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SLIDER: 1963 Ford Galaxie 500

Seen in action at the 2019 Pomeroy Trophy, this Ford Galaxie is typical of the massive – and massively rapid – machines that battled in period in saloon-car racing across the UK.

The Galaxie was a full-sized car built in the USA for model years 1959 through to 1974.

During 1963, and in limited quantities, a new 427 cu. In. V8 replaced the 406 for racing applications.  It was intended to meet NHRA and NASCAR 7-litre maximum engine size rules.  The engine was rated at 425 bhp (gross horsepower) with twin 4-barrel Holley carburettors and a solid lifter camshaft.  The 1963½ was still overweight, however, and Ford produced lightweight versions to restore competitiveness.

Jack Sears won the 1963 British Saloon Car Championship driving Galaxies, and the racing Galaxies were also driven by Sir Jack Brabham and Graham Hill.  The Galaxies were still heavy beasts that suffered from persistent brake failure that led to a number of crashes, and in late 1963 started to use the 12-inch disc brakes from the Ford GT40.  By this time the Lotus Cortinas were being developed and the big Galaxie became uncompetitive.

Photo courtesy of Peter McFadyen.  See his website: http://petermcfadyen.co.uk

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