The Ford Galaxie, not to be confused with today’s Galaxy passenger van, was a stylish, full-size sedan that cruised the American roadways from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s. The aerodynamic and space-age styling of the Galaxie was a clever marketing ploy by the Ford Motor Company to capitalize on the American public’s fascination with space exploration.
By the time the 1966 Ford Galaxie convertible rolled off the assembly lines, the Golden Age of American muscle cars was in full swing. Being able to put the top down while driving a car powered by a 428-cubic-inch V8 engine proved irresistible to car buyers. When the ’66 Galaxie hit the Latin American market, it launched the drag-racing era south of the border and was used as a presidential car in Chile.
428 Power Train on the 1966 Ford Galaxie Convertible
The ’66 Galaxie convertible was a third-generation model powered by the Ford-Edsel 428-cubic-inch, 7.0-liter engine, which would eventually evolve into the famous Cobra Jet used in the Shelby Ford Mustang California Special. This engine was also used in Thunderbird models that same year. The Ford Motor Company did not cut any corners when producing this engine, which was expensive to manufacture. The result was a medium-block engine that delivered racing performance and allowed easy maintenance and upgrades.
Handling and Suspension
As one of the largest full-size sedans of its era, the ’66 Galaxie was quite bulky. A year earlier, Ford had taken notice of the uncomfortable handling reported by drivers and decided to redesign the suspension system with massive coils that provided a very smooth ride. In later years, this suspension system was adopted by NASCAR. The sensitive steering and touch brakes of the full-size vehicles were not for everyone; most car buyers that year preferred the tighter controls of the Ford Mustang.
Film and Television Appeal
The elegant appearance and sheer power of the ’66 Galaxie convertible was highlighted in the 2007 film “The Black Pimpernel” as well as in the 1966 cult film “Manos, The Hands of Fate,” a B-movie considered to be one of the worst ever made. In the fourth season of the hit television sitcom “Seinfeld,” zany neighbor Kramer kept a nicely restored ’66 Galaxie in a New York City garage building.
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