Both events were filled with high-profile cars, trucks, and whatnot, many of them selling for big money. And we’ve all been bombarded this past week with stories from the two locations, centered on the successes registered there. But there were instances when, despite offering things no other vehicles were offering, some cars were left with no new garage to call home, and with no human to call their new owners.
Such is the case of the 1963 Ford Galaxie
of the 500XL variety we are here to look at now. It’s not your usual Galaxie, but one that’s unique in more ways than one, and in a perfect world it would probably be someone’s cherished treasure. That someone, it seems, didn’t make it to Houston, so the Ford is at the time of writing still up for grabs.
The Galaxie is a name that pops up sporadically in the news. It does this because, from time to time, one appears in modified form, or with something special about it. Compared to other machines from its age, though, it’s not that spectacular as to warrant constant coverage.
Ford gave birth to the Galaxie in 1958, and that spelled doom for the model almost instantly. Named so as a sort of nod to humanity’s first race to reach outer space, it was pushed to the sidelines of the automotive industry by the true stars of the decade that followed, the muscle cars. It fought a bit, managing to stay in production for a number of years, but then, in 1974, it conceded the loss in the United States, and was taken out of production (it kept kicking and screaming in Brazil until 1983, though).
The example we have here is not your average Galaxie, but it is described by Mecum as a special early introduction prototype. What it means is that this thing is one of the first 500XLs in this configuration (we’ll get to that in a moment) made for that model year, rolling off the assembly lines in Los Angeles in February 1963, three months before its breed was officially introduced in the Galaxie lineup.
The car is finished in one of America’s favorite car colors, Wimbledon White, with a matching convertible top. When the top is down, as it is in the photos attached to this text, it reveals a beautiful blue interior that almost instantly brings to mind images of the many blue X-Men characters we grew up with.
We mentioned earlier this is a special configuration Galaxie, and here’s why: we’re talking about an R-Code machine, the kind that received a 427ci under the hood. Rocking an aluminum intake manifold and dual Holley 4-barrel carburetors, the unit was capable of developing over 400 hp.
The entire troop is sent to the wheels (in this case we’re talking about 15-inch steel pieces wrapped in whitewall tires and showing spinner-style covers) in controlled bursts by means of a 4-speed manual transmission, which has been rebuilt to factory specs. A dual exhaust system handles the breathing aspects of the engine’s functioning.
The white body and blue entrails of the Galaxie help hide features not seen on any other model of the family. In fact, as per the car’s seller, this is the only Galaxie R-Code “known to exist with power driver’s seat, power steering, carpeted inner trunk quarter panels, stainless rocker panel and stainless rear quarter trim.” Add to that the existence of an item rare for this kind of car, an AM/FM radio, and people should have stormed the Houston location where the auction was held for a chance to own it.
We don’t know exactly how many people bid for it, or how fierce the battle between bidders was, but the reality remains that now, a week after the fact, the car is still listed by Mecum with one of their “The Bid Goes On…” stamps.
It’s unclear how much the current owner of the car expects to fetch for it, and it’s almost impossible to make an estimate, given the thing’s several unique features. Just to give an idea though of how much people usually pay for these things, you should know that valuation house Hagerty places a car such as this, only in Concours-condition, at just $46,100.
So there you have it, this relatively low-mileage (the odometer shows about 21,500 miles/34,600 km) Galaxie is still up for grabs. We only hope the ones who will eventually get their hands on it won’t take it down a custom car path, but keep as many bits as possible of this piece of American motoring history in their current form.