Here’s my story.

My dad bought his first brand-new car in 1981. It was a Ford Falcon Sprint, the allegedly sporty version of the old cop car. For the first days, as he was waiting for the licence plates to come (you had to wait something like a week or two), the car was kept in the garage, and he just walked to his office. At the same time he was remodelling the house, and the entire garage and front doors were not yet there; there was only a fence with a chain that sort of prevented the car from being stolen. Sort of.

One night, an older Falcon parks by our house. It seemed that it had some mechanical problem, as they were just pushing the throtle. It made quite some noise, and we all woke up (my bedroom was just above the garage). Next, my dad (and I) watch as somebody takes our car literally from under our beds, and drive away.

Dad tried to chase them, until a neighbor convinced him not to do so. Remember, we were still under a civilian-military dictatorship, and gangsters from the paramilitary forces ruled the country.

The insurance paid for the stolen car, and dad bought another Sprint, but this time he’d remove the distributor altogether. And sleep with a gun on his night table.

Fast forward a couple of years. It’s 1984, we have democracy again and investigations for human right violations are starting to dismantle the paramilitary system. Someone from the insurance company called to say that they “found” my dad’s stolen car, only painted in red. He went to see it, and it was badly beaten, so he refused to take it back. Moreover, there were blood stains in the rear seat and the trunk.

It turns out that the police had certain dudes in the dealerships, whispering who bought what, and where they lived. In those years FoMoCo had a deep entanglement with the army and the police, and used them to disappear union activists from their factory. In exchange, they sold Falcons to the army and the police. And had the popular TC motorsport series arranged so that only Fords could win it.

Dad’s car looked just like this one: