When we talk of Yank tanks of the 60s, the Ford Galaxies must come up amongst the top for sheer size and statue, what with their stack headlights as well as stacked parkers, big square tail lights not to mention just the size of the panels themselves! It was the era of opulence and nobody did it better than the Americans. With the big bodies came big motors, big interiors and big brightwork. The suspensions were soft and the steering was light.
For those of us who have a fondness for the big American metal, we take it in our stride that when it comes to doing them up, we’re gonna need some space and muscle to pull them apart and put back together.
The Australian built Galaxie you see before you is a classic example of what the Yanks built and what creative Aussies can do with them. Mick has always been partial to the big sixties Ford and, although not his first taste of the classic brand, made sure this was going to be his final build stating “I’m getting too sore to start crawling under cars again”.
Bought from Narrandera, Mick landed himself an almost one owner car having been owned by the one family since almost new. It had been passed down from father to son as heirlooms often are. The son obviously had the car bug in him because when Mick got hold of it, it had modifications including billet wheels and a pearl paint job although structurally it was untouched. Mick put his newly acquired classic daily driver to work cruising him to his job in the big smoke and back (to Sunbury).
After twelve months of this, it was time to give the big girl the makeover Mick had in mind and off the road she came. Not content to put up with someone else’s build, it was subsequently stripped to the bones and sent off to be tubbed in order to house the required big boots he wanted. The intention from the start was to build a show n go ride so there was to be no corners cut here! With a wants and needs list as long as your arm, Mick set about sourcing parts, chasing specialists and chipping away at the in-house duties.
Mick liked the original silver blue the Galaxies came out with so he had it resprayed in that hue keeping the classic image alive. The interior was a different story and sourcing the correct material for the inside proved to be a nightmare. He came across a company in the States who had a roll of the vinyl but they wouldn’t part with it seeing Mick wasn’t an upholsterer. He got around this hurdle by talking an upholstery mate into purchasing it for him; all thirty six meters of it! Enough to do another couple of interiors or a full lounge suit at home. Now there’s an idea Mick! While I don’t think he’ll get away with that, he did have it used extensively throughout the boot giving it a fantastic look but more on that later. With material in hand, Mick chased down a pair of six way electric bucket seats from the highly sort after one year production only 7 litre model Galaxie to upholster and install. The column was converted to floor shift with a B&M shifter mounted between the seats while a custom dash with Auto-Meter gauges inserted completed the interior. A half roll cage keeps him safe when exercising strip duties while the classic bone tiller keeps the wheels pointed in the right direction.
Under the bonnet sits a 385 series big block of 460 cubes stroked out to 545 c.i. The brand new SVO block house a host of go time goodies giving Mick’s right foot seven hundred horses to play with at 720 ftlb certified on the dyno. Initially, everything was housed under the bonnet but, like all of us, Mick had a hankering to poke something out of it and a tunnel ram with twin 750 cfm carbs replaced the original manifold. Not content to stop there, a NOS system was added for good measure with the bottle mounted neatly in the boot along with the high volume Magna Fuel pump, fuel tank and battery thus completing the show class boot image.
Behind the big block behemoth resides a 3800 TCI stall converter controlling power to the full manual Powerglide capable of handling over a thousand horsepower. The impressive length of the vehicles sees it legally require a two piece tailshaft which bolts to the obligatory nine inch. Running 4:11 Richmond gears housed in an aluminium carrier with 35 spline Mosser axles helps deliver the maximum amount of power to the strip. Exhaust gasses exit via the custom made extractors and twin Siamese system with MagnaFlow mufflers. Braking comes courtesy of Galaxie discs up from and drums on the rear allowing the big American four door to pull up without issue. Tracking true duties comes in the form of a four link rear with coil overs and thicker sway bars while the front end remains relatively standard.
Initially, Mick completed the image with a set of satin finish Centrelines as he was unable to get the Salt flat wheels in the size he was after. Later in the cars new guise, he managed to talk the manufacturer into producing a set of custom built rear units to suit his prerequisite image. All that’s left to do is hunt down a set of original wheel arch moulds and a grill badge from here or the USA.
As I mentioned at the start, it was built for show and, having booked the car in for its first event at the Hot Rod show in Melbourne before completion, he was committed to present it but the 3 year build took longer than expected so Mick trailered it up and pushed it into place due to it having no fuel tank. This saw him put in the show class amongst the elite rods and customs and to his credit came away with a second place in his class. In 2013, he picked up another 2nd place in the street machine sedan class at the same event. As far as the go side is concerned, Mick ran it at Heathcote on borrowed slicks for an impressive 11 seconds without any tweaking. Not bad for a big square cruiser!
While Mick might be done with his own rides, he has three sons who have the automotive bug and will be calling upon him for advice and a helping hand no doubt. One’s building a ZD, one wants a Mustang fastback and one wants Mick’s Galaxie while his wife wants him to just stop messing around with them (cars). I think she might be out numbered on this request.