canadian building construction remains imperial to this day, armaments fall between both.

    I’m told that there wasn’t much commonality between the 60’s Transits, Escorts, and Capris from the opposite sides of the Nordsee, despite their manufacturing bases being no further apart than Glasgow is from London – an easy five hour drive when that sort of thing wasn’t against the law.

  13. I don’t think the Corvair was the Falcon’s competition from GM. That would have been the Chevy II aka: the Nova. Same size. Darn near identical in some trims.

    1. You’re only half right Alewifecove- the Chevy II only came out for the 1962 model year in response to the highly succesful 1960 Falcon as it transpired that the Corvair proved far less popular. It’s certainly very similar in size and specification because Chevrolet more or less copied the Falcon recipe.

  14. Robertas

    “I’m told that there wasn’t much commonality between the 60’s Transits, Escorts, and Capris from the opposite sides of the Nordsee, despite their manufacturing bases being no further apart than Glasgow is from London – an easy five hour drive when that sort of thing wasn’t against the law.”

    Could you elaborate? Not being resident in Europe I am not up to date about what it is that is against the law about driving from one of these places to the other.

    1. Actually I was thinking of the journey times which could be achieved in the days before speed cameras, of the instantaneous and average sort, and covert enforcement, but in the present emergency for most of us driving from London to Glasgow is against the law.

      Indeed travelling to the next county is a punishable offence – in my case that’s about two miles to the north, and five miles to the west. All for our own good, of course.

  15. Philip R

    Ford Australia did something similar with the Falcon ute. After the release of the EA sedans, rather than developing a ute version of the EA, Ford kept producing the XF ute. This continued in parallel with the E-series sedans until the EF when they grafted the front of the EF sedan onto the XF ute (the passenger cabin remained XF, as did the remainder of the platform). So the ute was a hybrid of E and X series Falcons and remained so until the later B-series.

  16. Richard

    Yes, they were noble. They were real people who wanted to see things done right. Most important was their passion. They understood and enjoyed the romance of engines.

    There is a book published by SAE Warrendale, written by Takashi Suzuki. He was a development engineer. In his book he discusses various aspects of engines, their history, his experience with engines and engine development, his observations and reflections and, of course, what the title of the book means. He looks back on his career with warmth and contentment. He also reflects on something very important (something steadily being expunged from the West, although he likely would not have realised this at the time). If you really want to understand the attitude of the Honda engineers, his book is recommended.

    Digressing a little, there were similar occurrences when Honda engineers worked with certain UK car manufacturers and their suppliers. Plenty of interesting stories there to uncover. Many of the people involved are still resident in the UK or the EU should you want to talk to them. Time is passing and they are advancing in years…

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