1963 Ford Galaxie
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Engine/Mechanical Component Photos
The quest for better aerodynamic efficiency for its NASCAR race cars led Ford to the creation of an altered roofline for its 1963 Galaxie, well after the car's model year introduction. The combination of the new roofline, the knowledge and skill of race car builders Holman & Moody, and the new Ford 7-liter V8 made the cars nearly untouchable, especially when piloted by drivers like Dan Gurney. Gurney wrestled the big Galaxie around the Riverside, California, road course for a win in NASCAR's first-ever 500-mile road-course event in January, setting the stage for a Ford Grand National title win at season's end.
In the 1960s, NASCAR was an established commodity, but hardly the all encompassing corporate/cultural giant that exists today. In that era races were frequently sponsored by businesses and organizations that today could not afford a single race-time television commercial.
From 1963 to 1971, The Motor Trend 500, named after the sponsoring magazine, was held at the now defunct Riverside International Raceway in California. This event was NASCAR's first-ever 500 mile road race.
Ford's NASCAR stocker for 1963 was the two-door version of the Galaxie. Prior to the introduction of the Mustang and the Torino, the Galaxie was one of Ford's most versatile competition cars, doing duty on both the oval track and the drag strip. A mid-year introduction, the new hardtop coupe body, also called a 'sports roof' coupe provided Galaxie buyers wîth a sleek new choice and Ford NASCAR teams wîth an aerodynamic advantage. Únder the hood a powerful 427 cubic-inch V8 engine gave Ford drivers just what they needed to put this car in victory lane on a regular basis.
Legendary racer Dan Gurney drove this car in the first Motor Trend 500. Owned and crewed by the Wood Brothers and prepped by the Ford performance tuning house of Holman and Moody, Gurney's Galaxie had the right combination. Gurney himself, while not a NASCAR regular, had years of professional experience in F1 Series and various road races, driving cars that turned both left and right. He also had plenty of victories. Gurney won the first Motor Trend 500; he followed it up wîth three more victories in a row (1963-1966) and a fourth in 1968. All of his stock car victories came at Riverside in a race he so dominated that those in the sport jokingly called it the 'Gurney 500.'
This car was restored to period correct condition by its current owners.
In 2010, the car was offered for sale at the Sports & Classics of Monterey presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $150,000 - $200,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $123,750 inclusive of buyer's premium.Source - AACA Museum
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