Ford Galaxie

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Ford Galaxie
1966 Ford Galaxie 7 Litre
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
AssemblyChicago, Illinois
LayoutFR layout
ManualsService Manual

See also the Ford Galaxy large MPV of the 2000s.

The Ford Galaxie was a full-size car built in the United States by the Ford Motor Company for model years 1959 through 1974. The name was used for the top models in Ford’s full-size range from 1959 until 1966. The Galaxie continued below the LTD as Ford’s mid-level full-size model from 1967 until its demise at the end of the 1974 model year [1].

The Galaxie was the high volume counterpart to the Chevrolet Impala. Some Galaxies were high-performance, racing specification machines, a larger forebear to the muscle car era. Others were plain family sedans.

A version of the car was also produced in Brazil under the names Galaxie 500, LTD and Landau from 1967 to 1983

The similarly named Ford Galaxy is an large car/minivan available in the European market. The vehicles name is taken from the original Ford Galaxie.


First generation
1959 Ford Galaxie Club Victoria
Body style(s)2-door sedan
4-door sedan
2-door hardtop
4-door hardtop
2-door convertible [2]
Engine(s)223 in³ (3.7 L) OHV I6
272 in³ (4.5 L) Y-block V8
292 in³ (4.8 L) T-bird V8
352 in³ (5.4 L) T-bird police interceptor V8
Transmission(s)3-speed automatic
3-speed manual
Wheelbase2997 mm (118 in)
ManualsService Manual
See also 1959 Ford
1959 Ford Galaxie

1959 saw the introduction of the Galaxie name in Ford's model lineup at mid-year. That year, the Galaxie range of six models were simply upscale versions of Ford's long-running Ford Fairlane with a revised rear roofline that mimicked the concurrent Thunderbird. In keeping with the era, the 1959 Galaxie was a chrome and stainless steel-bedecked, two-tone colored vehicle, the very image of late-1950s American automobile excess.

Among the models was the Skyliner Retractable, featuring a retractable hardtop that folded down into the trunk space; this feature, impressive but complicated, expensive and leaving very little trunk room when folded down, did not last long, being produced for only three years - 1957 through 1959. Power retractable hardtops have since been used by luxury manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and Cadillac, but in all these cases the vehicle was a two-seater, allowing a much smaller top mechanism than the Skyliner's. Not until 2006, when the Pontiac G6 convertible appeared, did another mass-market model with a rear seat appear in this category.[3]


Second generation
1963 Ford Galaxie 500
Body style(s)2-door sedan
4-door sedan
2-door hardtop
4-door hardtop
2-door convertible [4]
Engine(s)223 in³ (3.7 L) OHV I6
272 in³ (4.5 L) Y-block V8
289 in3 (4.7 L) V8
292 in³ (4.8 L) T-bird V8
312 in³ (5.1 L) T-bird V8
352 in3 (5.8 L) FE series V8
390 in3 (6.4 L) FE series V8
406 in3 (6.6 L) FE series V8
427 in3 (7.0 L) FE series V8
Wheelbase3023 mm (119 in)
RelatedMercury Meteor
Mercury Monterey
Lincoln Continental
ManualsService Manual

See also 1960 Ford

The 1960 Galaxie was all-new in style, abandoning the ostentatious ornamentation of the 1950s for a futuristic, sleek look that mimiced the 1959 Chevrolet. A new body style this year was the Starliner, featuring a huge, curving rear observation window on a pillarless, hardtop bodyshell. The formal roofed 2-door hardtop was not available this year. It had been the most popular body style in the line in 1959, and sales dropped off sharply.

For 1961, the bodywork was redone again, although the underpinnings were the same as 1960. This time, the tailfins were almost gone; replacing them were two giant circular taillights at each rear corner. Performance was beginning to be a selling point, and the 1961 Galaxie offered a new 390 CID (6.4 L) version of Ford's FE series pushrod V8,and a 390 was also made available with either a four-barrel carburetor or, for serious performance, three twin-barrel units. The latter was rated at 400 hp (298 kW), making even such a heavy car quite fast indeed. The Starliner was again offered this year, and Ford promoted this model with lots of luxury and power equipment, but it was dropped at the end of the year, as the re-introduced square-roof hardtop coupe took the bulk of sales.

