1963 Ford GalaxieSitting two inches lower than its 1962 forerunner, the 1963.5 'fastback' Galaxie was a reported 28 percent more aerodynamic - a fact that instantly translated into major success on NASCAR's superspeedways. Recognizing that the 'notchback' Galaxie profile was a veritable brick at high speeds, Ford's idea guys had tried to get away with attaching an optional 'Starlift' roof to the 1962 convertible to create a more swoopy shape for NASCAR competition. NASCAR rule moguls, however, didn't buy the idea, forcing Ford designers back to the drawing board. The result was this stylish, functional, mid-year bodystyle. To power the new fastback Galaxie, Ford engineers again beefed up the FE block, this time boring it out to 427 ci - at least that's what they said. Actual displacement computed to 425 ci, but Dearborn's image-makers apparently didn't want Ford's top performance powerplant to take a back seat to rival offerings. Seven liters, or roughly 427 ci, was the established legal limit for stock-class racing, and with a flick of a public relations pen the new 425 ci big-block was introduced tot he public as being right at that limit. Triple carbs were dropped for 1963 in favor of two big Holley four-barrels. Counting both the single-carb 410 hp and the dual-carb 425 hp versions, Ford sold 4,978 427-equipped models in 1963.
The '1963.5' Ford Put a Model Year Within a Model Year
Ford's sporty Galaxie 500XL series was introduced in mid-1962. The XL package included all the Galaxie 500 equipment plus a special bucket-seat interior with center floor console.....[continue reading]
Chassis Num: C3HM10004
This 1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie Holman & Moody NASCAR Race Car is powered by a 427 cubic-inch FORD NASSCAR V8 engine delivering 450+ horsepower. There is a four-speed Ford top-loader transmission, a 9-inch Ford rear, and Full Holman-Moody NASCAR preparati....[continue reading]
This 1963 Ford Galaxy 500 Convertible was once owned by country singer legend, George Jones. He has had more singles of major music charts than any other performer in any format and has won every big award including Grammy's. Even in his 70's he st....[continue reading]
Built by Ford Motor Company in Norfolk, orders for option AS-225-39D began February 26, 1963. Lightweights started out as a Corinthian White 63B Special hardtop Tudor Sedan with a 289 cubic-inch engine and standard trans....[continue reading]
This is an authentic replica of the famous Curtis Turner stock car that terrorized the tracks in Ford's Total Performance year. Curtis Turner was known as NASCAR's first bad boy. This car features all the right stuff just as Curtis Turner would hav....[continue reading]
In the early 1960s, Ford attempted to win races by using a powerful, lightweight car, in hopes of outperforming Chevy and Chrysler on the track and in the showroom. Chevrolet had introduced their Z-11, so Ford introduced the 'Factory Lightweight.' ....[continue reading]
Already proving itself during the 1963 NASCAR Championship, which they subsequently won, Ford ordered the construction of approximately 200 lightweight Galaxie 500s mid-year intended for drag racing. The R-Code cars featured Ford's dual-quad 427 V8 w....[continue reading]
Chassis Num: 3N66R144637
During the early 1960s, auto manufacturers went head-to-head on the nation's drag strips, NASCAR ovals, and road-racing circuits. Companies like Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler Corporation stuffed the largest-possible engines into their full-sized....[continue reading]
Chassis Num: 3N66C141084
This 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Hardtop has the 390 CI engine mated to a 4-speed gearbox, period mag wheels and tires, and power disc brakes. It has been given a body-off restoration and the frame has been powder coated.....[continue reading]
Chassis Num: 4J66C106576
This 1963 Ford Galaxie 500XL Hardtop has the 390/330HP engine with an automatic transmission, a bright red exterior with a red and white interior, and factory aluminum wheels with knock-offs. It has an original AM push button radio and factory clock,....[continue reading]
'Total Performance' was Ford's slogan in 1963. The Galaxie with a 427 cubic-inch engine was how they delivered. Unlike other Galaxies, these were delivered with a beefed-up suspension, drive train, and larger wheels. They also came with a 4-speed tra....[continue reading]
This 1963 Ford Galaxie was dubbed 'The Purple Pontiac Eater' after the 1960s song. This car was driven by NASCAR champion and Hall of Famer Glen 'Fireball' Roberts and it got its biggest win at the 1963 Southern 500 at Darlington, SC. It is said it w....[continue reading]
Chassis Num: 3E65X216582
This 1963 Ford Galaxie Convertible has been refinished in original Heritage Burgundy. It has a power top, power steering, power brakes, a 352 cubic-inch V8 engine, and an original Cruise-O-Matic transmission. There are fender skirts and factory hubca....[continue reading]
HistoryThe 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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