Mike's R-Code 427 c.i. 63 1/2 Ford Galaxie 500, superimposed onto a dragstrip shot.
With a rare R-Code 427 C.I. engine, my brother Michael restored this 1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 500 XL Fastback over 12 years ago. I photographed this vehicle on several occasions and found a way to Photoshop the car to better feature it. This daytime photo of the Galaxie was superimposed over a night time drag strip shot.
With a potential value of nearly 160k (based on recent auctions results in 2014), the specs for this R-code 427 model include the 4-speed transmission and dual 4-barrel carburetors that bring 425 horsepower under the hood.
I would have written more about this car, but my brother has been tight-lipped about leaking too much info. Mike takes his Galaxie to a few local car shows, not seeking to draw more attention than necessary. As I understand, the estimated values associated with this particular car are on the rise because of its rarity and growing appreciation by car affeciandos.
Mike came to own this car from someone who kept it stored in a Northern Michigan warehouse with a bunch of other restoration projects. Over a period of years, my brother had been aware of the vehicle's existance but did not persist in trying to buy it. After some time, and with a renewed desire to restore a vehicle like the one he owned in his younger day, he decided to approach this owner again. Fortunately, it was finally available for sale. I've yet to ask him what he paid. No matter the cost, the car's value is climbing dramatically.
This Galaxie's top had been demolished by a roof cave-in at the warehouse where it was stored, perhaps one reason the owner was willing to part with it. With the help of an experienced crew, Mike painstakingly restored the car. He had to call in a few favors from his friends and put himself in debt in more ways than just money. The hood was pounded out to perfection. The car was torn apart and inspected and refinished in all original aspects right down to it's new paint.
He estimates the car is 95% rust free thanks to its years of storage and the current garage where it is maintained. Even with some flaws, he thinks the Galaxie rates out as an 80-point car. Eventually, with Mike's permission, I would like to write a feature-length story about his trials and tribulations before he was able to get this muscle car on the road. It rarely leaves the wood-heated garage that he built for it.
Mike also has some interesting stories about the first '63 Galaxie he owned packing a 406 with eight barrels (I grew up thinking it was a Mercury Comet). I just remember that I was about seven and it was real loud (kinda gurgled and quivered). He had me hold onto the 'oh shit' handle attached near the glove box. We have one lousy blurred photo of him standing next to that old sky blue car that wound up as scrap in a junkyard somewhere.
I thought Mike was going to sell this current dream car after his heart attack several years ago. Apparently, he had a standing offer of $125,000. After talking with him toward the end of that year, it was revealed the talk of him parting with the car may have been started by his wife. I won't comment.
~article updated, June 1, 2014