Year-by-Year profile of the Ford Galaxie early models: 1959 through 1967 (part 2)
1963: A true classic
The Galaxie became a true classic for 1963 with an extraordinary design that is one of the most collectible looks in Ford history. There were many buyer choices for this year with the Galaxie Sedan being the base model with simple trim and equipped with the smaller engine. Next in line were the 500 Sedans, Hardtop and Convertible, which were decorated with full-length lower and upper body side molding. The interior trim package came in vinyl and cloth. The Galaxie 500XL for this year had a four-door and two-door for the Hardtop, a Convertible model and a Fastback model. The Fastback had a sporty roof line with no door posts, and looked similar to a Starliner. These cars had standard Deluxe features such as bucket seats with a console, wall-to-wall carpet, contoured Deluxe seat upholstery, full wheel covers, and courtesy lights. Engine options for 1963 were the Mileage Maker six-cylinder, the 260-cubic-inch V-8 rated at 164 horsepower, the 352-cubic-inch Thunderbird V-8 rated at 220 horsepower, the Thunderbird 390-4V with 300 horsepower, and the 406-cubic-inch Thunderbird High Performance rated at 405 horsepower. A 427-cubic-inch high performance engine was introduced later with two versions, a single four-barrel (410 horsepower) and a dual four-barrel (425 horsepower) version. The 427 engine was available in very limited numbers. The transmissions offered were the four-speed manual (on the floor), the Synchro Smooth manual column shift, the Fordomatic Drive automatic, and the three-speed Cruise-O-Matic. Options for this year included a power front seat, Swing Away steering wheel, power windows, power brakes, power steering, spotlight mirrors, backup lights, a padded dash and visors, and Selectaire Conditioner.
1964: Galaxie leads in performance
The 1964 Galaxie was built for performance with 16 models of hardtops, sedans, convertibles, and wagons. Many of the same model lines were offered as in 1963 but with distinctive designs with a new grill, trim moldings, rear panel design and a new interior trim design. The Galaxie 500 and 500 XL were both available as a hardtop, convertible or sedan for this year. The 500XL was Ford’s "Deluxe" model with unique XL trim moldings, full wheel covers, plush vinyl seats and console, and a standard V-8 engine.
The most powerful engines available for 1964 were the Thunderbird 390-cubic-inch V-8 rated at 300 horsepower and two versions of the 427, one with a four-barrel carburetor (410 horsepower) and another with a dual carburetor (425 horsepower). Six engine choices were offered total for this year. The 406 engine was discontinued for 1964 and replaced with the 427.
Ford also made racing history with the 1964 Galaxie. These were used many times on the track by Ford, and popularity increased tremendously.
1965: A brand new Galaxie
For 1965, the Galaxie got a new design and was available in six series and 17 models altogether. The car was wider than before and featured dual vertical stacked headlights, which was a first for this car. Once again, the Galaxie was designed to attract the performance-minded with many great performers to choose from - the Galaxie 500LTD, the Galaxie 500XL and the Galaxie 500, to name a few. The base model for the full-size model line was the Ford Custom.
Engine options included the 240-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine up to the monstrous 427-cubic-inch Thunderbird High Performance V-8 with the ability to choose from a four or eight venturi carburetor with 425 horsepower. The transmissions available were the Synchro Smooth Drive manual, the three-speed Cruise-O-Matic, and the four-speed floor shift for the 390 and 427 engines.
There were also some great options available for those who wanted more than the basics. These included automatic speed control, Swing Away steering wheel, power front seats, power brakes, air conditioning, power windows, padded visors and dash, vinyl roof covering, remote mirrors, and a remote trunk release.
1966: More engine options
In 1966, the Galaxie was offered in 19 models and seven body designs. The LTD was the most notably changed model with a new look and unique trim and ornamentation as well as new interior trim. Next, the 500XL was amazing this year with wall-to-wall carpet, deep foam contoured bucket seats, a padded dash and visors, a full-length console, and special exterior ornamentation.
Also this year, eight engine options were available, from a standard six-cylinder for the economy-minded up to a side oiler 427-cubic-inch engine with dual carburetion that was rated at 425 horsepower. For the Galaxie 7 Litre model, Ford included a new engine as standard - the 428-cubic-inch Thunderbird V-8. Transmission options were the same as the previous year.
Buyers could choose from 15 Super Diamond Lustre enamel colors for the exterior paint or from 23 two-toned combinations. There were also 42 upholstery selections available. Options for this year included air conditioning, power windows, power disc brakes, power steering, a vinyl roof, power seats, and many more. So, the Galaxie could be anything they wanted it to be - sporty, luxurious, or both.
1967: Improvements in design and safety
The 1967 Galaxie had similar body lines as the year before and closely resembled the Fairlane models of that year. Some design tweaks for 1967 included moving the turn signal lights from the grill to the bumper, new ornamentation and new moldings. Also this year, Ford made many improvements for safety by adding a large list of new features.
The available models included the Galaxie 500 as a convertible or hardtop. The Ford Custom 500, the Galaxie 500XL as a convertible or hardtop, and the Galaxie 7 Litre model. This was the final year for the 7 Litre performance car. The engines available for this year were a 240-cubic-inch six-cylinder, a 390-cubic-inch Thunderbird V-8 with 270 horsepower, a 289-cubic-inch Challenger V-8, a 390-cubic-inch Thunderbird Special with 315 horsepower, a 428-cubic-inch Thunderbird V-8, and the 427-cubic-inch Cobra with a four or eight venturi carburetion option. Transmission options were the same as the previous year.
Once again, 15 color options were available for the exterior along with 25 two-toned combinations. There were 52 upholstery choices.
The early model Galaxies were built as great performers and tough cars. They appealed to both the sportsman and the businessman because of their diversity in designs and models available. For the later models, performance would become second-hand to luxury as Ford began to focus more on the full-size line. Many classic car fans today love the early model Galaxie for its uniqueness and performance capabilities.