1959 Ford Galaxie news, pictures, specifications, and information
V8 Skyliner Convertible
Chassis Num: B9KW107468
Sold for $66,000 at 2014 RM Auctions.
The Ford Skyliner was an innovative full-size automobile with a retractable hardtop produced by the Ford Motor Company in the late 1950's. Based on the North American Ford Fairlane, the Skyliner had a complex mechanism which folded the front of the roof and retracted it under the rear decklid. This mechanism was prone to failure, and the large top took up vast amounts of trunk space, limiting the car's sales. Nonetheless, the retractable hardtop reappeared in the 1990's with the Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder and Mercedes-Benz SLK.

The Skyliner, which was produced for model years 1957, 1958, and 1959, had a squared-off roofline style that was admired by the public and found its way onto most Ford two-door hardtops until 1965, including the Thunderbird, Galaxie and Fairlane. The Skyliner name was previously applied to another Fairlane derivative, the Crown Victoria Skyliner. This vehicle had a clear acrylic glass roof panel over the front row of seats. To purchase new this would have cost approximately $3,346.

This car has been restored to show quality standards and is well optioned with power steering, power brakes, power windows, continental kit, dual exhaust and deluxe trim.
V8 Club Victoria
Chassis Num: B9RS194896
Sold for $22,000 at 2011 Gooding & Company.
Ford introduced the Galaxie in 1959 in the midst of the space race era. The Galaxie was the company's top-of-the-line offering and featured a V-8 engine, an abundance of chrome, updated trim and Thunderbird-inspired design elements.

This example is a Club Victoria, identified by its clean, pillarless hardtop. The car was originally sold to a family in Portland, Oregon.

Currently, the car has just over 55,000 original miles on the odometer. It has been refinished in the original Colonial White and rides on a set of period-correct Goodyear tires. There are a number of factory-delivered accessories including the sunray hubcaps, bumperettes and a rear deck antenna. Inside, there is a radio and working clock, and a General Electric 40-channel CB radio mounted beneath the dashboard.

In 2011, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Amelia Island, Florida where it was estimated to sell for $35,000 - $50,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $22,000 including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2011
V8 Town Victoria
The Ford Galaxie was produced from 1959 until 1974 and was a success from the beginning. With its understated elegance the Galaxie earned the reputation of being one of the most beautiful cars to come off the Dearborn assembly lines.

Six models were offered in the Galaxie V-8 series: two-door Club Victoria, four-door Club Victoria, four-door Town Sedan, two-door Club Sedan, two-door Skyliner convertible, and a two-door Sunliner convertible. The Skyliner offered a retractable hardtop that folded into the Galaxie's trunk, while the Sunliner featured a removable hardtop.

According to the owner, this 1959 Galaxie Sunliner convertible has approximately 27,000 original miles. It is powered by a Thunderbird Special 332 cubic-inch, 300 horsepower V-8 engine, which was an option for an additional $141 over the base price of $2,957.
V8 Club Victoria
Chassis Num: C9FS266208
Sold for $79,750 at 2008 RM Auctions.
By 1959 Ford was nearing the production of their 50 millionth vehicle. This occurred on April 29th of 1959 and was a Galaxie 500 four-door sedan. To celebrate this accomplishment, the Ford Motor Company aided in the re-creation of the first transcontinental race. The first transcontinental race was held in 1909. For the recreation, the 50 millionth Ford was sent from New York City to Seattle, completing the route and carrying the company flag along the way.

This Ford is the actual 50 millionth Ford produced. It rolled off the assembly line on April 29th of 1959. It completed the transcontinental trip and was then sent on several promotional appearances. It was later donated to the Henry Ford Museum where it remained until the late 1980s. It has traveled a mere 10,700 miles since new and still retains its original white finish, and three-tone gold, black and white interior. It is powered by the original V8 engine displacing 292 cubic-inches and producing 200 horsepower. It has an automatic gearbox, AM radio, and power steering.

In 2008 this car was brought to the Automobiles of Amelia presented by RM Auctions where it was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $70,000 and offered without reserve. The winning bid was slightly higher than the estimates, selling for $79,750.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
V8 Club Victoria
The Skyliner Retractable Top Convertible was introduced in 1957 as a companion model to Ford's conventional Sunliner convertible. The Skyliner was the first mass-produced car of its kind and was considered an engineering marvel. At the push of a button, the steel hardtop completely dropped into the trunk and the remarkable sequent of events (driven by 600 feet of wiring, 10 power relays, eight circuit breakers, 10 limit switched and three drive motors) amazed every onlooker and spectator.

