Ford Galaxie

East Coaster of the Day

1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 500

When you ask Ron Denis if his Ford Galaxie 500 is a 1963, he’s quick to point out that it’s a 1963 1/2.

What’s with the 1/2?

The unofficial story is that the factory ran out of roofs for the 1963 production of two-door hardtops so Ford began putting roofs built for the 1964 models on the ’63 Galaxie.

This 1963 1/2 model, the industry’s first official ‘1/2 year’ model, was called the ‘fastback’. There was a 1963 1/2 Ford Falcon as well. The Galaxie featuring the new sports hardtop easily outsold the ‘boxtop’ square-roof models.

Ford, like other auto marketers and manufacturers of the time, was eager to tap into the mania that was the Space Race, hence the Galaxie name. Mercury had the Comet, Dodge, the Polara. The Pontiac Strato Chief was, in our opinion, one of the coolest names but there was also the Star Fire and the Plymouth Satellite.

Ron has owned the Galaxie for about 20 years. He is the third owner since new. Before that he had a four-door 1963 Ford Galaxie. His 1963 1/2 has a 300-horsepower 390 V8 engine, replacing the original engine just this year. The engine compartment, a chrome extravaganza, is so clean you could.. well, you know… eat off it.

The purple Angel Eyes headlights give it a friendly, yet out-of-this-world look.

His wife, Sandi Benoit, also a lover of cars, both classic and otherwise, drives a flashy red Chevrolet Cobalt SS with a manual transmission, naturally.



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