COAL #12: Notes From a Galaxie Far, Far Away

I’d like to offer a brief update for my COAL #6 post describing the ’64 Ford Galaxie 500 two-door hardtop that was my mother’s last car. In that post, I estimated the as-delivered price of the Galaxie at $4,244.

It turns out that after some additional digging in the family automotive archives, I happened upon the original Retail Buyer’s Order for our ’64 – from our hometown dealer Laurie Ford. The Laurie family offered Dad the princely sum of $378.85 for Dad’s ’58 Plymouth wagon, meaning that it had lost over 85% of its original base sticker price of $2,626 during our six years of ownership.

The Galaxie was an early Christmas 1963 present for my mother.


But my COAL #6 estimate of $4,244 really missed the boat on the price of our new Galaxie. It was decently optioned, but not excessively equipped. In terms of late-1963 prices (in descending order), our Galaxie 500 two-door hardtop ($2,674.00) included Cruise-O-Matic transmission ($189.60), Ford’s small-block 289 V8 ($109 over the standard 6-cylinder), power steering ($86.30), AM radio ($58.50), full wheel covers ($45.10), power brakes ($43.20), whitewall tires ($33.95), vinyl interior trim ($25.00), padded dash and sun visors ($24.30), two-speed windshield wipers and washer ($20.10), and the courtesy light group ($14.80), adding up to just $3,323.85 (about $32,675 today).

Dad signed on the bottom line for monthly payments of $86.69.


Ford’s Buyer’s Digest of New Car Facts for 1964 promoted that year’s Galaxie 500 series as having “high priced allure without high price tags…the kind of total performance that’s been refined and perfected on the race tracks and rally roads of Europe and America…pays off in dependability and economy in everyday family-style driving.”

Period TV commercials for the “big Ford” announced that it was “Born to be beautiful…The solid silent super torque Ford for 1964. This new Ford is stronger, smoother, steadier than any other car in its field.” More than a bit of marketing fluff, to be sure, but there was a grain of truth behind the buzzwords.

The Galaxie remains one of my most fondly-remembered family cars to date. More than our ’62 Falcon, it was the car that first kindled my Blue Oval passion, reflected in my first car, the ’66 Comet, as well as a number of Mustangs and other Ford-powered vehicles, including the LBC sitting in my garage today. But those are subjects for future COALs…