The Ford Galaxie

The Pride Of Dearborn

              1959 - The First Galaxie

The 1959 Ford Galaxie was Ford's attempt to marry style with substance, attempting to sidestep the growing criticism in the 1950s that the auto makers from Detroit  , more often than not  , attempted to pass off the former as the latter. To be sure, the decade produced more than its fair share of "all-new" cars that weren't, "major innovations" that really boiled down to superficial gimmicks, and styling sizzle masquerading as design steak. Yet it must be asked whether this was really so bad when we happily bought most everything the industry put before us. If we were sometimes duped, as the critics said, some of us were at least willing victims.As the best-known practitioner of "design by opinion research," Ford Motor Company came in for much of this criticism, especially once the Edsel bombed. Yet the approach gave Ford at least as many successes, including the 1959 Ford Galaxie. The 1955 Ford and Mercury, the 1956 Lincoln, the 1957 Ford, and especially the four-seat 1958 Thunderbird came about as considered responses to what buyers said they wanted -- and who promptly put their money where their mouths were.  Ford would score even greater marketing triumphs in the 1960s (like the phenomenally successful    Mustang, to name the biggest), but we shouldn't forget a popular 1959 development: the first Ford Galaxie. It came as a hasty effort to cash in on the success of the "Squarebird" hardtop, whose semi-formal wide-quarter roofline met with overwhelming acceptance . Of course, it had been too late to change 1959 standard-Ford styling by the time buyers rendered their verdict on the Thunderbird, but company planners figured a similar roofline might boost the appeal of Fairlane 500 sedans and hardtops. It did.As the final Ford in the design cycle began with the all-new 1957, the 1959 Ford Galaxie and other models received far more changes than most end-of-the-line evolutions, probably because Ford knew an all-new 1959 Chevrolet was coming. The previous 116-inch-wheelbase models moved over to the 118-inch Fairlane/Fairlane 00 span. New outer panels covered a much-changed 1957-1958 inner structure, resulting in bigger, brighter, blockier cars   Ford rather immodestly hyped them as "The World's Most Beautifully Proportioned Cars." However dubious that claim, the 1959 Ford Galaxie and its brethren looked downright conservative next to the radical new "bat-fin" Chevrolet, but it went on to win a Gold Medal for exceptional styling at the 1959 Brussels World Fair.  It could have been otherwise. Some 1959 proposals were ugly, heavily sculptured affairs with enormous round tail lamps, reverse-slant rear windows à la 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser and -- amazingly enough -- "batwing" tails, though more subdued than Chevrolet's. Fortunately, Ford had the good sense to reject those nightmares. The 1959 Ford Galaxie was a sales success , and outsold Chevrolet for the 1959 model year.

     1960 - The Space Age Influence

The  new style for 1960 was actually inspired by the ''Quicksilver'' , Ford's show car that was developed between 1957-1958 .  In 1959 , when Ford execs got wind of GM's  massive  re-design plans , it was too late as the  '59 Ford was already in the works , and would prove to be very successful as it was.  The plan for the ''Quicksilver''  platform, would be the basis for the 1960  Ford and Edsel model run . The 1960 Ford looked all-new with twin headlights riding in a scalloped-square front clip.The all-new 1960s Galaxies were some six inches longer, almost five inches wider, and nearly 200 pounds heavier. Graceful styling helped hide the heft, however with a sloped hood, simple grille, straight A-pillars, clean chrome-edged fenderlines, and modest horizontal tailfins (nodding to Chevy's 1959 "batwings").
 The Fairlane was now the base model in the full-sized lineup, along with the Fairlane 500, Galaxie and range-topping Galaxie Special. The Station Wagon Series continued with Ranch Wagon, Country Sedan and Country Squires models. The elegant Galaxie Starliner 2-door  was Ford's choice for
NASCAR racing. The 1960 full-size Fords abandoned the ostentatious ornamentation of the 1950s for a futuristic, sleek look. Round taillights were replaced by half-moon shaped taillights for 1960 only Therwere tailfins still, but smaller ones — the focus of Ford's stylists abandoning, as did the rest of the industry, the aviation influences of the previous decade and instead capturing the new obsession — the ''Race for Outer Space'' The Galaxie name was particularly appealing to this trend it seems. The 1960 Galaxie was offered in 13 Diamond Lustre Finish paint colors. Five different engine options were available from the 223 cubic inch Mileage Maker Six Cylinder on up to the 352 Super V-8 with four barrel carburetor and was rated at 360 horsepower. Transmission availability consisted of the three speed manual transmission, optional Fordomatic Drive two speed automatic and three speed automatic Cruise-O-Matic Drive. 1960 Galaxies had an extensive list of options and accessories. Some of these were Air Conditioning, Hood Ornament, Rear Fin Mounted Antenna, Exhaust Deflectors, Visore Spotlight Mirror, Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Power Seats, Power Steering, Power Brakes, and Power Windows. Ford marketed the new design as having greater stability than previous models with an additional five feet apart between the wheels for better cornering.

    1961 - Round Tailamps Return

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 now standard, as was the Mileage Maker 6 cylinder engine . All 1961 "standard" Fords (a needed new distinction with the advent of compacts) were slightly shorter and lighter, and tastefully made over with a concave grille, reshaped hood, more rounded bodysides, and a return to large round tail lamps. Ford began moving toward "Total Performance" in these years with 1960's "Interceptor 360"version of the 352 V-8, then with 1961's enlarged 390 big-block offering up to 401 bhp. Some of the sellinpoints 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 onvertible 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.

   1962 - Total Performance Begins

1962 was an exciting new year for  Ford . The Galaxie nameplate was now exclusive to the full sized Fords , with the Fairlane nameplate now adornings the new mid-size car  that debuted for '62 .This new Galaxie model introduced similar body lines to the previous 1961 model with new trim and ornamentation design .  The 1962 featured stunning gold and chrome plated fender top ornaments as well . The biggest aesthetic differenceS over the 1961 model was the modifications that were done to the grill , tailamps , rear bumper , and removing the fins from the upper rear quarter panels . The interior was adorned in more luxurious items and this was evident in the 500 XL models.The 1962 Ford Galaxie 500XL was the first of the big performance Fords, with bucket seats, console, and posh interior trim. Introduced for mid-1962 as one of the "Lively Ones," the 500XL was a sub-series in the Galaxie 500 lineup (named after the 500-mile NASCAR races in which Ford was doing so well in ) 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. Ford was making great progress in NASCAR . and NHRA events .  During the 1962 season, Ford realized that light-weight models would help those involved in the competition set, and started to produce dealer-supplied parts for those interested in quarter-mile drag racing. Fiberglass fenders, hoods, deck lids, and bumpers were available, as was a truckload of high-performance engine, transmission and suspension parts. The total performance  credo was paramount at Ford.

  1963 -  Most Desireable Galaxie
The 1963 Galaxie was a classic from the first day it rolled off the showroom floor. This car's distinctive lines and styling are timeless and are now among the most collected Fords of any era. The line offered a large choice of models starting with the Galaxie Sedan, a base model car with very simple trim and ornamentation, usually equipped with the smaller engine configuration.  The Galaxie 500 Sedan, Hardtop, and Convertible were a step up from the base Galaxie and featured an attractive full length upper and lower body side molding and attractive cloth and vinyl interior trim package. The Galaxie 500XL models were available as both two and four door hardtops , convertible, and the 1963 ½ Galaxie Fastback which featured a new sporty roof line with no post and Starliner type looks.  The standard equipment on the XL wincluded bucket seats and console, full wheel covers, wall to wall carpeting, courtesy lights, and contoured deluxe seat upholstery. The 1963 was offered with several engine choices; The Mileage Maker Six Cylinder (All models except 500XL), 260 V-8 at 164 horsepower, the 352 Thunderbird V-8 at 220 horsepower, the Thunderbird 390-4V engine at 300 horsepower, and the 406 Thunderbird High Performance with tri-power carburetion at 405 horsepower. Ford later introduced the 427 high performance engine in both a single four barrel version at 410 horsepower and a dual four barrel carburetor at an astounding 425 orsepower. This engine option was offered in a very limited number of 1963 Galaxies. Transmission types were the Synchro Smooth manual column shift, the 4 speed manual on the floor, Fordomatic Drive automatic, and Cruise-O-Matic three speed automatic. Strangely enough, I never knew anybody who had a 406, although I did know a guy who had a 427 Galaxie 500XL. This terror had the Nascar Holman and Moody 427 / 425 hp side oiler, and was a force to be reckoned with on the street.
    1964 - The Super Fast Galaxies

The 1964 Galaxie was described by Ford as "a car bred in open competition and built for total performance". For 1964, there were 16 models to choose from to include different varieties of sedans, hardtops, convertibles, and wagons. This Galaxie carried much the same lines as the 1963 with new distinctive styling through new trim moldings, grill and rear panel design, and all new interior trim styling. Ford offered the Galaxie 500 in the sedan, hardtop and convertible body styles. The Galaxie 500XL was offered in the sedan, hardtop, and convertible as well. The 500XL was the deluxe model with standard plush vinyl bucket seats with console, special XL trim moldings and ornamentation and standard equipment V-8 engine., and full wheel covers. 1964 was another year of awesome performance with six different engine choices. The most notable was the Thunderbird 390 V-8 engine at 300 horsepower, and two versions of the all powerful 427 power plant. Both a four barrel and dual carburetor version were offered at 410, and 425 horsepower respectively. For transmissions, Ford offered much the same as 1963. The     four speed was standard euipment on 427 engine sizes and optional equipment on 390. Ford discontinued the 406 engine for 1964 which was now replaced by the 427. Ford also built a number of 427 Fiberglass race equipped Galaxies for 1964. Many consider the 1964 the most attractive Galaxie ever built. The 1964 Fords are also legendary for their racing history as many of the factory lightweight cars were used by the Ford Motor Company extensively on the race track. This racing experience gave these cars instant popularity that continues to the current day. Model year 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 a 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 1964 Fords passed the 100,000-mile (160,000 km) mark intact. The 1964 models gained an enviable reputation as durable, comfortable cars that offered decent handling and road-ability at a reasonable price, so it is no wonder they sold so well. Of the XL models, the 1964 hardtop coupe takes the prize for the most produced. The base 300 was replaced by a line of Custom and Custom 500 models. The 289 continued as the base V8 and was standard in the XL series. XL models got new thin-shell bucket seats with chrome trim. They were designed  to cradle the driver better than the previous style, and Federal regulations now required lap-style safety  belts for both front outboard occupants  .It should be noted that the Ford Country Squire station wagon, while wearing "Country Squire" badging for many years, was actually part of the Galaxie 500 line. Some Country Squires had "Galaxie 500" badging on the glovebox indicating the series name. These wagons featured the same tinware as Galaxie 500s inside and out, and were a step up from the base-model Country Sedan.

          1965 -  The King Of Nascar

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. There was nothing radical  about the new-for-1965 Ford Galaxie, but it was a solid entrant into the mid-sixties family sedan market. It served the purpose for which it was intended- semi-stylish transportation for frugal car shoppers, and to keep Ford competitive against the Impala's, Coronets, and others of their ilk that plied for buyers dollars. The Galaxie was neither ostentatious nor exclusive, as it was meant to appeal to the  family types and performance minded market segments . The new top-of-the-line designation this year was the Galaxie 500 LTD. Engine choices were the same as 1964 except for an all-new 240 cu in (3.9 L) six-cylinder and 1965 289 cu in (4.7 L) engine replacing the 50s-era 223 "Mileage-Maker" six and the 352 being equipped with dual exhausts and a four-barrel carburetor. Suspension on the 1965 models was dramatically redesigned. Replacing the former leaf-spring rear suspension was a new three-link system, featuring all coils. Not only did the ride improve, but handling also got a boost, and this system was used for NASCAR in the full-size class. Interiors were like the 1964 models, but a new instrument panel and two-way key system were introduced. The 500XL bodies were stronger, too, and fewer attachment points reduced noise. That led Ford to advertise its 1965s as "quieter than a Rolls-Royce," a claim made mainly for the new limousine-like LTD hardtop sedan. Even so, Ford's big 1965 stockers gave the division its best-ever NASCAR season, winning 48 of the 55 scheduled Grand National events , with driver Ned Jarrett winning the championship that year , in the  No. 11 Galaxie . The XLs retained a sporty buckets-and-console interior a la 1962-1964, and offered power options up to a 410-horse 427; the new free-revving small-block "Challenger 289" was standard. A manual four-speed was still available with  big mills, but most XLs continued to be built with the trusty 3-speed Cruise-O- Matic transmission . Despite two-ton heft, these Fords could be quite fast, and were rewarding to drive in most any form. Their declining popularity in these years reflects less on their abilities than the market's growing preference for the even speedier mid-size muscle machines then appearing.

 

            1966 - The 7-Litre Galaxie

The 1966 Galaxie and Full Size Ford was available in 19 different models which spanned seven different series of body designations. Ford offered the LTD, the Galaxie 500XL, the Galaxie 500 7 Litre, Galaxie 500, Custom 500. These were offered in hardtop, sedans, and convertible models. The LTD model had a different look with distinctive trim and ornamentation and interior trim.  As a  new model  introduced for 1966; the Galaxie 500 7 Litre,was  fitted with a new engine, the 428 cu in (7.0 L) Thunderbird V8. As the name suggests, this engine was also available on the 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 response to safety concerns, U.S. Government regulations for 1966 required seat belts front and rear to be fitted to all new cars sold domestically. The Galaxie 500 would be the #3-selling convertible in the U.S. in 1966, with 27,454 sold; it was beaten by the Mustang (at 72,119, by more than 2:1) and by the Impala at 38,000  With 462 pounds/feet of torque and a 7 liter 428 cubic inch engine, Ford invented something out of this Galaxie in 1966. As quick as lightning without the thunder. It moves- but it moves like mist over a millpond, smoothly, quietly, effortlessly!  
    It stops, too! Power disc brakes up front are standard. So are bucket seats. The V-8 comes in just one size, with a 4-barrel carburetor and the beefy bottom end that is the heritage of Fords tremendous competition program. But the lifters are hydraulic for silence' sake and even the dual exhausts are very discreet. You get your choice of convertible or two-door hardtop, four-on-the-floor or Cruise-O-Matic... and just about any   other added pleasure Ford makes, including air conditioning. You'll have to decide whether it's a cool hot car or a hot cool car. The exterior was available in 15 Super Diamond Lustre enamels, or 23 two tone combinations as well as 42 upholstery choices.

  1967 - Galaxie With An Attitude

In 1967 Ford used virtually the same body lines as the 1966. The new 1967 look was distinguishing from the previous year. Ford moved the turn signal lamps from the grill to the bumper as well as all new molding and ornamentation. The 1967 had great styling, and actually had great similarity in appearance to the 1967 Fairlane. Ford offered the Galaxie in the Galaxie 500 in both hardtop and convertible, as well as the Ford Custom 500, and the 500XL available in both hardtop and Convertible. Ford continued the 7 Litre model for 1967 which would be the last year of this special performance model. Ford increased the safety features for 1967 with a large list of improvements. The 1967 engine sizes available were the 240 Six Cylinder, 289 Challenger V-8, the 390 Thunderbird V-8 at 270 horsepower, 390 Thunderbird Special at 315 horsepower, 428 Thunderbird V-8, and two versions of the 427 Cobra motor in both four and eight venturi models with horsepower up to 425 horsepower. In addition, was the 7 Litre 428 engine configuration. Available transmission types were the three speed manual on the column, 4 speed manual shifter on the floor, and Select Shift Cruise-O-Matic three speed automatic. The 1967 offered 15 Diamond Lustre Enamel paints colors, and 25 two tone combinations in addition to 52 Ford upholstery choices. These big Fords were built Ford tough and designed to withstand the harsh conditions of any road. These also made a place in the heart of Ford performance enthusiasts with the many performance items available . Also in 1967 all Ford Motor Company cars, including the Galaxie, featured a large, padded hub in the center of the plastic steering wheel, along with an energy-absorbing steering column, padded interior surfaces, recessed controls on the instrument panel, and front outboard shoulder belt anchors. Another safety related change was the introduction of the dual brake master cylinder used on all subsequent Galaxies (and other Ford models).

            1968 -  Ford Had Better Ideas

In 1968, the Galaxie was redesigned and reshaped to give the Full Size Ford a whole new personality. This new Galaxie  , with it's new grille and horizontal headlamps , is best  identified as the first year for   the hideaway headlamps used on the LTD, XL and Country Squire models.   Basically ,  the body was essentially the same car from the windshield back. The 'long hood, short deck' style was followed too, as was the new trend for ''fastback'' rooflines on the XL and XL500 . One other change for 1968 was that the base V8 engine increased from 289 to 302 cu in (4.9 L).The Ford Custom 500 was the base model offered in both two and four door sedans. The Galaxie 500 was a step up from standard model, and was offered in hardtop, fastback, and convertible. The Ford XL did not carry the Galaxie name, and was offered in fastback and convertible models only. The LTD model was offered in two and four door hardtops and sedans. The 1968 Fords had six different engine choices ranging from a 240 Big Six cylinder economy motor on up to the 427 Cobra at 390 horsepower, and the 428 Thunderbird motor at 340  horsepower. Because of the size of these cars, many buyers opted for the 390 V-8 engine with plenty of power without the extra expense of the 427/428 models.   A plastic horn ring was also featured. A  three speed manual transmission, a floor shift four speed transmission for high performance engines, and three speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic. In addition, Ford offered 15 paint colors, and over 30 upholstery choices. Among the many available options, were whitewall tires, styled steel wheel covers, conditioning, remote control mirrors, power front disc brakes, tachometer, and limited slip differential.  The 1968 models  also featured additional safety features, including side marker lights and shoulder belts on cars built after December 1, 1967. The 1967 model's large steering wheel hub was replaced by a soft "bar" spoke that ran though the diameter of the wheel (and like the '67  , served as crash protection foe the driver. )

  1969 - A Whole New Ballgame

The 1969 Galaxie was noted as "Bigger, Wider, Longer, and Quieter". This new Ford grew in size and became even more luxury oriented than previous years. These big Fords were built with more room for the passenger. Still available were the XL models, LTD, in a range of body styles from the attractive Sportsroof and Convertible to the hardtop and wagon models. The XL models were available with either bucket or bench seat options.  It was the end for the 427 and 428 engines. Replacing the FE series-based 427 and 428 engines was the new 429 cu in (7.0 L) "ThunderJet" that was introduced in the 1968 Ford Thunderbird; it was part of the new Ford 385 engine series. The rest of Ford's power team consisted of the 240 Six Cylinder, the 302 V08 with 220 horsepower, the 390 V-8 with 265 horsepower.  For transmission types the Full Size offered a three speed manual transmission, a 4 speed floor shift, and the Select Shift  Cruise-O-Matic three speed automatic. The buyer had their choice of 15 single tone, and 24 two tone combinations for the exterior, and a large array of interior trim appointments. The 1969 featured a healthy list of options and accessories. Some of the most opular accessories were SelectAire air conditioning, tinted glass, 6 way power front seat, power windows, tilt steering wheel, and rear window defogger. The new Galaxie was built on a newchassis with a 121 inch wheelbase. Power, at 360 hp (270 kW) for the dual-exhaust 4-barrel version, was higher than the 428's 345 hp (257 kW)and lower than the racing-bred 427's final rating of 390 hp (290 kW); there was also a single-exhaust 2-barrel version with 320 hp (240 kW) available. The dashboard was built as a pod around the driver rather than traditionally extending across both sides. The XL and Galaxie 500 Sportsroof had rear sail panels to simulate a fastback roofline. The rear trim panel below the tail lights was used to distinguish the different trim levels. The Country Squire was perhaps the pinnacle of design for that wagon with the concealed  headlights. Headrests were featured on 1969 model cars built after January 1, 1968. It was not until 1969 that a station wagon was actually marketed under the Galaxie name. From 1955 to 1968 full-size Ford wagons were treated as a separate model series and were listed as Ranch Wagon, Country Sedan, and Country Squire. For the 1969 model year the Ranch Wagon became the Custom Ranch Wagon, the Country Sedan the Galaxie Country Sedan and the Country Squire was marketed as the LTD Country Squire.

  1970 - Ford : It's The Going Thing

Although pretty much the same as the 1969 models , the 1970 Galaxie was built bigger and stronger than previous models .With minor trim changes, these cars were becoming more luxury oriented as the years passed. A new Government-required ignition lock was located on the right side of the steering column. Model year 1970 was the last year for the XL, but Galaxie 500 hardtop coupes werealso available in both formal-roof and SportsRoof body styles. .  Ford engineers worked hard to achieve a quiet ride and luxury car comfort for 1970. The lineup was made up of 21 new models . There were several body style choices for 1970, to include: three LTD Broughams, five LTD models, two XL models and six different Galaxie 500 models. The different models were offered in several  body styles to include the two door and four door hardtop, two door and four door sedan, sportsroof, and convertible. In 1970 Ford offered six engine choices. The 240 six cylinder was the economy motor, the 302 V-8 was 220 horsepower, the 351 was rated at 250 horses, the big block 390 was 265 horswpower, and for the performance buyer, there was either a two or four barrel carburetor 429 big block power plant rated at 320, and 360 horsepower respectively. For transmission types the 1970 models offered a three speed manual transmission, a 4 speed floor shift, and the Select Shift Cruise-O-Matic three speed automatic. The buyer had their choice of 15 single tone, and 24 two tone combinations for the exterior. Available options were Cruise Control, Reclining Seats, Tilt Wheel, AM/Tape Radio, High Back Bucket Seats, Power Disc Brakes, Electric Defrost, Air Conditioning and a host of other items.

         1971 -  The Bunkie Knudsen Galaxies

 A complete redesign was offered for 1971.  Semon  E. ( Bunkie) Knutsen , a Pontiac executive from General Motors ,  was brought into Ford , along with some of his styling ideas , that translated into the 1971 Galaxie , Mustang and Thunderbirds  . For the Galaxie ,this meant a 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 trimmed center section. Rooflines were squared off and had a "formal" air. The XL was dropped, as were concealed headlight covers for the LTD. The convertible was moved to the LTD series in 1971 and lasted through 1972.The luxurious 1971 full size Ford and Galaxie was designed to be quiet and comfortable. As cars were getting bigger, and luxury was becoming more important, these cars grew with the times. Ford   engineered this body to be one of the strongest most durable Ford's ever built. The LTD Brougham was the luxury edition with both two and four door hardtop models, and the LTD convertible. Also produced, was the Galaxie 500, very similar to the LTD with minor trim differences. The Ford Custom 500 was the economy model with all the same features as the other models with slightly less luxurious appointments. These big Fords were offered in seven different engine choices, 240, 302, 351, 390, 400, and 429. The 429 was  available in both two and four venturi carburetor options. The 429-4V boasted 360 horsepower for the ultimate in power. The only choice of transmission for 1971 was the Select Shift Cruise-O-Matic three speed automatic transmission. Some of the popular options available are as follows: Air Conditioning, High Back Bucket Seats, AM/FM Stereo, Dual Rear Speakers, Power Door Locks, Power Windows, Power  Steering, Rim Blow Steering Wheel, and Tilt Steering Wheel. As the market began to demand luxury, the Galaxie changed to meet the needs of the public and met the buyer with a great deal of comfort and the quiet ride that was being requested.

       1972 -  Detailed And Refined

The 1972 Galaxie had very similar lines and design to the previous year 1971 full size Ford and  Galaxie. The styling was virtually unchanged  , except for the grille design  and the rear bumper was enlarged with inset taillamps  . Like it's   predecessor, these cars were built big, strong, luxurious and quiet. Designed for safety and     ultimate comfort, these cars used more steel than most cars built prior. The spacious LTD  Brougham was the ultimate model for 1972. These cars sported plush interiors in both two and four door hardtops. The LTD was a step down from the Brougham but was still very luxurious and built for comfort. These were available in two and four door hardtops, as well as convertible, and Squire wagons. The Galaxie 500 was the base model line for 1971. The engine team consisted of a 351-2V, 400-2V, and 429-4V engine. This was also the final year for the 240 cu in (3.9 L) six-cylinder engine. Due to smog equipment and a change in the ratings system, horsepower figures declined sharply in 1972. The options list was extensive, some of the most popular items were: padded instrument cover, air conditioning, cruise control, remote mirrors, power sunroof, high back split bench seat, 6 way power seat, tilt steering wheel, and power disc brakes.

