HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1961 Ford Starliner with a sweeping hardtop roofline

Pick of the Day: 1961 Ford Starliner with a sweeping hardtop roofline

The attractive variation of the Galaxie gets a distinctive Jet Age vibe


There are all kinds of things that make a collector car stand out, and sometimes, it’s all about the roofline.  Such is the case with the Pick of the Day, a 1961 Ford Starliner with one of the most splendid hardtops ever devised.

Sure, the full-size Ford is otherwise a handsome and well-equipped car, loaded with style and performance.  But it’s that sweeping roof with its huge panels of windshield and rear glass, and sparkling chrome accents, that makes it special. 

Ford was coasting alongside Chevy with the bubble-top style when it produced the Starliner, the fastback version of the flagship Galaxie, for the 1960 and ’61 model years.   Emblematic of the slim and aerodynamic look of Jet Age design, they seem special indeed for today’s collectors.  The Starliner brand gave way to the Galaxie 500 in 1962.

The Ford, advertised by a Clarksville, Georgia, dealer on ClassicCars.com, is described as benefiting from a “beautiful restoration on solid car,” powered by its original Thunderbird 390 V8 and a “3-on-the-tree” column shifter for its manual transmission.


“Interior restored back to original condition,” the ad says. “All glass is nice as is chrome and stainless. No rust on detailed undercarriage and beautiful trunk.”

The hardtop roofline does set apart the overall styling of this classic Ford, making it look sporty and evocative. The long roof is characterized by distinct creases along the sides that flow into the rear pillar, which gets a set of chrome flourishes.

The Ford 390cid V8 was an optional engine for the Starliner, newly introduced for the Thunderbird and with the top performance setup delivering 375 horsepower.  The dealer notes in the brief description that the engine is fed by a 4-barrel carburetor and has “460 cast-iron headers.”

This Ford runs as good as it looks, the dealer says, with stopping performance provided by power brakes and the shifting described as smooth.  Photos of the underside show the very cleanly restored chassis and suspension.


Just under 30,000 Starliners were produced for 1961, making them relatively rare compared with the nearly 350,000 Galaxies produced that year.

The asking price for this attractive classic Ford is $32,000.

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

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. “No rust on detailed undercarriage…”
    Detailed with a can of black spray paint. That really hurts my heart when I see that. I bet they didn’t even clean the dirt off before spraying it. If anybody would do that what did they spray over on the upper side of the car? I really wanted to like this car, and I guess I like it more than I like the seller… It appears to have really nice bones.

  2. I had this awesome & rare engine in a 62 Galaxie in 1965. In addition it had a 600cfm Holley which I increase to a 710cfm. I also had a 4-speed, close ratio but can’t remember the brand? Also a solid lifter cam & awesome sound.Dual point distributor. Loved the car but did to much street racing & blew to many trannies, ha! Had no trouble with the new for 65 396 Impalas with the 325hp.

  3. I was mostly a Ford guy later on in the decade but gotta say that the 61 Starliner was no match in style to the 61 Chevy Impala.

  4. Surprised it doesn’t have a 4 speed; don’t know if that was an option or not, but I had a 48 Lincoln Continental powered by a 460 Lincoln V-8 and the original Zephyr tranny, which was 3 speed with overdrive.

  5. Hey You’all are forgetting about the 60 Starliner with the 352 HI-PO the one that NASCAR ran arountd Charlotte Speedway at a whopping speed of 152mph with the only motifications of racing tires and wheels. I know because I had one, A white with blue interior, Oh, I forgot tune-up teaked by Hollman-Moody.
    Fond memories on that one.
    [email protected]


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