For 1962, the Galaxie name was applied to all of Ford's full size models, as Fairlane moved to a new intermediate and Custom was temporarily retired. New top-line Galaxie 500 and Galaxie 500/XL models were also introduced. Performance wasn't ignored either, with an even larger 406 CID (6.7 L) engine being available, again in triple-carbureted "six-barrel" form. At the other end of the spectrum, of course, a "Mileage Maker" 6-cylinder engine was available for the more budget-minded driver. Tailfins were gone, giving the '62s a more rounded, softer rear end look. Taillights were set lower into the rear panel, and were partially sunken into the newly-sculped rear bumper.

For 1963, Ford saw no reason to radically change a good thing, and the 1963 model was essentially unchanged save for some freshening and added trim. A lower, fastback roofline was added mid year to improve looks and make the big cars more competitive on the NASCAR tracks. This 1963½ model was called the "Sports Roof" or "Scatback" hardtop. While not much changed for the everyday buyer, for the performance oriented things were a little different — for partway through this year and in limited quantities there became available Ford's new racing secret weapon, the 427, replacing the 406.

Two 1964 Fords: Galaxie (left) and Country Sedan (right)

1964 was the fourth and final year of this body style. Interior trim was much altered, and the exterior featured a more sculpted look which was actually designed to make the car more aerodynamic for NASCAR. The formal-roof "boxtop" style was replaced by the slanted-roof design for all non-wagon or convertible models, including sedans. Ford's quality control, spotty when the first Galaxie was introduced, was now as good as it ever was, and many '64 Fords passed the 100,000 mile mark intact. The '64s gained an enviable reputation as durable, comfortable cars that offered decent handling and roadability at a reasonable price, so it is no wonder they sold so well. Of the XL models, the '64 hardtop coupe takes the prize for the most produced. The base Ford 300 model was replaced by a line of Custom and Custom 500 models.

Under the hood, the 427 CID (7.0 L) engine carried on the high performance duties. Ford again took the 427-equipped Galaxie to the racetracks in serious fashion in 1964, building a number of lightweight, fiberglass equipped cars just for that purpose. These competed with success not only in North America but also in the United Kingdom. Initial doubts as to their competitiveness in Britain were short-lived; despite their great size and weight compared to the opposition, the Ford 427 engine gave them a competitive power-to-weight ratio and the handling was better than might have been supposed. They were raced in Europe reasonably successfully. The 427 was the powerplant of the dominant Ford GT40 Mk II.

Late in the year Ford introduced their new engine challenger, the SOHC 427 Cammer, Though not documented, it is believed a few may have found their way onto the street (this engine was only available to racers through the dealer network or from the manufacturer; none were ever factory installed). Rated at over 600 hp (447 kW), this is possibly the most powerful engine ever fitted to a production car by an American manufacturer. NASCAR changed the rules, however, requiring thousands (rather than hundreds) of production examples in service to qualify for the next season, and Ford decided against producing the Cammer in that quantity. Fears of liability concerns and the bad publicity possibilities in giving the public a car that dangerously powerful are often cited as reasons, but it might simply have been that Ford doubted that an engine so unsuited to street use could sell in such numbers.


Third generation
1965 Ford Galaxie convertible
Body style(s)4-door sedan
2-door hardtop
4-door hardtop
2-door convertible [5]
Engine(s)7.0L 428 in³V8
6.4L 390 in³ V8
5.9L 352 in³ V8
3.9L I6
ManualsService Manual

The 1965 Galaxie was an all-new design, featuring vertically stacked dual headlights in what was becoming the fashionable style in a car somewhat taller and bulkier than the previous year's. The new top-of-the-line designation this year was the Galaxie 500 LTD. Engine choices were the same as 1964.