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 1973 -Enter The Federal Bumpers

The Galaxie / LTD was redesigned for 1973.  The Federal Government had mandated for the '73 model year  , that all vehicles buily or sold in the United States , were to have ''collision '' bumpers . The fronts were to be able to sustain  5 mph impacts , while the rears would sustain 2 1/2 mph impacts. These bumpers were massive , and cumbersome - and not to mention a major headache to vehicle designers at the tims .  While the new LTD weighed less than earlier models, its still far in excess of two tons, meaning that agility and fuel economy were both weak points. The base engine was the 302 CID V8. The next largest engine was Ford's 351 CID V8, which was the most common choice. Still larger was Ford's 400 CID V8, and topping the range  was Lincoln's 460 CID V8, which gave good power but got less        than 10 mpg in city traffic. The sister 385/lima engine 429 was previously available until 1974, then replaced by the 460. All of these engines were choked by emissions systems and retarded camshaft timing, with the 400 and 429/460 engines producing large amounts of torque but a power output of 160-180 hp, depending on which year.(Down from 260 for the 400, and 365 for the 429 in 1971) Despite these difficulties, as always , the full-sized Fords remained strong sellers each year during this period, due to their buyers loyalty , high comfort, good build quality  and reasonable cost.

1974 - The End For U.S. Galaxies

 The 1974 model year was essentially a repeat of 1973, but it was the last year for the Galaxie 500 name. Ford elected to consolidate most of its full-size models under the vastly more popular LTD nameplate  for following years .The nameplate was surely missed. The options list for '74 was identical to that of   the LTD . There were new exterior and interior color choices.  Engine choices wereunchanged from 1973 . Power front disc brakes were now standard.  Looking back , the Galaxie was a lot of car , to a lot of different people.  From economy to high performance , it was an instant classic from day one.

 Galaxies : Thunder Down Under

The Ford Galaxie was also produced in Australia from 1965 to 1969 The 1965 model, which was designated as the Galaxie GE series by Ford Australia, was assembled at Ford’s Homebush plant in New South Wales and was offered as a 4-door sedan with a choice of 289 cu in (4.7 l) or 390 cu in (6.4 l) cid V8 engines 1966, 1967 and 1968 models were also assembled at Homebush prior to a  change to full importation from 1969, with conversion from left to right hand drive being undertaken at Ford’s Broadmeadows facility in Victoria  The 1969 model was marketed as the Galaxie LTD, as were subsequent models through to the introduction of the locally developed Ford LTD in 1973 .Prior to local assembly which began late 64, small numbers of RHD full imports were sourced through select Australian Ford dealers, and also by Ford of Australia for executive use. RHD wagons, convertibles and fastbacks, 2 and 4 door hardtops, XL's and LTD's were generally sourced as full imports from Ford of Canada until approx 1968. The fully imported 1959-early 63 models utilised a 59 US Fairlane dash and instruments. Late 63 a 1959 Edsel Corsair-based dash was used, and for 1964 Galaxie's a 1959 Edsel Ranger-based dash was used. Australian assembled 65-68 models were sourced in CKD form from Ford of Canada. The 65–67 model Galaxie's adopted the RHD dash based on the 63 Lincoln instrument cluster. The 1968 RHD dash was based on 68 Ford Torino.  Australian assembled cars 65–68 received a woodgrain dash fascia, and accessories as standard such as:

  • Power steering
  • Power brakes (front disc from 1967)
  • Radio with 390 engine
  • Automatic transmission
  • Wipers and washers (1 speed intermittent wipers for 65–6, 2 speed from 67)

For the 1968 model year the 289 CID engine was dropped as the base option in favour of the new 302 CID (Windsor) V8. 3 speed heater defroster .Local build quantities of 65–72 model Galaxies totalled 4892 vehicles based on details from the late Ford Australia Historian, Adrian Ryan . 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 a large car/minivan available in the European market. The vehicle's name is taken from the original Ford Galaxie.

          Ford Galaxies In The Media
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