AJ's Car of the Day ( 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 427 Factory Lightweight )

Car: Ford Galaxie 500 Factory Lightweight

Year: 1963

What makes it special: It is amongst the mere 212 Ford Galaxies that were built to factory lightweight specs. These cars looked identical to the standard model, but the trunk lid and front fenders were fiberglass and the bumpers were aluminum. It also featured a Thunderbolt-style high-riser hood.

What made it famous: It was built to do one thing: Race. It had an R-Code 425 hp, 427 cu in V8 engine with a Borg-Warner T-10 4-speed transmission, an NHRA scatter-shield and heavy duty 9" rear end with 4.11:1 gears. It also had several deleted components to reduce weight like the radio, clock, heater, trunk and interior sound deadeners, trunk spring torsion bars, hood springs, roof cross support, courtesy lights, dome lights, arm rests, roof insulation, back lights and mirrors, as well as the trunk mat, cardboard and one horn.

Why I would want one: These Galaxies were as "badass" as they come. They were no-nonsense competitors that are highly valued today, plus I love the "bare bones" look right down to the blackwall tires, steel 15" wheels and "dog-dish" hubcaps.

Fun fact: On the "Andy Griffith" TV show, Andy and Barney's squad car was a Ford Galaxie. They were supplied free of charge by a nearby Ford dealer, and whenever the newest model came out, it was sent to the studio and the old one was returned to the dealer who then re-painted it and sold it. Altogether, there were about 10 different Ford Galaxies used throughout the run of the series.


( 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Factory Lightweight photo from barrett-jackson.com )