(first posted 7/26/2016) Wikipedia lists over 170 different cognitive biases. For some inexplicable reason the CC effect is not mentioned among them, and yet I just can’t seem to escape it at the moment. No sooner had I written up the 1968 Chevrolet Impala Custom Sedan than I came across another custom-bodied US giant.
Our 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 custom sedan ute may well be a one-of-one production. This model year is one of my preferred Ford shapes, so we’re starting off on the right foot. Let’s have some fun with a forensic examination of its origins.
Firstly, it’s not a Ranchero. The fullsized versions were a 1957-59 new vehicle shopper opportunity only, after which it was drastically downsized. The Falcon-based 1965 Ranchero was in fact the pony (carrying) car of the Ford commercial range.
Not a Sedan, you might say. Well, Ford (and others) tended to use the term loosely. The Country Sedan was the mid-range option for the 1965 fullsize wagon range, beneath the woodnerful Country Squire and above the newly-refullsizified Ranch Wagon.
Not a Custom either, one could posit. Ford also had dibs on that name, using it in 1965 for the lower-caste Custom and Custom 500 two- and four-door fullsize variants. They even had their own exclusive tail lights representing the global trend towards aesthetic minimalism, but our featured CC doesn’t share those lenses. Nor does it show any direct lineage from the wagons with their own exclusive narrow versions.
The rear lenses and the tailgate shutlines on our featured CC show a strong hint of upper-range two- or four-door body.
And the profile completes our examination. Galaxie 500 badging on the front quarter panel, and short door indicating four-door origin.
Some retroactive cross-pollination in the mix?
Here’s a closer look for anyone interested in attention to detail. External hinges and latches probably a financial necessity. Rear window looks to be from a four-door. Rails are a nice touch.
It’s not the first time one of these oz 65 utes has been featured on CC. A couple of years ago Paul featured this shot by DingleyDave from the cohort.
I prefer the roofline on the silver ute. I think the real weak point of today’s CC is too much slope on the rear window plane. If it were up to me, I’d make that angle a bit more upright. And I’d probably lengthen the doors a smidge. Not the whole 1965 Ford fullsize two-door door-length, mind.
57 Ranchero by Paul Niedermeyer
Cool to see what a ’65 full-size Ranchero would have looked like. I actually like the angle at which the pillars terminate, but to maximize bed space (and for a little more flair) I’d rather see the window recessed almost vertically and the pillars to have some of the “flying buttress” shape. Then again a)that would probably be hard to fabricate and b)maybe it’s more of a Chevy thing.
Also, I wonder if he had that emblem custom fabricated? Far as I know that logo was out of use by the time the 460 came along.
Right you are. That particular engine callout badge was last used for 1964, replaced by the one below in ’65 thru ’67 for optional V-8’s. And, the 460 didn’t come along in the Ford until 1973.
That “cognitive biases” Wikipedia page is a potential rabbit hole. 🙂
I’m sure the CC effect is amongst them under another name.
Call me blind, but I fail to see the difference between the two pics of the ute. The only difference I see between the two is the B pillar, just behind the passenger cabin.
He made the door a bit longer as well.
Ok, you’re blind 🙂
The ’65 is my favorite year of the Ford Galaxie. I own a ’65 Ford Custom 500. I’ve included a pic. It’s equipped with a 289 V8 and the cruise-o-matic trans.
We had the “67 version” of your car
You can buy those emblems from the aftermarket. I have yet, however to see a 400 version of it
Wonder if they have a 406 version of repop thunderbird emblem?
Neat, the straight quarter panels really lend themselves to a ute conversion. I thought this looked great right up to the side on shot. That is a bit ungainly, but lengthening the door is harder in real life than in Photoshop. Using the stock window probably necessitated the sail panel angle.
Overall I rate this a B+
A++++. Exactly how I would do it. After all the effort of the conversion however, I would certainly be more mindful of maintenance.
It looks like the right side panel gap is so small that the leading edge of the passenger door impacted the trailing edge of the right fender at some point and knocked off some paint. It’s still too close (I think).
I’ve seen such impact marks when making bad adjustments of those adjustable cabinet hinges on bathroom vanities and kitchen cabinets.
But that’s a real nit on this interesting ute.
I remember ads for the 1965 Fords emphasizing how quiet they were and that claim is always in the back of my mind when I see one.
