Cohort Outtake: 1966 Ford Custom 500 2-Door Sedan – White Sale Special, Presumably

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posted at the Cohort by John Lloyd

When I saw this fine ’66 Custom 500 2-door at the Cohort, I was a bit puzzled by the full brightwork on the windows. Hmm; that’s not how they normally came. And it’s not like one could get if off a Galaxie, as there was no 2-door in that trim level. But then I remembered a very similar 4-door Custom 500 some neighbors bought in the spring of 1966, and the answer was at hand. 

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It’s a White Sale special!  I’m not sure when it started; I know I saw some similar ’65s. But for several years every spring Ford made a big push with these specially trimmed Custom 500 sedans. It’s a bit odd, as they’re actually better trimmed than a Galaxie 500, with standard full wheel covers, whitewalls, and Galaxie-level window trim. Even the upholstery looks about basic Galaxie level.  What was the point?

To move the metal, of course. It was a way to sell a virtual Galaxie for Custom 500 money during a slow time of year, with the trimmings essentially for free. And in a way that wouldn’t debase the actual Galaxie itself. These were quite popular, and put a lot more Custom 500s in regular folks’ driveways than during the rest of the year.

Of course our featured car is lacking the original wheel covers, as well as its Custom 500 script on its rear fender. But it pretty much has to have started life as a White Sale special, given the window trim and…the white paint job. Of course, it’s possible that it might not have been one, given the 390 V8 call-out on its front fender. These White Sale specials were all dealer stock cars, not custom ordered, to the best of my knowledge, so the 390 badge was either added later along with the hubcaps and missing rear trim, or…

Anyway you look at it, it’s a fine looking representative of what was a dying breed by 1966: a decently trimmed big 2-door sedan.