Falcon Shells
Falcon Shells was a British company that produced specials/kit car
Kit car
A kit car, also known as a "component car", is an automobile that is available as a set of parts that a manufacturer sells and the buyer then either assembles into a car themselves, or retains a third party to do part or all of the work on their behalf...

s from 1956 until 1964.


Falcon Shells was founded in 1956 by Peter Pellandine
Peter Pellandine
Peter Pellandine was an influential car designer and manufacturer in the field of specials/kit cars and steam-powered vehicles in both the UK and Australia.-Biography:Worked for the prestigious British coachbuilders H. J...

 following his amicable split with Keith Waddington of Ashley Laminates
Ashley (automobile)
Ashley were manufacturer of body shells and chassis for specials from 1955 to 1962. They also offered a range of products for special builders: radiators, header tanks, lighting sets, steel tubing, sheet aluminium, various suspension parts, water pumps, tires, tubes and wheels...

. It was originally based at 23 Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Waltham Abbey is a market town of about 20,400 people in the south west of the county of Essex, in the East of England region. It is about 24 km north of London on the Greenwich Meridian and lies between the River Lea in the west and Epping Forest in the east. It takes its name from The Abbey...

 in Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

. There was also a showroom at 52 High Street, Epping
Epping is a small market town and civil parish in the Epping Forest district of the County of Essex, England. It is located north-east of Loughton, south of Harlow and north-west of Brentwood....

. Pellandine retained the rights and tooling to manufacture the Ashley's short wheelbase 750 and the Sports Racer which he sold as the Falcon Mark I and II respectively.

In 1958, a full kit version of the Mark 2, renamed the Competition, was launched.

In 1959, an all-new model was added to the range. The Mark 3, later the Caribbean, became Falcon's best selling shell.

The company was renamed Falcon Cars in 1961 to reflect the move upmarket and the four seat Bermuda was introduced. About the same time, the 1000 was developed. This was later marketed as the Peregrine.

In 1962, Pellandine sold the business to Mike Moseley and was relocated to 150 Great North Road, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Hatfield is a town and civil parish in Hertfordshire, England in the borough of Welwyn Hatfield. It has a population of 29,616, and is of Saxon origin. Hatfield House, the home of the Marquess of Salisbury, is the nucleus of the old town...

. Pellandine emigrated to Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. Moseley expanded the business into a range of diverse GRP products including boat hulls, window boxes, and hoppers for farmers.

Moseley introduced the 515 at the January 1963 London Racing Car Show. Three 515s were entered for the Le Mans
Le Mans
Le Mans is a city in France, located on the Sarthe River. Traditionally the capital of the province of Maine, it is now the capital of the Sarthe department and the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Le Mans. Le Mans is a part of the Pays de la Loire region.Its inhabitants are called Manceaux...

 24 Hour Race, with several French drivers, but were rejected by the organisers, the ACO
Automobile Club de l'Ouest
The Automobile Club de l'Ouest , sometimes abbreviated to ACO, is the largest automotive group in France. It was founded in 1906 by car building and racing enthusiasts, and is most famous for being the organising entity behind the annual Le Mans 24 Hours race...

. Discussions with Auto Union
Auto Union
Auto Union was an amalgamation of four German automobile manufacturers, founded in 1932 and established in 1936 in Chemnitz, Saxony, during the Great Depression. The company has evolved into present day Audi, as a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group....

 led to a Caribbean shell being mated with a DKW Junior
DKW Junior
The DKW Junior was a small front wheel drive saloon manufactured by Auto Union AG. The car received a positive reaction when first exhibited, initially badged as the DKW 600, at the Frankfurt Motor Show in March 1957...

 chassis, a Mantzel-tuned prototype reaching 106 m.p.h.

As the result of a slump in sales, Falcon Cars was wound up in 1964.

Falcon Mk 2 was relaunched in the late 1980s as the Autotune Gemini.


