406 cubic inch V8, 4-speed, buckets, console, and more. In storage since 1979. Nicely done conversion to 406 spec many years ago. Mostly original paint, interior, top, and trunk. Runs and drives great. Legendary performance on a budget!
This 1962 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible does indeed pack Ford’s nastiest V8—a 406 cubic inch V8 topped with three 2-barrel Holley carburetors and making a not unexpected 406 horsepower. Those of you who are already trying to find out why such a car is so affordable have already scanned the door tag and have identified this car’s original engine as a 352 V8, but at some point early in its life that FE block was replaced by the current 406 and they did a rather expert job of it. We know it was done long before fakes and “tributes” were popular because this car has been in storage since 1979 and aside from the engine and transmission, remains largely original. That Castillian Gold paint is about 70% original, with some touch-ups here and there but no signs of wholesale panel replacement or repairs, and it all has a very uniform look to it—again, all the work was done quite some time ago. The Galaxie’s clean, uncluttered lines wear the subtle paint well and it shows good panel alignment and uniform gaps, another sign of a car that hasn’t been mistreated. All the stainless trim is in excellent condition and they were even thoughtful enough to add correct ‘406’ emblems on the front fenders.
We believe the interior is mostly original, too, including the black bucket seats that show the kind of detailing that the repro kits just can’t seem to duplicate. The factory gauges are set into sporting engine-turned panels and are joined by a full complement of period Stewart-Warner dials in a custom panels to the left of the steering column. Other noteworthy features include a center console with a Hurst 4-speed for the Toploader gearbox underneath, dealer-installed A/C, and an AM radio in the center of the dash. The power convertible top just might be original, too—it’s in good shape, but not quite so gleaming white as you’d expect if it were newer. And, of course, there’s a positively massive trunk with what appears to be the original spare tire and a full jack assembly.
The nice thing about the FE family of engines is that they’re all about the same size, so slotting the 406 into the 352’s spot was easy and gives the car a very OEM look. The finned air cleaner isn’t quite how it would have been when it was new, but the rest is pretty accurate. Check out the Ford script hoses, correct hose clamps, and slick fuel rail feeding the three carbs. The overflow tank and radiator shroud have been chromed to add a little flash and there’s a reproduction battery for an authentic period look. The big V8 sparks to life easily and idles nicely with a deep rumble that isn’t overly aggressive. It pulls hard in any gear and there’s a notable stop in the throttle that tells you when you’re about to tip into the outer carbs and start delivering the goods. For a big car, it doesn’t mind a little hustle.
The undercarriage is obviously original, but if you look closely you won’t see any rust or rot in the critical areas, floors are excellent, and factory spot welds are still visible in the rockers. The Toploader 4-speed manual transmission shifts cleanly and for a big engine, clutch action is pretty light. We’ll trust the door tag that tells us there are 3.00 gears in the 9-inch rear end, making this big convertible an excellent cruiser that isn’t at all high-strung. The exhaust system uses mufflers and resonators, so it has a nice rumble that might serve as a bit of a warning about the firepower under the hood, but it’s far from overbearing. The suspension is still luxury car soft, even with a set of air shocks in back, and we kind of like the idea of all that horsepower riding around in comfort. Power steering and brakes are part of the package and there’s a new gas tank hanging out back. 14-inch steel wheels with standard hubcaps wear 205/75/14 whitewall radials.
Perfect? No. Pedigreed? Also no. But the last 406 Galaxie 500 convertible to change hands at auction was well into the 6-figure range. Add in the entertaining 4-speed manual gearbox, lots of options, a handsome interior, and that full-sized comfort, and you get a car that’s more than just a clone or a tribute and delivers an authentic experience. Lots of originality certainly helps and with a lot of recent service work, it’s ready to have fun. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com
Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.