(first posted 6/14/2014) This 1962 Full Sized Ford represented a very solid entry in the full-sized sales wars. The base platform came out in 1960 and would carry forward through 1965, so it represented a mid generation model. This means the factory had the assembly procedures sorted out, but the basic body dies were not worn out from five years of continuous production. In addition, in 1962 Ford sold more Galaxie 500 four door sedans than any other body style or trim level, making this a car we’re all familiar with.
Once we’ve zoomed out, you can see the typical horizontal Ford grille, sixties era chrome trim, and that squared off Ford roofline that first appeared on the 1958 Thunderbird. In Tom Klockau’s write up of the 1962 Galaxie 500 Town Victoria (the four door hardtop), he argued the 1962 was not only one of the most reliable Fords in this series, but also the best looking. Based on this shot, it’s hard to argue. I’m not sure if this car is a restoration or a survivor, but every detail appears to meet factory specifications.
If this car is a restoration, it’s a very impressive one. Given all the chrome trim on this top line model, it would be a major undertaking to gather all the pieces needed to build the full chromium inventory. I’m always amazed to see all the individual chrome parts on vehicles of this vintage. For example, the trunk lid includes seven individual letters to spell out G-A-L-A-X-I-E. Today, some bean counter would insist on a single badge in one corner, so they could eliminate six of the seven labor operations.
No article on early sixties Fords would be complete without a shot of their signature tail lights, mimicking the exhaust end of a jet engine. Generally, I find the front of cars much more interesting than the back, but cars of this era tend to increase the interest level with lots of details between the tail lights. In addition to a door hiding the fuel filler, this Galaxie also delivers a ribbed fill panel, and back up lights cleverly concealed in the tail lamp centers.
Looking at that gracefully curved “500,” I suspect someone removed those emblems during a repaint. While I could see a car leaving Detroit with such a glaring defect, I expect the dealership would fix it before delivery…
While we’re back here, let’s admire the interplay between the lines on this fender. The chrome panel on the lower edge helps to emphasize the gentle taper at back of the car. You can also see how the trunk lid angles down to create a crest on the top edge of the fender. Not a tail fin per se, but it hearkens back to that classic fifties styling element.
But this ’62 Galaxie a sixties car, with that era’s styling elements, including this lovely badge, C-pillar cap, and side spear. I always try to catch a few close up details when I see a Curbside Classic, but I rarely find so many shiny baubles in a single shot.
Up front, we find more of the same. A thin chrome strip accentuates that graceful wheel opening, the chrome spear steps down from triple wide to single wide, and a fender mounted gun sight provides the driver with a dedicated alignment device (the passenger gets one too, even though they have no steering wheel). There’s plenty of chrome up front as well, with a massive bumper and thick headlight bezels, but my favorite bling in this picture is the shiny wheel cover over that black steel wheel. With it, Ford continues their jet engine theme, but instead of an exhaust outlet, we’re treated to the turbine blades from the front of a jet engine.
To wrap up our tour of ’62 Galaxie chrome trim, I’ll pause at yet another gun sight. I’m not sure how this crosshair will aid the driver as he aims his full sized dream machine down the road, but Ford mounted it just in case. Behind the grille, a Galaxie might come equipped with the standard 223 cubic inch six, but most probably came with one of the V8s, either the Y-block 292 or one the FE V8s, which came in 352, 390, or for the racers, in 406 cubic inch versions. Based on the dual pipes out back, this is likely either a 352 or 390 car.
It’s an ugly picture, but I wanted to include this interior shot so you could see the air conditioner case mounted under the dash – definitely a rare option back in the day.
To make up for the bad photo, here’s a clean interior shot off the internet. This is a Galaxie Custom so it’s lacking a bit of chrome trim, but the layout is essentially the same. How I wish I could get such a clean shot curbside!
To close our posting, I thought I’d share a picture of the car that shares garage space with our four door. I spotted its tail lights the day I shot the town sedan, but the two door wasn’t positioned for photos. The next weekend I spotted it at the local car show, and saved an image. This sedan is packing a 406 with dual quad induction (although I doubt the quad carbs or the 406 were factory installed), and brings on serious street cred thanks to those dog dish hubcaps and menacing grey paint. Between the two of them, we seemed to have all bases covered, from four-door business to two-door pleasure.