When it was first introduced in 1957, it was popular and 20,766 examples were sold. The following year, sales dropped to just 14,713. Total sales for Ford in 1959 were 1,450,953, of which just 12,915 of those were the Retractable Top Skyliner Galaxie. Ford made the decision to cancel production of the Skyliner at the end of 1959.

There were several drawbacks that hindered the Skyliner, such as the high sticker price of nearly $500 more than the standard Sunliner. The Skyliner took a toll on trunk space, especially when the top was stowed.

This Skyliner is painted in Flame Red and Colonial White and was built at the San Jose plant on October 17th of 1959. It is very well-equipped with options including the 300 horsepower, 352 cubic-inch V-8 engine. There is a Town and Country signal-seeking radio, continental kit, fender skirts and dual spotlights. The car was fitted with the Safety Package, which consists of padded dash and sun visors, and front seat belts.

By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2009
V8 Sunliner Convertible
The 1959 Fords are considered by many people to be the most beautifully-styled Fords ever built. While other automobile makers were producing futuristic designs, Ford exercised restraint and the result was a line-up that earned the Gold Medal for Exceptional Styling at the Brussels World Fair.

Introduced in late 1958, the Galaxie was deemed Ford's top-line model. The design came from the blend of a standard Fairlane 500 body and a Thunderbird style 'C' pillar - a combination that produced truly beautiful results.

This Galaxie hardtop was owned by only two other individuals before making its way to the current owners. It remains nearly all original, with only the paint being newer. The odometer shows only 43,000 miles.
V8 Club Victoria
The Retractable was produced for 3 years: 1957, 1958, and 1959, during that time there were 50,412 units produced. There are about a 1,000 cars left.

Unique to the top, there is 610 feet of wire, 6 electric motors, 10 switches and 13 relays used. The car was equipped with the 352 cubic-inch V8 engine, cruisematic transmission and power steering. This car sold new for $3,368.
V8 Skyliner Convertible
Chassis Num: B9KW107468
Sold for $66,000 at 2014 RM Auctions.
When the Skyliner technology was introduced in 1957, it was the first American production car to have a retractable hardtop. By pulling a switch under the dashboard, the conventional-appearing hardtop coupe would transform into a convertible. The hinged steel top would fold neatly and slip away under a reverse-hinged rear deck within two minutes. This was done with the help of 600 feet of wiring, 10 power relays, 8 circuit breakers, 10 limit switches, 3 drive motors, and 4 lock motors.

Production of the Skyliner lasted three years with the final year ending in 1959. 12,915 examples were sold, despite a $400 premium over the conventional Sunliner ragtop, making it, at $3,346, the most expensive full-size Ford. The Skyliner was part of the Fairlane 500 series at the beginning of the model year, but it was made into a Galaxie halfway through the year.

This particular example was privately acquired for Richard and Linda Kughn's collection several years ago. The car wears its original colors of Indian Turquoise over Colonial White and is powered by a 225 horsepower, 332 cubic-inch V8 and mated to a Ford-O-Matic transmission. It has power steering, power brakes, power windows, a dual exhaust, deluxe trim, tinted glass, and a rear-mounted Continental kit spare.

The car has been restored to show-quality standards. It has been displayed at several events including the Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance, the Glenmoor Gathering, and the International Ford Retractable Club Showcase.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2014
A full-size vehicle built in the U.S. by the Ford Motor Company, the Ford Galaxie was sold from 1959 until 1974. The name was used for only the top models in the Ford's full-size range from 1959 until 1961. By 1962 the Galaxie name was assigned to the lowest-priced full-size Ford. The Galaxie was introduced in 1959 and this was the first initial for the Galaxie model line. The six Galaxie models included the Galaxie Club Victoria, Galaxie Town Sedan, Galaxie Town Victoria, Galaxie Club Sedan, Galaxie Sunliner Convertible and the Galaxie Sunliner Retractable. Each of these models came with their very own features that ranged from trim all the way to ornamentation and to their retractable top that folded into the Galaxie's trunk.

'59 Fords were advertised as having 'Thunderbird elegance' and they featured all new styling. Basically the same vehicle, the '59 Galaxie and Fairlane were virtually impossible to tell apart other than the ornamentation and model name designation. Both vehicles featured a mass amount of stainless steel and chrome body trim and exquisite three-tone cloth interior trim. The Skyliner Retractable was probably the best remembered with its all-steel hardtop that effortlessly moved into the trunk to transform it to a convertible in just 60 seconds.

Options that were available on the '59 Galaxie included AC, deluxe rear deck antenna, visored spotlight mirror, flying elipse hood ornament, sunray multi-colored wheel covers, power front seats, steering, windows and 'swift sure' power brakes. Engines available for the 1959 model year were the 292-V8 with 200 horsepower, 223 Mileage Maker six cylinder at 145 hp, 332 Thunderbird Special and 353 Thunderbird Special at 300 hp. Options for transmission include a three speed conventional drive with an overdrive option, Fordomatic Drive two speed automatic, overdrive, and three speed Cruise-O-Matic Drive automatic. Very well liked, the '59 Galaxie continued to be so for many years of Galaxie evolution.

For the 1960 year, the very popular Starliner body style was featured as an addition to the lineup. The Starliner was a dashing sports car sedan that came with a ‘rakish roofline' with no door post that featured an open air effect throughout the car. The most unique and considered to be the ‘raciest' of Ford's larger-than-normal ‘60's vehicles, the Ford Galaxie Starliner and Sunliner were unveiled and were now nearly six inches longer in length, almost 200 lbs heavier and nearly five inches wider. The styling was sleek and graceful and helped to hide some of the weight and was also aided with a sloped hood, simple grille, chrome-edged fender-lines, straight A-pillars and horizontal tailfins. The Starliner has always been noted for its elegant hardtop that featured very narrow B-pillars.

The Sunliner led the top-line Galaxie lineup in 1960, but the Starliner was unique with a pillar-less semi-fastback two-door hardtop that replaced the ‘59's ultra popular square-roof version. Selling really competitively, the Starliner was unfortunately not keeping up to Ford's standards, and for 1961 a conventional hardtop coupe was reinstated this year. Starliner sales plummeted, and the model didn't return to the lineup. For 1961 the Starliner featured a bullet-embellished front bumper and afterburner taillights. Customers could choose over a dozen interior color options, meanwhile the interiors varied from model to model.

For '61, the basic Fords were lighter and mildly shorter, the hood was reshaped, and nicely made over with a concave grille, the body-sides were more rounded and the large round tail lamps were returned. Ford gravitated toward 'Total Performance' in these years including the 1960 'Interceptor 360' version of the 352 V8 and then the following year with enlarged 390 big-block offering up to 401 bhp. Both of these options were low-volume options and today these are quite desirable options. The same is said of the '60 and '61 Ford Galaxie Starliner and Sunliner which are also desirable options.

Some of the selling points of the '60 and '61 Galaxie Starliner and Sunliner was the plush ride, the room and spaciousness of the cabin, the ample club support and the fact that its ‘moving up strongly in value'. Other pluses were the smooth V8 power-teams, the swooping styling and that fact that it is still quite affordable to own. The downsides of both of these cars are the fact that it's quite difficult to find originals still in good condition and the also that trim and body parts are hard to find.

A total of 68,461 Starliner hardtop convertible were produced while 44,762 Sunliner convertibles were produced in 1960. A total of 29,669 Starliner hardtop coupes were produced and 44,614 Sunliner convertibles were produced the following year. Priced brand new, the 1960 and 1961 cost from $2,599 and $2,960.

By Jessica Donaldson
The Ford Galaxie entered the scene in 1959 and was offered in various configurations. The model line consisted of a Club Victoria, Town Victoria, Club Sedan, Town Sedan, Sunliner Convertible and Skyliner Retractable. Similar to the Fairlane, they were distinguished by differed ornamentation.

The highlight of the 1959 model line was the Skyliner Retractable that had an all-steel hardtop that could be moved via electrical mechanics into the trunk transforming the hardtop vehicle into a convertible in just sixty seconds.

The Galaxie was offered with optional equipment, transmissions and engine sizes. Air conditioning, Sunray multi-colored wheel covers, power front seats, power steering, power windows, and power brakes, were just a few of the options presented to satisfy the demands of the customers. The engines ranged from a 292 cubic-inch 8-cylinder producing 200 horsepower to a 352 cubic-inch power-plant that produced 300 horsepower. Transmission options were a three-speed with overdrive, Ford-O-matic Drive two speed automatic, and a three-speed Cruise-O-Matic drive automatic.

In 1960 Ford added the Starliner body style to the Galaxie model line-up. The Starliner was void of door posts which accented the open-air effect. A Country Squire wagon with wood-grain body trim was now offered. All of the series received new body-lines giving the vehicles a more-modern and stylish appearance, again, sharing a similar body design with the Fairlane.

There were five engine options to chose from, ranging from the 223 cubic-inch Mileage Maker Six-Cylinder to a 352 cubic-inch V8 complete with four-barrel carburetor and 360 horsepower. The three-speed manual transmission came as standard equipment; optional were the Fordomatic Drive two-speed auto, and three-speed Cruise-O-Matic Drive.