  • Mark 1: Like the Ashley 750, it fitted the Austin 7
    Austin 7
    The Austin 7 was a car produced from 1922 through to 1939 in the United Kingdom by the Austin Motor Company. Nicknamed the "Baby Austin", it was one of the most popular cars ever produced for the British market, and sold well abroad...

     chassis with its 750 cc engine. Its bodyshape was inspired by contemporary sportscars particularly the Austin Healey
    Austin Healey
    Austin Sean Healey is a former English rugby union player, who played as a utility back for Leicester Tigers, and has represented the England national rugby union team and the British Lions....


  • Mark 2: Formerly the Ashley Sports Racer, this shell fitted wheelbases between 6 in 11 in (2.11 m) and 7 in 4 in (2.24 m). Primarily designed for the track, its styling was influenced by sports racers like the Jaguar
    Jaguar (car)
    Jaguar Cars Ltd, known simply as Jaguar , is a British luxury car manufacturer, headquartered in Whitley, Coventry, England. It is part of the Jaguar Land Rover business, a subsidiary of the Indian company Tata Motors....

     D type. In September 1957, a hard top was made available.

  • Competition: developed from the Mark 2, it sold as a complete kit from £560. Included were the GRP shell, Ford
    Ford of Britain
    Ford of Britain is a British wholly owned subsidiary of Ford of Europe, a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. Its business started in 1909 and has its registered office in Brentwood, Essex...

    Ford Anglia
    The 1949 model, code E494A, was a makeover of the previous model with a rather more 1940s style front-end, including the sloped, twin-lobed radiator grille. Again it was a very spartan vehicle and in 1948 was Britain's lowest priced four wheel car....

     engine and a spaceframe chassis. Twin head fairings were an option. It was also still available as a bare shell.

  • Caribbean: Originally called the Mark 3, it was primarily intended for the Ford 10's 7 in 6 in (2.29 m) chassis, but would fit chassis of similar wheelbase. It was a pretty, Italian-inspired two seater that proved most popular in coupe form, although a convertible version was also offered. It was estimated that more than 2,000 were produced between 1959 and 1963.

  • Bermuda: A two-plus-two version of the Caribbean for the family for the same Ford 10 base. Some 200 were sold.

  • Peregrine: Originally called the 1000, it was a sleek GT coupe powered by the Ford Cosworth
    Cosworth is a high performance engineering company founded in London in 1958, specialising in engines and electronics for automobile racing , mainstream automotive and defence industries...

    Ford Anglia
    The 1949 model, code E494A, was a makeover of the previous model with a rather more 1940s style front-end, including the sloped, twin-lobed radiator grille. Again it was a very spartan vehicle and in 1948 was Britain's lowest priced four wheel car....

     motor. It was smaller than the Caribbean but retained the Falcon family style. Pellandine raced the car at Brands Hatch
    Brands Hatch
    Brands Hatch is a motor racing circuit near West Kingsdown in Kent, England. First used as a dirt track motorcycle circuit on farmland, it hosted 12 runnings of the British Grand Prix between 1964 and 1986 and currently holds many British and international racing events...

     and set a lap record in its class. Only two were built.

  • 515: Sold as a complete kit with a space frame made by Progress bonded to the bodyshell. It used a Ford 1500cc
    Ford Kent engine
    The Ford Kent is an internal combustion engine from Ford of Europe. Originally developed in 1959 for the Ford Anglia, it is an in-line four-cylinder engine with a cast-iron cylinder head and block.-Pre-Crossflow:...

     engine and running gear giving a maximum 70 bhp and creditable performance for the time. The shell was designed by Brazilian Tom Rohonyi taking inspiration from Ferrari
    Ferrari S.p.A. is an Italian sports car manufacturer based in Maranello, Italy. Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929, as Scuderia Ferrari, the company sponsored drivers and manufactured race cars before moving into production of street-legal vehicles as Ferrari S.p.A. in 1947...

    , particularly the 1960 400 Superamerica
    Ferrari America
    The first America cars were the 340, produced between 1950 and 1952. Using the new Lampredi V12 developed for Formula One racing, the 340 America could produce over...

    . The kit sold for £900 but only about 25 were completed. In competition, Howden Ganley
    Howden Ganley
    James Howden Ganley is a former racing driver from New Zealand. He participated in 41 World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on March 6, 1971, scoring a total of 10 championship points...

    drove a works prepared car with some success.

External links

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