Curbside Classic: 1968 Ford Galaxie 500 – Always Ready to Roll

Tim turned 30 in June of 1968.  He had been married for five years and had two sons, ages 3 and 4.  He had owned a 1961 Cadillac convertible but had received an offer on it he couldn’t refuse.  So Tim decided he wanted something a bit more usable in the winter time.

There were two criteria Tim had for his next car:  It had to be big enough for a growing family, and it had to be a two door.  Those two boys of his could be little hellions at times and he wanted to keep them contained.  Having had great luck with a ’59 Ford he had purchased new, Tim decided to try a full-size Ford.

The Custom was okay, Tim thought, but a little dull.

The Galaxie 2 door was nice, but just wasn’t quite right for him.

The LTD looked great with its hidden headlights, but was too much coin.  Tim did have major medical bills with the younger boy’s weekly kidney dialysis.

So Tim thought a Galaxie 500 fastback was just the ticket.  For a base price of $2881, he liked what he saw, but knew caution was needed on the option sheet.  Tim knew one could quickly spec out a Galaxie to an LTD price point.

After looking at several Ford dealers throughout the St. Louis area, Tim ultimately found what he sought:  A fastback Galaxie 500 with a 302, automatic, radio, and air conditioning.  The dealer was being unusually realistic on price and Tim bought the car.  Both he and his wife, Barbara, were happy with it.

One day soon after buying the Galaxie, Tim and his family met his father-in-law at a nice restaurant.  As Tim was in the rest room, the two boys scurried off with the blessing of their grandfather.  Upon his return, Tim was instantaneously livid when he looked out the front picture window of the restaurant to see the two boys standing on the median island of the street.  To add to his lividity was seeing the younger one encouraging the older one in his behavior.  Tim saw his older boy urinating onto passing cars with the volume, pressure, and gusto of which only a 4 year old boy is capable.  Tim rushed into the street, grabbed them both, and carried them back to be tossed into the backseat of the ’68 Galaxie.

When Tim subsequently chewed on his father-in-law, questioning his integrity, intellect, and ancestry, it was from the driver’s seat of the ’68 Galaxie.

The Galaxie started immediately, taking everyone home.


Sometime later, in a moment of pure weakness, Tim acquiesced to Barbara and said her father could go on their family camping trip.

It was a hot weekend, so Tim left the door of the tent partially unzipped.  Soon after everyone fell asleep, Tim’s father-in-law (who had imbibed way too much Canadian Mist that evening), yelled “Die, you bastard cat!”.  Tim awoke violently, realizing the “cat” was actually a skunk.  His next realization was his father-in-law, still thinking it was a cat in his altered state, was determined to strangle it.  However, it was too late.  The skunk, being a skunk, did what skunks do.

Tim then threw his father-in-law out of the tent and hauled him and the two boys to the backseat of the Galaxie.  He told Barbara to get in the front seat and the tent was shoved into the trunk.  The stench permeated the innards of the poor Galaxie.

As a side note, upon his immediate interrogation of everyone, Tim learned the two boys had left a trail of food to the front door of the open tent.  This prompted the night’s second chewing from the driver’s seat of the Galaxie.

Again, the Galaxie started immediately, taking everyone home.  A very putrid journey, indeed.

Tim’s Galaxie would later take the family on a much-needed vacation, pulling a pop-up camper from St. Louis to California.  At the Royal Gorge, Tim would sit in the driver’s seat of the Galaxie and warn his boys they had better not urinate into the Gorge.

The Galaxie would continue to make weekly trips to the children’s hospital for his younger son.  It served them well and was always highly reliable.  Tim still misses the car to this day.  He no longer remembers why he sold the car, or quite when, but his was canary yellow with a black interior.  The second owner took it to Earl Schieb and it emerged in black.  Two months later the new owner was broad-sided and the Galaxie was no more.

This story is true.  I didn’t even bother to change Tim’s name to protect any semblance of his innocence.  And how do I know all this?  Tim and Barbara had a daughter when their older son was 9 years old.  You probably see where this is heading…

I spotted this ’68 Galaxie parked in front of the ’71 Mercury Monterey I shared with you a few weeks ago.  The only real obvious difference with the featured car, other than color, is its having a 390 V8 instead of a 302.  Back in ’68 the 265 horsepower 390 cost a paltry $74 more than the 302; the 315 horsepower version cost $155 more than the 302.

Ford did remarkably little in the way of restyling their ’68 models.  Even if you look at the taillights, you will see the strong resemblance to the ’67 Ford’s.  Hidden headlights were now available, but that is about the most remarkable change that year. Despite the minimal changes made, Ford still sold 339,262 Galaxie 500’s of which 69,760 were fastbacks.  Ford sold another 50,000 fastbacks in 500 XL trim.

When gathering information for this article, I emailed a picture of this Ford to my father-in-law, Tim.  He really wanted to know to know where it was.  When I told him it is sitting in Rolla, Missouri, I could tell he was pondering the possibilities.