Show Car Barn Find: 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 XL

As recently as 1988, this Galaxie 500 XL Hardtop was a beautiful car that graced the cover of magazines. When the car’s owner became ill, the Galaxie was parked and forgotten in a shed. It has now been dragged from its resting place and is looking for someone who is willing to return the car to its former glory. The Galaxie is located in Aiken, South Carolina, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $3,500, and the reserve has been met.

In its glory days, the Galaxie proudly wore its beautiful Rose Beige paint, with a black vinyl top. Time has not been kind to the car, and a full restoration is now most definitely in order. However, in spite of its tattered outward appearance, there is plenty of good news with this car. The first piece is that the rust in the Galaxie appears to be confined to a couple of areas in the rear corners of the trunk pan, and a few spots under the lower edges of the vinyl top.

The rest of the body looks pretty reasonable, and while the owner does talk about those rust areas, he makes no mention of any issues with the floor or frame. The second bit of good news is that in spite of indications to the contrary, the Galaxie is complete. The owner includes a couple of photos of parts that come with the car, and it looks like not only are all of the trim pieces that aren’t actually attached to the car present, but they look to be in good condition.

Powering the Galaxie when it was alive and well was the 300hp 390ci V8 engine, while shifting duties were performed by the 3-speed Cruise-O-Matic transmission. To take the hard work out of maneuvering the Galaxie in the tighter spots, it is also equipped with power steering. It appears as though the engine bay of this old Ford has remained untouched since the car was parked in the 1980s, and there is plenty of evidence that more than a few rodents have called this space home over the past three decades. It isn’t clear what state that the engine is in, but hopefully, it isn’t locked. Still, even if it isn’t, there will be plenty of work to undertake before the car is capable of moving under its own power again.

In its heyday, the interior of the Galaxie must have been quite a sight. Black vinyl trim, bucket seats, a console with a shifter for the automatic transmission, and air conditioning, would have all conspired to make this a pretty special place to spend some time. The trim has survived remarkably well over the years, but there is still some work to be done before it returns to its best. As with other aspects of the Galaxie, the interior does appear to be complete, and while there will be some trim items that will need to be replaced, a lot of items should respond quite well to a good clean. My only worry is that with the mountain of evidence under the hood of rodent infestation, I wonder if any of the little guys found their way inside the car. if they did, then the next owner might face some work in eradicating the “Eau-De-Mouse” scent that they can leave behind.

As you can see from this cover photo of the Galaxie that was taken in 1988, this really was a stunning looking car. In reality, it could be again, because it does appear to be both relatively solid, and complete. I hope that someone is willing to take the restoration of this car on, and if they do, then I really hope that they are rewarded with an end product that looks just as good as it did 30-years-ago.


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  1. mark

    This is not a show car that was “parked” 30 years ago. The grill is missing, interior door panels are gone, fender is beat up…… Someone ravaged this thing for parts.

    Like 36
    • Boatman Member

      You mean 30-years ago.

  2. MH

    No way is that the same car.

    Like 25
  3. BlondeUXB Member

    Show car ???
    Who did he show it to ?

    Like 22
  4. Ken Smith

    Agree that this thing has been picked for parts and pieces, and is not the same as when parked so many years ago.

    Like 15
  5. canadainmarkseh Member

    If I had a mint show car and I got sick I wouldn’t leave-it in a leaky shed. I think it was wrecked and parked with some repairs attempted that’s why the front fenders are in primer and why the grille and all the trim is pulled off the front. The story doesn’t line up to what I see in the pictures. That said it’s still a cool car that would make a good project. These 1963 galaxies were the last of the good looking ones in 1964 they were turned into square boxes and were quite ugly. JMHO.

    Like 22
    • sir mike

      I like the looks of 64 Galaxies

      Like 7
      • ccrvtt

        I think he meant 1965.

        Like 6
  6. BarnfindyCollins

    This IS the very same car all these years later. It was his pride and joy and sits on his property less than a mile where I live. We all as lovers of automobilia have the potential to allow our lives and things get away from us. This man was a friend of mine and just passed away a month ago. I have nothing to do with the sale of his things and didn’t even know it was for sale until seeing it here. I hope it finds a home and you never know what you are going to see next on this great forum.

    Like 24
    • Jeff

      I agree, it is the same car. Look at the right rear quarter, the antenna is exactly the same. 1963 Galaxie’s never had an antenna on the rear quarter from the factory. Not only that it is the the exact same diecast mount etc.

      Like 1
      • Jonyynh

        What mount? Radio antenna is not even visible. There is only one old photo, and it’s the driver’s side.

        Like 2
      • DayDreamBeliever Member

        Interesting story, always sad when someone’s pride and joy ride suffers this fate.

        But I have a question regarding the antenna: Where is the photo of that from “back in the day”? I only see one “Show car” photo, and it is from a driver’s side front perspective. Antenna not visible.

        Like 1
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      Barnfindy Collins sorry for the loss of your friend. If you know this car and were friends with the owner maybe you could shed some light on what happened to this car to find it in primer up front. As the story goes it was mint when parked, and from the fenders back doesnt look too bad why were repairs under way when it was parked in good condition?

      Like 5
    • Bill Wilkman

      It may be the very same car, but it was not just parked in show condition. There is much more to this car’s story.

      Like 1
  7. Jeff

    If anyone took the time to look at the antenna on the right rear fender they would see it is identical to both the new and old images.
    Galaxie’s did not come equipped with a antenna mounted to the rear quarter in 1963. What would the odds be of finding one with the exact same antenna mounted in the exact same place?
    This is the same Galaxie however it is sad what happened to it.

    Like 5
    • Jonyynh

      What are you talking about ? There is only one old photo, and it’s the driver’s side. Radio antenna is not visible.

