The 1960s were prime time for undeclared war: America versus Russia in space, and the Big Three carmakers on race tracks and the street. This is the era when the muscle cars we cherish prowled the avenues searching for someone, anyone, to challenge. Back then, stupendous horsepower and acceleration were within reach of your average grocery-shelf stocker.
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In the early '70's and being a USAC car part of the builder and part of the pit crew of it, I had an original 390/401HP 1961 Ford Starliner which I repowered with a Holman Moody 427 side oiler blocked 427 with the reworded original tri-power and it had a top loader 4 speed, Hurst shifter, 3:89 open gear and I reworked the chassis. The engine machine shop work was done by American engine plus I ran headers with 4" dumps by Robin Hood Muffler's in Cicero Illinois. That car weigh in at about 4200 pounds and one late night coming home from work, a Chicago cop in his almost new 428CJ Torino tried it on for size. He had no chance after 4 of 5 tries. A lot of others tried that too but the tank always won but unfortunately, I was always busy with the USAC stock car and never made it to the strip to get any time on it in a 1/4 mile. Then Uncle Sam got me for Nam, so I let my best friend care for it while I was away. On my return, the car was not the same and I found out he tore the 3:89 gear out of it plus I was never home because of USAC and that car. There for, after being married 3 years I made the choice of USAC, My car or being married. I stayed married and have no regrets to this day and sold the car for $350, and the guy still owes me $25 to this day, and it originally came from a connection through the late and great Ford NASCAR driver Fred Lorenzen from Elmhurst Illinois of that era.
For a car guy I don't think there has ever been a better time to be alive than the early and mid 60s. My most vivid memories of my youth were at an airport drag-strip in Sparta Ontario near St. Thomas. It is still there and called the St. Thomas Dragway. Sparta sits almost exactly half way between the big three car companies in both Detroit and the Toronto GTA. My brothers and I had the great pleasure of watching factory racers from the big three beat on each other almost every Sunday. Without doubt one of my most prominent memories was when the 63 1/2 Galaxie showed up looking exactly like Don Sherman's picture above at the Gilbert Museum. As Ford fans, my brothers and I were in our glory watching that car pound on the factory Impalas and Furys. The Factory Fairlane Thunderbolt that showed up the following year only added to our joy of cheering for the Fords.
Awesome build from a Ford lover. It reminds me of the black '63 we had in the mid 60's.
Dad was a notorious drag racer himself who had the quickest street car in the county before "three kids" came into his life after he married. '54 Ford coupe, 406 ci, 12.90's w/ slicks and open headers.
I'm not a Ford guy but have always loved the '63 1/2 styling... and this owner stepping up the engine to make enough HP to get this fat-boy moving is just another plus I cannot ignore. Great restoration/slight modification as well.