1966 saw a new model, the Galaxie 500 7 Litre, fitted with a new engine, the 428 CID (7.01 L) Thunderbird V8. As the name suggests, this engine was also available on the Ford Thunderbird and was a response to a demand for a more docile, tractable engine than the racing-built 427. The 1966 bodystyle was introduced in Brazil as a 1967 model; it had the same external dimensions throughout its lifetime until Brazilian production ceased in 1983.

In 1967, the 7 Litre model no longer carried the Galaxie name; it was to be the last year of it being separately identified. That identification was mainly trim such as horn ring and dashboard markings as well as the "Q" in the VIN number. The 7 Litre in '67 was basically a trim and performance option on the XL model. Little else changed except for trim and the styling; the same engine range, from a 240 CID (3.9 L) six-cylinder to the 428 CID (7.0 L) V8. Modifications to the styling included adding a major bend in the center of the grille, and making the model less "boxy" than the 1966 model. The 1967 LTD dropped the Galaxie name, a harbinger of changes to come. [6]


Fourth generation
1970 Ford Galaxie XL convertible‎
Body style(s)4-door sedan
2-door hardtop
4-door hardtop
5-door station wagon
2-door convertible [7]
Engine(s)429 cid V8
ManualsService Manual

The 1968 model had a new grille with headlights arranged horizontally, although the body was essentially the same. The 'long hood, short deck' style was followed too, as was the new trend for concealed headlights, though the latter appeared only on the XL and LTD.

The Ford LTD stayed on as the top full-size model. This was the model produced in Brazil with minor modifications until 1982, including an ethanol-fueled version, typical of that country.

The 1969 model was built on a new bigger body. It was the end for the 427 and 428 engines. Replacing it was the new 429 ThunderJet taken from the Ford Thunderbird, part of a new Ford engine family. Power was higher than the 428 and lower than the racing-bred 427. The dashboard was built as a pod around the driver rather than traditionally extending across both sides. The XL had rear sail panels to simulate a fastback. The rear trim panel below the stop lights were used to distinguish the different trim levels from the bare Custom to the LTD. The Country Squire was perhaps the pinnacle of design for that wagon with the concealed headlights.

It was not until 1969 that a station wagon was actually marketed under the Ford Galaxie name. Between 1955 and 1968 the full-size Ford wagons were treated as a separate model series and were listed as Ford Ranch Wagon, Ford Country Sedan, Ford Country Squire etc. For the 1969 model year the Ranch Wagon became the Custom Ranch Wagon, the Country Sedan was renamed the Galaxie Country Sedan and the Country Squire was marketed as the LTD Country Squire [8]

1971 was a complete redesign, with horizontal wrap around front bumper with a massive vertical center section much in the vein of concurrent Pontiacs. Taillights lost the traditional "rocket" exhaust theme in favor of horizontal lights and trim center section. The XL was dropped, as were concealed headlight covers for the LTD. The convertible continued to be produced for two more years, but was moved to the LTD series in 1971-72. 1972 was similar but the lower bumper continued across the center grille section. Rooflines were squared-off and featured a very formal air.

The 1973 model was marginally shorter than previous models, but had a heavier, bulker appearance. 1974 was essentially a repeat of 1973, but it was the last year for the Galaxie 500 name, as Ford elected to consolidate all of its full-size models under the popular LTD name for 1975.

See also


  1. John Gunnell, Standard Catalogue of American Cars, 1946-1975, Revised 4th Edition, 2002, pages 401 to 442
  2. John Gunnell, Standard Catalogue of American Cars, 1946-1975, Revised 4th Edition, 2002, page 402
  4. John Gunnell, Standard Catalogue of American Cars, 1946-1975, Revised 4th Edition, 2002, pages 403 to 414
  5. John Gunnell, Standard Catalogue of American Cars, 1946-1975, Revised 4th Edition, 2002, pages 416 to 423
  6. Standard Catalogue of American Cars, 1946-1975, Revised 4th Edition, 2002, page 423
  7. John Gunnell, Standard Catalogue of American Cars, 1946-1975, Revised 4th Edition, 2002, pages 425 to 442
  8. John Gunnell, Standard Catalogue of American Cars, 1946-1975, Revised 4th Edition, 2002, pages 394 to 429