Established in 1903, Ford is not only one of the oldest automakers out there, but it’s also one of the most successful car companies. To the extent that it has already built and sold more than 400 million vehicles as of December 2022.
Ford was one of the first automobile ventures to sell millions of cars and it was all thanks to the highly popular Model T. Launched in 1908, “Tin Lizzie” moved more than 15 million units until its discontinuation in 1927. But I’m here to talk about Ford’s first major benchmark: its 50 millionth production vehicle.
FoMoCo needed more than 50 years to hit this benchmark. It happened on April 29, 1959, at the Rouge Dearborn plant, which rolled out a special Galaxie four-door sedan that day.
Built with parts from other manufacturing and assembly plants, as well as outside suppliers, so that everyone could participate in its construction, the Galaxie came into the spotlight wearing large “50 MILLIONTH” graphics in gold and black on each side.
Finished in Colonial White with a “diamond luster” finish, the Galaxie got the Luxury Lounge interior, which included “sofa soft” seats, Mylar accents, and Rayon carpeting. Its upholstery was also multi-colored, sporting gold, silver, tan, and black materials.
Powered by the standard 292-cubic-inch (4.8-liter) Thunderbird V8 rated at 200 horsepower, the unique sedan got a lot of publicity back in the day.
First showcased at Ford’s Rotunda in Dearborn for almost a month, the Galaxie was then exhibited at the annual stockholders meeting at the Ford Auditorium. It was also part of the caravan that retraced the route of the renowned 1909 Ocean-to-Ocean Automobile Endurance Contest for the Guggenheim Trophy.
But what’s really impressive is that the 1959 Galaxie is still around in pristine condition, even though Ford didn’t hang on to it after the marketing campaign came to an end. The sedan changed owners a few times but it eventually found its way into the collection of Rick Schmidt of National Parts Depot.
Now on display in the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, as documented by YouTube’s “Young Exotics,” the Galaxie looks like it just left the factory. And it’s still a low-mileage classic.
When not displayed in museums, the special Galaxie shares storage space with other milestone Ford cars. That’s because Rick and Jim Schmidt also own the 100-, 150-, and 300-millionth Fords.
That’s a 1978 Fairmont Futura, a 1979 Mustang, and a 2004 Mustang GT, respectively. Hit the play button below to check out this incredible and all-original survivor.