The 1965 Ford was a big change from the 1960-64s, with pretty much everything new except for engines and transmissions. And this same basic chassis, despite major stylistic changes in 1969, 1971 and 1975, essentially carried on until the fall of 1978 when the Panther-chassis LTD and Marquis appeared.
Quite a run! And while Ford couldn’t quite beat GM in the sales race when it came to full-size, bread and butter cars, they still put out some attractive machines.
But as nice as the 1965 Galaxie 500 and LTD were, Ford only made it more appealing for the 1966 model year.
The biggest change was to the roofline of the two-door hardtop, with this most excellent concave backlight and C-pillars. Wow! Sleek, is it not?
Of course, the flashier hardtop was the most attractive of the full-size Fords, and still looked great, though the line was starting to lose some sales to Ford’s more specialty vehicles, such as the pony car Mustang, intermediate Fairlane and personal-luxury Thunderbird.
One thing lost with the 1965 re-do were those wonderful jet tube taillights seen on the 1964s. While certain 1965 Fords had a round tail lamp element in the rectangular opening, with the debut of the 1966s, even that one small nod to the 1952-59 and 1961-64 rocket taillights was gone with the wind. Despite all that, however, the rectangular units still looked pretty good!
While these pot-metal dealer tags were likely disdained by most folks when these cars were sold new, they add an interesting element to them today, and I enjoy seeing them. I wonder, is the dealer still around?
I enjoy taking detail shots of cars like these because, well, there are so many details! Try that with a late-model car. Although some modern cars are adding little ‘Easter eggs’ to their models, such as Volvo and Buick, with little Tri-Shields or marque logos inset into the headlamps and taillights.
This Galaxie 500 was quite attractively equipped, with its pillarless two-door style, black paint, red interior, the 428 CID V8, “mag-type” wheel covers and whitewalls. But this is not your average bear. No power everything, and…no Cruise-O-Matic. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself.
The 428 was new to the engine lineup that year, sharing brochure space with the 289, 352, 390 and 427 V8s. The likely 428 in this car is probably the 345-hp Thunderbird Special with a Holley four-barrel carbutetor, though a Police Interceptor version was also available, in 360-hp tune.
Although the Galaxie 500 was no longer the top-of-the-line (the Galaxie 500XL, 7-Litre and LTD were all above it), it was still very upmarket looking, with its pleasant interior, extra chrome trim over the fleet- and cheapskate-special Custom, and attractive wood-grained instrument panel with clock.
Say, what’s that on the floor?
Good golly Miss Molly! It appears to be a floor-mounted manual transmission! I can see this on a Mustang, Falcon or even a Fairlane, but on a big boat like the Galaxie? Interesting.
With the glitzy trim and color combination and 428 under the hood, I suspect someone wanted a bit of fun with their full-sized Ford. This car was very appealing!
Makes you wonder just how many were made like this? It was the first 1965-66 full-sized Ford I had ever seen with a floor-mounted manual transmission. What a rare bird! It was a pleasure to see at the Classy Chassy cruise-in in Coralville, Iowa. Way back in 2014!
Time flies. And so does this Ford, I bet.