Galaxie

A long time ago, in a car far far away...



In the little time I have been lurking at auto-shows in Michigan and Wisconsin, I have noticed that the amount of Galaxies turning up has been increasing. It seems as though Ford's Galaxie has found itself in caught up in a trend. If you've seen a powder blue '67 Galaxie scampering around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with a non-factory continental kit aboard, it may be my friend Eli Collins's family's. Oh, never mind, because now there are two powder blue galaxies scampering around the UP! And the non-Collins one houses a 428. Uhh oh Eli...


Intro:

The Galaxie, overall, was Ford's sporty people mover. It came with some pretty powerful engines and some sporty body lines. In fact, around the earlier '60s, one could go to the drag-strip and watch Thunderbirds get walloped by Galaxies. The Thunderbird, in its original form, being Ford's Corvette fighter. For more info on Thunderbirds, check out my Thunderbird Page.

History:

The Galaxie was born to the world in 1959. It was the creme de la creme at Ford, providing you look elsewhere when a Thunderbird plodded by. Right below it was the Fairlane. "Eh what's the difference in '59 eh?" you say? Well, I'm not too sure... Besides badging, not much of a change is evident between the two. A scrutinizing eye may notice that the little things on the fenders, which look like balls or some such thing were gold on the galaxie. Sheesh, I've forgotten. Well, somebody muscle in here with some expertise... Even the price, at around $2,650 was the same (for a Galaxie Club Sedan and a Fairlane 500 club sedan (Dammann 216).

Right around the time between 1959 and 1960 factories started a practice of listing options with the AMA in order to legitimize optional equipment for NASCAR and NHRA racing. -Dan Devlin

1960 saw a new body style for the Galaxie. Here is a picture of a Starliner. Rear quarter-panel ripples set apart this Galaxie from the other Fords. The Galaxie was still top dog at Ford though, as far as luxurious people moving goes. The base V8 in 1960 was the 292 CID Y-block. These motors are called "Y Blocks" because if you stand back from them, looking right on at them (the fan pointing toward you) the motor resembles a Y more than a V. This is because of the extremely long and low oil pan.

In 1961 the 6v option was listed for the full size Ford (including the Galaxie, the Galaxie 500, the Custom, and the Custom 500) as a dealership installed option. This engine produced 401 HP, up from the normal 375 HP the 390 CID usually cranked out. Ford was in the process of tooling the 406 CID engine at this time and didn't build and factory DSO vehicles.

The first 1962 Galaxie 500XLs (see below) were built at the Lincoln-Mercury in Lorain Ohio. The reason for moving the assembly line from it's normal home was because there were so many changes in the soft trim build (interior w/bucket seats, etc.) that in order assure build quality it was decided to use the slower Mercury line (one car every few minutes instead of one car every minute at a Ford assembly plant). These cars were delivered in March/April 1962. About 7 months after the Impala SS. A Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealer in Marshfield, Mass wound up with several of these first build 500XLs and the Mercury equivalent S55. They were as follows; A Chestnut 500XL convertible (Dan Devlin's car) with a 385HP/406CID, a red 500XL 2DR HTP with a 405HP/406 CID and a Mercury S55 with a 385HP/406CID. The Mercury was equipped with a 3.00:1 axle and must have had a top speed of at least 140 MPH! Except for the differences in the dash design/trim, the interior was identical with one other exception. The interior panel finish molding at the window edge was smooth chrome plated on the Mercury and a painted embossed (vinyl pattern) steel on the Ford.

 

Miscellaneous:

There are a few Galaxies with the LTD nameplate also. You may see a lot of Galaxies with the 500 number or an XL attached. The 500 does not mean 500 horse power or cubic in displacement (CID) it's just a trendy thing to do, like spelling the name Galaxie rather than Galaxy. The leading rumor for the origin of the 500 notation is that it stood for 500 miles, as in the 500 mile stock car races in which the Galaxie was a competitor. The XL means that model came with special options, like a console (hump between the front seats with shift lever, etc.) and bucket seats. Of course the packages were more intricate than this.

For example, a 1967 Galaxie XL may or may not have been convertible, but it most certainly had bucket seats, a console shift lever, a nifty see-thru steering wheel, usually a peppier engine, and many more things that auto companies could afford to tack on to special vehicles.

These days, people try to take advantage of the lines of some Galaxies by sticking Fairlane 500 GT (or GTA, which means it has an Automatic transmission) sticker-trim on the the lower part of the fenders, doors, etc. These are not factory options. Personally, I think it is a disgrace to the Galaxie, which I would imagine, takes more pride in it's trunk space than its performance.


Engine Options:


Modern Day Comparison:

The 1994-96 Chevy Impala (Except the Galaxie came in more than 3 colors).


Pictures:


Links to other Galaxie Pages:


Thanks To (in order of appearance in my email box):


Car Clubs

(Listed in Alphabetical order first by country, then by name).


Individuals

(Listed in Alphabetical order first by country, then by name).

 


Have you browsed a ford lately?

This one has miles on it since May 1st, 1996.

Last Tune-up: 10-02-2000


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Matthew L. Prater
Email:prater@mtu.edu
Copyright © Matthew L. Prater.