Pick of the Day: 1961 Ford Galaxie brought space race down to earth

Automotive design got into the spirit of the cosmic competition

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The Galaxie was rescued and refurbished after two decades in storage

The space race was all the rage in the late 1950s and early ’60s.  As the United States and the Soviet Union battled it out for “firsts” in space-flight capability, the automotive sector got in on the action, as did many other industries.  The Ford Galaxie and Mercury Comet are two examples of vehicles with model names derived from that excitement. 

Most people think of the culmination of the space race was when the first human set foot on the moon, 51 years ago this week on July 20, 1969. 

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In fitting celebration of that anniversary, the Pick of the Day is a beautiful 1961 Ford Galaxie with only 69,000 miles on the odometer.  The private seller in Robinson, Illinois, advertising the Ford on ClassicCars.com reports that the car had been stored in a barn for almost 20 years when he purchased it in 2011 with 64,400 miles. 

After putting the car back into service with some mechanical updates, he added just over 5,000 miles.  Some of those miles were on historic Route 66, the seller notes. 


The Galaxie was Ford’s premium full-sized car for its time, targeted at Chevrolet’s Impala.  The nameplate ran from 1959 through 1974 and evolved through four different body styles, each adorned in proper period chrome trim and sweeping body lines. 

RELATED:  Pick of the Day: 1984 Jeep Wagoneer with one-family ownership

While 1959 was a one-year-only design, the 1960-64 models received a more subdued tail end and a variety of engines, all the way from a “mileage-maker” 6-cylinder to a 427-cubic-inch V8.  The car featured today has Ford’s 292 V8, paired with a three-on-the-tree transmission.  It’s one of about 350,000 Galaxies produced for the 1961 model year. 

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The seller states that the car is “a true survivor and a beautiful cruiser.”  He adds that the car has recently had work done to the wheel brake cylinders and brake lines. 

Cosmetically, the paint had some work done, but the engine and interior are original.  The black and white seats pair nicely with the black exterior, and the body and chrome appear straight in the photos.  Check out those rocket-like taillamps.

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The seller describes this Galaxie as a “well preserved time capsule at classic car entry level price.”  The asking price is $7,500, which presents an opportunity to commemorate the space race with a budget much lower than NASA’s. 

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

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Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Guys, click the 8th sentence down from the top of the article. When you see the highlighted year, make, and model, click that. That will open up the add, which by the way states that the car has been sold.

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