A quarter mile at a time: 1963 Ford 300 R-Code

A genuine lightweight factory racecar – with provenance! This 300 coupe has the manners and appearance to be an understated street-sleeper

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10770
1963 Ford 300 R-Code

The Pick of the Day is a 1963 Ford 300 R Code offered by a dealer in Lenoir City, Tennessee. Muscle car aficionados should look at this listing and take a moment of pause. I sure did. This red-on-red monster with 4 on the floor would be easily at home at the drag strip or perhaps a speedway circle track.This Ford did go to the drag strip. It makes one wonder how many of the stated 1,084 miles were accumulated a quarter mile at a time? According to the seller, it was bought by the Warner Ford dealership in Loveland, Ohio, and raced during 1963-64.

The Ford 300s were mainly purchased as police cars and taxi cabs, and they were only produced for the 1963 model year. Needless to say these were not heavily optioned cars. One could call a new 300 from the factory, a ‘stripper.’ However, availability of big-block FE-series V-8 engines, including the 425-horsepower 427cid engine gave them other purpose. The light weight, combined with big horsepower and manual transmission, made these cars factory-ready for the strip.‘R’ means ‘Racing.’ In the case of this Rangoon Red beauty. ‘R’ also means ‘Rare.’ According to the seller, “There were only 50 of these cars ever built and this one is mostly a survivor that has had a repaint done. It’s 1 of only 5 High Performance 300s in the 427 Registry and 1 of only 3 R codes in the registry.”The 427 R Code engine is set up with the H dual quad 427 Aluminum Intake and two Holley 4-barrel carburetors. The powerplant has D heads and exhaust manifolds.All the period badges are on the car and the car features all its original glass, the body matching factory-style 15″ Wheels, Firestone tires and Ford dog-dish hubcaps. The interior is red bench seats with white headliner and visors.

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The asking price is $109,995. This rare R-Code begs to be launched – and cherished!

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Tom Stahler is the Managing Editor of the ClassicCars.com Journal. Tom has a lifelong love of cars and motor racing – beginning with the 1968 USRRC race at Road America, in a stroller, at eight months of age. His words, photos and broadcasts can can be found on a myriad of media. He has won the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and a Gold Medal in the International Automotive Media Awards.

25 COMMENTS

  1. The 1968 & 69 Plymouth Road Runners were like this- stripped down Ford. I bought a 69 Road Runner in the spring of 69. Like this Ford, it had the interior of a phone booth. But I love ’em. I really like this Ford with that awesome engine as the only selling point. Being 16 at the time this car came out, I never knew about it until now. Thanks for this really neat piece of history.

  2. When I see one of these types of cars, I see automotive engineering history! Horsepower is still King these days, it’s just evolved from a strait line machine into a straight line machine that handles!

    To think that this car, back in the day, was about the same as a new Dodge Hellcat….just another new, high horsepower car!

    • You and me both Chris. I got to drive a widebody Hellcat at Willow Springs International a couple of years ago. When I got out, I said, “That was the most well-mannered Trans-Am car I ever drove.” I think you make an excellent point.

  3. There are a few things wrong with this car that need tweaking to make it all correct. The wheels don’t look quite correct for ’63. The air cleaner is on backwards. The red distributor cap — should be a black one. The center emblem in the horn ring is missing. What are the black circles in the door jamb — was the car rust-proofed? The master cylinder cap is different. I don’t see the wire for the instrument cluster OIL light. There’s something wrong with the left rear window because it’s crooked and not down all the way. This isn’t factory lightweight but the Ford 300’s were lighter cars making them a lighter in weight car than the higher line models. I’d like to see the Ford documentation that shows that only 50 of these cars were ever built. From my communications with Ford Motor Company people, this information is not available. Good luck getting the asking price or anything near that. It looks like it’s a pretty nice car but not worth that kind of money.

      • Hi Tom,
        Not really. I don’t know enough about many different cars. I do know my 1963 Ford full-size cars though. I’ve been collecting them since 1972. I’m still learning but sometimes there’s one that just doesn’t make sense. I’ve seen and had some cars that weren’t special ordered but it wasn’t the norm either. Ford did some things that we’ll never understand and we just ask why.

        • Appreciate the expertise. As car guys, we love period cars in period condition. As for this car, it just gave me a moment of pause. Certainly most of the 300s in 1963 were cop cars and taxis… Just the fact that this is a stripper 427 that saw track time and is still here to tell the tale makes for compelling content. Really glad you are a reader John!

      • Judging another person’s car is one thing. Critiquing a car in order to try to help the seller get a better price is another. If you were the seller wouldn’t you want to know what’s right or wrong in order to not misrepresent your car and get a bad reputation?
        Making potential buyers aware of certain faults is also another thing in order to try to help others. Asking for official documentation should be important to that potential buyer. As a buyer wouldn’t you like to know what’s right/good or wrong/bad in order to make a wise investment?

    • I concur with your observation, I Have been a 63 man all my life. Also looks like a gas leak on the intake. Missing apron covers over A arms. Top price always demands correctness and is subject to scrutiny.

      • Hi Rick,
        Thank you for your support. I missed the apron covers (I’m not perfect). I also failed to mention the incorrect shifter ball (an XL model ball). I have to question why this car was repainted if it has only 1,084 miles on it.
        As one ’63 guy to another we should talk sometime and share stories/experiences.

  4. Man, this makes me miss the one car I had in high school, that I wished I had today. ‘64 Fairlane Sport coupe with a 289 Cobra and toploader 4spd. (Rumor was it was a K code)
    I love the 300! It’s only 100x more expensive than my Fairlane was. Thanks for posting.

    • Thanks for reading, Roger. I commented to one of my colleagues today in the classiccars.com offices, “If I had a car like that in High School, I would have been dead n a couple of weeks.” Glad you enjoyed the article.

  5. The Ford 300 was introduced in 1957. It was offered for several years as the entry level model and primarily used as police, taxi, etc., as stated. I was unaware still offered in 1963. A rare model either way.

      • The Custom 300 was a model first offered by Ford in 1957 and continued through the 1959 models. The Custom name wasn’t used again until 1964 (Custom & Custom 500). The Ford 300 name was only used in 1963 for it’s lowest line full-size models.

  6. I am a little confused as of the 427 with this square box car as I call them square box as a person that ordered a 406 cubit inch405hp which was the largest motor at that time in1963 that I could order from Ford,I ordered a Ford Guardmans outside and Guardmans blue interior and took possession in late June I was not aware of that this car came with a 427 from the factory untill 1963 1/2 Ford came out in 1963 1/2 with a 427 cubit inch and 425 hp fast back which was used for racing and the was available for purchasing by the public in late.July or August 1963 I purchased a 1964 same color inside and out for the motor and fast back and the 427cubit inch and 425 horse I would like to see the build date on this did this build after June or July 1963 that is when the 1963 1/2 came out that I am adware of.
    Maybe someone can clear up and tell me if I am all wrong on my dates

    • I also failed to mention that both my cars on the above reply were the 1963 and 1964 Ford Galaxies 500 XL that were the top of the line for Ford at that time in the full size cars excluding the T Bird
      Larry Werre
      Another note
      There is no reverse lock out and the bend is wrong on the gear shift
      There is no 427 T Bird Emblem on top of the Air Cleaner

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