The power of advertising.
Hanging doors and fenders properly seems so easy…until you try doing it yourself!
The 65 full-sized Ford is one of my all-time favorites, too. Probably the only change I’d make is to use the Custom tail lights so that it looks even less like a possibly converted sedan….and even more like a vintage Ford (with the round red lenses).
Also “needs” the branding iron patterned upholstery that was used in 50s Ford Ranch Wagons.
I’ve captured a 66 Ranchero with ‘Custom’ style rear lights, which I think were also used on US Falcon wagons.
Curious, how similar yet different it is from the other ’65 ute. Agreed about the door length; your’s is just right, but realistically, the 2-door door would still be preferable to the 4 door versions. All of the US-built utes (Ranchero, El Camino) used 2-door doors, and it really is critical in their visual appeal. With the short doors, they look so…utilitarian.
Good catch Don, these are more common than you think I saw two in a scrapyard in Riverstone long long ago one of them was halfway through the transition from Wagon to ute there was half a dozen other Galaxies in the same yard almost like somebody tried producing and gave up and sold the remains of their body stock, nice to see a going example only the rear lights differ from the ones I saw.
Fascinating find Don – I love it when people create ‘what-ifs’ like this. Such vision and skill!
Some googlery revealed the owner bought it around 1980 and originally used it as a tow car for their steel tubing business. It was cut down to a ute using the original panels only, and is still used to haul steel – it now has a bolt-on rack (not in the pics) for carrying 20-foot lengths, and features airbag rear suspension to cope with the weight. It has a 460 big block, but the owner doesn’t mention anything about that.
I tend to agree the rear pillar slopes a tad too much, but on the other hand, I guess it provides storage space behind the front seats. Still, a great bit of creativity!
Didn’t google before I wrote this up. Thanks for its history.
I like this! But I agree with all of the comments that a 2-door door would be preferable. In my experience, a 4-door short door is a dead giveaway that this started as a regular sedan…
Only the 4-door Galaxies were sold in Australia.
I’ve seen the silver one a few years ago. It is interesting to see that both have a small lip above the tail lights, and level of the rear quarter panels, to raise the height of the bed sides – perhaps the same person or body shop did both of these?
Fast Forward a Dozen Years or so and you have the car pictured below. I agree with Paul and Dan above that a 2 door would’ve made more sense proportionally, although it would have hurt cargo space with the longer doors…
And the LTD II Ranchero back window has a similar odd slope to its back window as the featured ’65 Galaxie “custom”.
I’ve captured a 68/69 Ranchero which I’ll be featuring at some point. For me, that and the 72 are the best use of long doors.
Yeah, and IIRC, the ’72 had that gorgeous “Gran Torino” look about it… ’72 was my favorite year for that car. You know, the one from the Clint Eastwood movie.
Neighbors had one of these in silver, inside was red. Was quite a looker
Unless it is just a reflection, it seems like bodywork was done directly above the rear wheel opening on the silver Ford.
You could extend the DLO by adding a small ‘quarter’ window like the current batch of local utes do.
Like you, I like the roof line of the silver one better. The indentation in the panel highlights the area behind the door.
And those Cragar SS suit the character of the car better than the Centerlines.
Now if the owner would squeeze a current Aussie turbo 6 under that bonnet…
I did wonder if it was a cut down ambulance.
Good call. There were a lot of them around.
That Fairlane’s roof bulge is just wrong.
I’d forgotten about those but thats more what the half done car I saw could have been its a long time ago but there was something not quite right about it as a wagon, lack of any sign of rear seats. Yes re purposed ex ambulances would explain a lot
What people think up to do to cars. Couldn’t put in cohort as not able to post photos in there today.
not complete without the tail
What. The. Actual. F$ck.
It takes a special kinda crazy to do that.
Visine anybody?…must wash this image out of my eyes….!
“Well, if the women don’t find you handsome, at least they’ll find you handy.”
(Quoting Rick Green from Canada’s “The Red Green Show”, specifically ‘The Handyman’s Corner’ bit).
This design looks like a legacy from Elwood Engel’s years at Ford. It shares some styling with the 1965 Plymouth Fury.
So there’s at least two of these babies, heh?
A ‘ute’ from Down Under?? It is right hand drive.