Stock-Appearing 1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie Hides Modern Goodies, and It's Insanely Loud

1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 500 10 photos
Photo: Lou Costabile/YouTube
1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 5001963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 5001963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 5001963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 5001963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 5001963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 5001963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 5001963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 5001963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 500
When it comes to Fords introduced in the 1960s, we usually think about the Mustang, Bronco, and Econoline. Because these three nameplates made a significant impact on the automotive market. Ford also introduced game-changing race cars like the Thunderbolt and the GT40. But I'm also a big fan of the Galaxie.
Granted, the latter arrived in the late 1950s but left a big mark in the early 1960s. I like to call the Galaxie a multi-purpose car. Because while it served as the brand's full-size vehicle, it was also one of America's early muscle cars. On top of that, it was a successful drag racing and NASCAR machine.

If I were to choose based on performance, I'd definitely go with a 1962 Pontiac with a Super Duty under the hood. However, the 1963 1/2 Galaxie 500 is one of the prettiest full-size rigs of the era. It's all thanks to the lower, fastback-style roofline that Ford added mid-year. Designed to make the Galaxie more competitive on the NASCAR tracks, the roof gave the two-door hardtop a sleek appearance. And when combined with the 427-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) FE-series V8, it turned the Galaxie into a mean sleeper.

Ford offered two 427 mills at the time. It had the Q-code, a four-barrel version rated at 410 horsepower and 476 pound-feet (645 Nm) of torque, primarily famous for motivating the Galaxie Lightweight. But it also had the R-code, which featured a double-quad carburetor setup for 425 horses and 480 pound-feet (651 Nm) of twist. Both were among the most powerful production cars available at the time.

And even though the Galaxie was very popular, with more than 500,000 units sold that year, customers ordered only a few thousand 500 Sport Hardtop cars with the 427 V8 engines. Specifically, Ford delivered 3,857 R-codes and only 1,038 Q-codes. The Black Cherry example you see here is one of them.

Spotted at the World of Wheels car show in Rosemont, Illinois, earlier in 2023, this Galaxie 500 looks like a finely restored example on the outside. But even though it appears to be stock, it actually hides a few modern features under the skin. Yes, the 427-cubic-inch V8 is mostly all-original except for a few mild upgrades (including an MSD ignition), but it mates to a five-speed Tremec gearbox.

It's the kind of swap that doesn't go well with purists, but hey, this Galaxie still has the right amount of pedals, and it probably runs smoother than before. The owner also installed a digital instrument cluster and muffler system that allows the V8 to breathe freely when necessary. More importantly, this hardtop is insanely loud when the mufflers are deactivated, but it remains pretty noisy with them in place too.

It's an awesome sleeper and the loudest thing you'll hear for a very long time, so crank up the volume and hit the play button below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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