      Like 2
  8. Ralph

    Did the parts decompose off the car?

    Like 2
  9. Duane

    For me, the difference in treating a stored car like your “pride & joy”, or as a grocery-getter driver-quality classic is demonstrated here. The storage could have been done so that the damage was minimal, so that 10K to 15K might be justified to bring it back to an excellent driver condition. Now, 30K to 50K might bring it back to the same quality, but the car still won’t be any more than a #1 driver possibly worth 30K at most. ?? , and not a “show-stopper” at any car show–just a nice money-pit classic family car. IMO-(as everyone says) this car no longer warrants big money restoration–let it go due to irresponsible neglect.

    Like 2
  10. Gaspumpchas

    To the seller–for petes sake blow the leaves off the engine and remove the garbage from the interior. Sitting on the ground with no tires surely didn’t do it any good. Shame- this was a beautiful Galaxie. Good luck to the new owner. Had one of these with a 390 4 speed. Loved it!

    Like 10
  11. BarnfindyCollins

    Canadainmarkseh , that car was kept at his parents property in a carport and saw little to no use after he turned 18 in ’88. His daily drivers were a couple of ’60’s mustangs, a late Corvair, and a few of his parents older cars as they traded. It really was a case of out of sight out of mind because as the cars, motorcycles, wooden boat, boat motors, and other projects accumulated I forgot what happened to the Galaxy. The whole story is sad, for he had more talent in one finger than anyone I can think of. Out of respect for his parents, siblings, wife, and memory I will close with this – Don’t let that project slip by, call your friends and turn some wrenches together. Life is for living, friends and family are for treasuring, and things are for enjoying.

    Like 21
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      Thanks BFC I to have had about 6 years of health challenges that have slowed me up on my car but I keep plugging away whenever I’m up to it I just got it in primer last week but I still have to deal with the roof. Very challenging when your back feels like some one is standing on it with a high heeled shoe. This is still my favourite of the galaxy lineup.

      Like 7
    • Djjerme

      For how much I complain about having to deal with limited space for cars, stories like this do I guess make a case for keeping it in check. Before I can move on to the next project I have to sell or part with a previous car and it’s associated parts.

      Otherwise, I too would probably have never gotten rid of anything and would probably have let several return back to nature.

      Like 1
  12. JOHN R GOODMAN Member

    Does anyone remember the TV commercials for this car? Wasn’t it introduced mid-year with the fastback styled roofline, and didn’t Ford introduce it as the Monaco roofline, as the commercial was filmed in the little country of Monaco. I could swear that’s what Ford called it in their TV commercials.

  13. Coventrycat

    Ummm…31 years ago is not exactly “recent”

    Like 1
  14. Toby Easter

    The fastback roof design was promoted to winning at NASCAR tracks. The first 63s had a square roof line. In mid year the fast back roof line appeared and cars were called 63 1/2 cars.

    Like 4
  15. Troy s

    Ford built some really good looking full size cars in the early sixties, I like the lines better than any of GM’s competition, even more than Dodge/Plymouth. Seeing this reminds me of our neighbors ’63 Galaxie quarter mile drag car when I was growing up,,,which he still owns to this day.
    Never realized Ford had a floor shifted automatic in these as everyone I saw either had a column shifter, an aftermarket floor shifter, or a floor shifted manual. Neat.
    Would make an interesting street machine or nostalgic drag car, always me thinking outside the narrow box of restored original stuff.

    Like 1
  16. TM

    Looks like it was under water for some time. Otherwise I don’t know how it could look that bad both inside the interior and engine bay just sitting for 30 years under a carport.

  17. arizman2

    The seats look very similar those in my ’63 thunderbird convert.

  18. Fran

    Somebody’s pants are on fire! I think BF got doomed for a story. Lier lier!

    Like 1
  19. Del

    Cannot see this being resurrected.

    Like 2
  20. Andrew Franks

    I think that if you love it enough as a keeper bring it up to Nice Driver and use it. You’ll be very happy. In terms of dollars you’ll be about $35-$40,000.00 to make it a nice car, assuming the chassis is not destroyed and the whole suspension doesn’t need replacing. It’s very attractive as it stands. I would take it seriously but I have no room for it.

  21. Jay

    All I can say its got one bid that will probably buy it hope the buyer has the funds A lot of work there to make it nice again

  22. BarnfindyCollins

    Hey Guys, I just have to say this because I feel almost like my buddy who owned this car was looking in on me. I was conducting an estate sale this weekend and was closing for the evening and a Ford pickup truck pulls up. Fellow asks about the sale and I tell him I’ve closed but he’s welcome to look and see if there’s anything he might like. We get to talking about cars and he asked if I like Galaxies; I say yes, my buddy had a gorgeous Rose Pink one at one time and someone’s selling it right now. He says I’ve got one that color actually. I describe the car and well you can guess his reaction….We ended up trading stories for ’bout 2 hours. I’m telling you the man offering the car on eBay is a peach of a guy and I feel like I’ve met a new friend. How about that!!

    Like 2
  23. Big Al

    Why the primer,…looks like front end damage was being repaired….front hood lip looks repaired(horribly)….lone bidder needs parts I’m guessin.

    Like 1
  24. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    What Bill said…….

  25. Little_Cars

    To me, the fact that this was a “show winner” or featured on the cover of a magazine demands no premium on the asking price now. Like saying “in 1963 this car was showroom new!” As far as magazine stories, it’s not like this was some long lost Duesenberg or Tucker. Its a 63 Galaxie for Crissakes! Sure, nice color combo, accessories and all. But 1988 was a long time ago. I’m sorry the owner that lavished so much attention on the car has passed away…but seller please don’t try to squeeze another dollar out of this car because it once graced the cover of a magazine.

    Like 1

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