One of the best known of the full-size American cars of the 1950s and 1960s, the Galaxie line began in 1959 but really started to make an impact with an award-winning restyle for 1961. It was available in a wide range of models, from the Club saloon to the Starliner convertible, and there were also huge estates on offer.
The pattern was repeated in 1962 with 14 models on offer, including new 500XL luxury hardtops and convertibles with bucket seats and chromed door inlay panels. That year engine options ranged from the six-cylinder ‘Mileage Maker’s to the triple-carb ‘super High Performance’ V8 with 405bhp.
The Galaxie reached its peak in 1963 with a bold new body style and even greater performance. A rare option was Ford’s high-performance 427ci V8, packing no less than 425bhp. Tuned Galaxies soon started to appear in saloon car racing in the UK, where they had the power to out-drag the previously dominant Jaguars from a standing start – though they struggled to keep up with the smaller cars on the narrower, twistier circuits. The ’63 Galaxies also saw the introduction of a new pillarless fastback body option.
In 1965 a brand new bodystyle was introduced to the Galaxie line – its principal features being stacked headlamps and an aggressive front end. It lasted until 1967, when it was replaced by a new model with hidden lamps. But these later cars looked more anonymous than the earlier models and it is the pre-’68 Galaxies which enthusiasts look out for the most eagerly sought of all are the high-performance ’63 models.