Cohort Outtake: 1961 Ford “NASCAR Homologation Special” Truth In Advertising Edition

Ford 1961 sedan blk fpictures by Triborough

I was walking down the Cohort sidewalk, when I came across this black ’61 Ford sedan. Galaxie Club Coupe; looks pretty decent, for what was undoubtedly an old family hauler. Six or V8? I’d guess V8, most likely the standard Y-block 292 boat anchor. Oh; it’s for sale; well that ad in the windshield would likely confirm my guess. Or take me for a chump.

Ford 1961 sedan blk sign f

Unbelievable; literally. He’s trying to pawn this off as some sort of NASCAR “1961½ Homologation special”, “with only 1000 made. And with a “406 hp” engine.  Well, I happened to have some personal experience with hi-performance 1961 Fords (more below). This guy might have benefited from reading my story, at least in order to learn how to make a whopper sound more credible.

Ford 1961 starliner_NASCAR_stocker

First off, there were no 1961.5 big Fords. And the NASCAR racers strongly preferred the Starliner, as it was of course much slipperier than than boxy sedan roof. And there was no need to homologate it, as the Starliner was a popular production model.

There was no “406 hp” engine in 1961. The hi-po 390 V8 came in 475 and 401 hp versions, but the single-carb 375 was the one used for NASCAR, as dual four-barrels were banned. The 401 hp version was a drag-strip special.

Ford 1961 sedan blk r

A screaming “406hp” NASCAR V8 with a single exhaust. Hmmm. Here’s the real give-away on the ad:  “new Holly double-barrel carburetor” Aha! Well, let’s just say that all of the higher-performance Ford V8s, starting with the 300 hp 390 came with at least a four-barrel carb. Which means this one has either the 292 or 220hp 352. Busted. As if it was necessary.

And here’s another whopper: “was featured in tv shows (Andy Griffith) and movies….” I guess we’re to be impressed that various 1961 Fords made an appearance in them, as did various Fords run in NASCAR races. But that hardly adds any value to this particular car. Enough already; oh, and good luck with that price….

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Enough of the lies and BS about ’61 Fords! Here’s the 100% honest-to-god cross-my-heart true story about the 390/375 hp 1961 Starliner my dad once owned.