For 1961, Ford redesigned the Galaxie which resulted in awards from the international fashion authority, Centro per L'Alta Moda Italiana, meaning 'functional expression of classic beauty'. Thirteen exterior colors were available to chose from, along with various sedan and wagon body styles. With multiple engine, transmission, available options, and body styles, the Ford Galaxie could be customized to suite any customers demands and wishes. The self-adjusting brakes and galvanized rust-protection body panels were standard, as was the Mileage Maker six-cylinder engine. The top-engine option was the 390 cubic-inch High-Performance 8-cylinder engine with three-carburetors and 400 horsepower. A Thunderbird 352 cubic-inch engine was available and could be modified to produce more than the base 220 horsepower.

In 1962 the biggest aesthetic difference over the 1961 model was the modifications that were done to the grill. The interior was adorned in more luxurious items and this was evident in the 500 XL models. In total, there were 14 different body-styles to select that ranged from sedans and convertibles, to wagons. Five engines were available with the 406 cubic-inc Super High Performance 8-cylinder power-plant producing 405 horsepower. If that wasn't enough, there were over 45 color keyed interior trims to select from. The Galaxie was becoming a customizable, luxurious, performance machine.

For 1963 the horsepower increased to an astonishing 425. Transmission options were a Synchro-Smooth column-shift, 4-speed manual Fordomatic Drive automatic, and Cruise-O-Matic three speed automatic. Ford continued to offer a multitude of options and bodystyles. The Galaxie 500XL was still the most luxurious offering that could be had in two or four doors. The Galaxie was given a sportier roof line and various aesthetic enhancements.

In 1964, there were sixteen bodystyles to choose from that again ranged from sedans to wagons, and hardtop to convertibles. The interior received the most attention with its new trim but the exterior did receive a new grill and panel design. There were a limited number of Galaxies fitted with the 427 cubic-inch engine and given fiberglass race equipment to help reduce the overall weight of the vehicle. These lightweight machines are legendary both in design and their accomplishments on the racing circuit.

In 1965, Ford redesigned the Galaxie, giving it a wider stance, and dual vertical stacked headlights. The base engine was the six-cylinder 240 cubic-inch engine. The top-of-the-line engine was the 427 with 425 horsepower.

In 1966 Ford introduced the 428 cubic-inch engine which came standard on the Galaxie 7 Liter model. The LTD model had a unique appearance, ornamentation, and trim. The Galaxie 500XL, Galaxie 500, and Custom 500 made up the Ford Galaxie model offerings. Again, these could be ordered in various sedans, wagons, hardtop, convertible, four or two-door configurations. Multiple options were still available, including engine, transmission, power disc brakes, power windows, power seats, vinyl room, power steering, air conditioning and more.

For 1967 Ford kept the appearance of the Galaxie similar to the prior model year. The turn signals were moved from the grill to the bumper. Ford offered 52 upholstery choices, 25 two-tone combinations, and 15 Diamond Luster Enamel paint colors. The muscle-car era was in full-swing and the Ford Galaxie was a formidable contender with its powerful engines and performance products. Its only drawbacks were it slightly larger size and luxurious amenities which were not as pure as other muscle-car offerings and added to the overall weight of the vehicle. Still, it was a high-performance, customizable, and sporty machine.

In 1968 the Galaxie was redesigned. The base model was the Ford Custom 500, available in two or four door variations. The XL was void of the Galaxie name, available in convertible or fastback configuration. The dual headlamps could be concealed when not in use in the XL, LTD and Country Squire models. Six engine options were available. Transmission options were a three-speed Cruise-O-Matic, floor-shift four-speed manual, and a three-speed manual.

In 1969 Ford moved the Galaxie higher into the luxury car segment, making it larger, heavier, and wider. The result was more room for the passengers. This trend continued into 1970 when the vehicle grew even larger. The focus was a large but quiet automobile. In total, there were 21 new models to select from ranging from three LTD Broughams, two XL models, six Galaxie 500 models, and five LTD models. The models ranged in bodystyles that consisted of two and four door configuration, hardtop, convertible, and sports-roof. Due to rising government safety and emission concerns, the horsepower rating on the engines were decreasing. The base engine was the 240 cubic-inch six cylinder engine while the four-barrel carburetor 429 cubic-inch engine produced 360 horsepower. There were three transmissions available including the three-speed manual, four-speed floor shift, and the three-speed Select Shift Cruise-O-Matic.

The goal of large, quiet, and comfortable continued in 1971 and on through 1972. Safety and comfort were big concerns for many people and the Galaxie was poised to address those concerns. It featured spacious interiors and more steel than most automobiles. Rising emission and safety concerns continued to deteriorate the horsepower. There were still multiple engines to choose from and plenty of optional equipment to satisfy all demands.

By Daniel Vaughan | May 2009
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