Ford Galaxie 1962 and 1963
The body styles offered in 1962 are the Sunliner convertible, two door sedan, and two door hard top – the latter two models are available with four doors as well. . The buzz words this year are “The Lively One” option which is buckets seats and a console if you chose it for your “500” or “500XL” Galaxie. This option is a good fit on the “XL” enhancing its sporty look both inside and out. The budget minded customers could order the 223 cu in six cylinder engine but the basic motor is the 292 cu in (4.1 L) V8. The 390 with the power options is still around but the large engine offer for ’62 is a 406 cu in (7 L) V8 engine offering two carburetor options of a four barrel or the “six barrel” with three two barrel carbs.
Fords Galaxie is a nice looking car so there are no major body changes in 1963 but the rear end looks different without tail fins and a newly styled bumper; the tail lights are recessed as well giving the car a rounded look. There is some minor trim changes and a new reshaped windshield are the only visible alterations. A new style “Swing- Away” steering wheel is an available option this year.
Half way through the year the rear of the roof is lowered giving the car a fastback look. This change was made to make the car more competitive at NASCAR giving it more down force and better traction as well as more competitive in the showroom because the sales went up as well. Ford calls the ’63 ½ model change a “Sports Hardtop” and the Galaxie shared this new feature with the Falcon.
Some engine changes also take place for the ’63 ½ as well. The 292 is dropped and replaced with two choices of either the 260 cu in V8 or the 289 cu in V8 small block motors. These smaller engines came with the two speed Ford-o-Matic automatic mostly but could be ordered with a three speed standard transmission as well. The FE series 352 cu in and the 390 cu in are still offered and come with the three speed Cruis-o-Matic unless you order an optional standard transmission. Ford replaced the 406 with the 427 cu in V8 engine and, when ordered equipped with the solid lifter camshaft and two holly four barrels it puts out a conservatively rated 425 hp (317 k W) and came with the Borg-Warner T-10 four speed transmission. This power engine could also be ordered with aluminum heads optionally which cut down on the weight but the ’63 ½ still needs to reduce some more. The 427 also comes equipped with 4.11:1 rear axle, heavy duty suspension, and heavy duty brakes. With five transmissions, eight engines, and many rear end gear ratio offers the ’63 Fords have a huge number of drive chain combinations available although the Cruis-o-Matic three speed with the “highway friendly” 3.0 rear end gears were the most common combination sold.
The full size Fords have a lot of power available but they are still having a weight problem. In January 1963 two light weight Galaxies equipped with the new 289 competed against the Chev but the much heavier Ford could not keep up. Partially to do with the weight the Galaxie also has a problem with brake failure on other tracks which lead to many crashes throughout the remainder of the 1963 season.
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