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1-Of-1,038: 1963 Ford Galaxie Q-Code 427 4-Speed

Horsepower wars began well before the “classic muscle car.” Typified in the 1964 GTO, the Classic Muscle Car can be narrowly defined as a dedicated performance package utilizing the engine from a full-sized car in a mid-sized body. Of course, high-powered cars have existed nearly as long as the automobile itself, and this relatively plain-looking Ford certainly packed plenty of muscle. Born with the fire-breathing Q-code 427, a solid-lifter monster making 410 HP, this 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 XL fastback represented Ford’s NASCAR effort that year. With its original motor long-gone, this Galaxie runs a marine 427, a replacement four-speed manual transmission, and its original 3.50:1-geared rear end. Though it “yard drives,” this once-fearsome Ford will need plenty of work to reclaim its former glory. The listing here on eBay has attracted at least nine bidders to raise the market value above $4800.

The blackout treatment is all business under the hood, leaving no hint that the solid-lifter marine 427 stands ready to roast those skinny tires. Some parts leftover from a prior 390 cid mill blend with the 427 stuff, but it’s a much better starting point than many rare cars with non-original motors. Hemmings confirms the seller’s assertion that Ford built a mere 1038 Q-code ’63 Galaxies.

The rocket-thruster tail lights suit this space-age fastback perfectly. Ford had big hopes with the swoopy body and 427 in NASCAR, boasting “410 HP” on the hood at Daytona and other tracks. This one will probably go back to stock, but I couldn’t fault someone who wanted a NASCAR tribute car modeled on the fast-lapping race versions.

The blue-over-blue color scheme appears to be original, and holds broader appeal than some ’60s color schemes. The T-handle shifter looks at home in the factory console, though I’d prefer a round “8-ball” myself. This car will never reach the heights of a nearly all-original 427 Galaxie, but hopefully this one will let loose some fury once in a while. A low mileage example of the Q-code ’63 Galaxie earned a $70k-$100k auction estimate in 2017. I can’t help thinking about Mopars with a similar story selling for $25,000 or more.

The seller confesses that body panels were hastily installed to get an inspection sticker, as evidenced by the self-tapping screws shown here. This bodes well for the sale as not everyone would disclose such details. I love seeing the clutch pedal on these big ’60s cars, and this Ford promises loads of fun if the new seller wanted to fix the safety items and drive it. Would you suspect a solid-lifter 427 powers this demure-looking Ford?


  1. Avatar photo alphasud Member

    LOL, your not buying a car you are buying a engine! Driving one has got to be scary with bias tires and drum brakes. I love it! After listening to a warmed over 427 in a video I said to myself I gotta get me a big block some day!

    Like 13
  2. Avatar photo Steve R

    Last time it was listed the high bid was $20,000, the sale must have fallen through since is now being re-listed.

    Steve R

    Like 10
  3. Avatar photo Will Fox

    Without the FACTORY 427 in it, all I see is another `63 needing a ton of work. It will never have the value it would with the original motor, so I wouldn’t bother.

    Like 12
    • Avatar photo Steve R

      You might see it that way, but many other don’t.

      Steve R

      Like 22
  4. Avatar photo Troy s

    Now days, yes I would suspect something like this 427 under the hood, even a juiced up 390 or later 428, at least for the past fifteen years or so. The killer big inch 427 Galaxies draw a lot of attention, a real animal of a car hides in a plain brown suit and thick glasses, which is one of the differences between this type of performance car and the GTO, which didn’t hide but drew attention to its youthful aggression.
    Would be quite interesting running this through the gears, that’s a lot of car….

    Like 13
    • Avatar photo clay mickelsen

      come on out to Lewis Co,WA and try mine out.

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo KKW

    Years ago I had an unusual 63 500XL with a factory 352 2-brrl, more show than go, but these cars were an eye catcher no matter what was under the hood. With the 427 they were a brute, only thing better than a Q-Code, was an R-Code.

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo Bob C.

      It has been said that the 352s were pretty sluggish (and thirsty) for their displacement, but man, do I love 63 Fords!

      Like 5
  6. Avatar photo KKW

    Gas mileage wasn’t that bad, pretty much in line with all big cars of the 60s. 4brrl versions were more potent, but only a 2brrl was offered in 63. In 1960, Ford built a HOT 352, research that one sometime, if you’re interested. I love those 63s too, but I’m a lover of all Galaxies

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo Jimmie LeForge

      I had a ’60 Starliner with the 360 hp 352, 105 mph quarter mile, back in the early ’70s. At that time it was just a fast old beater.

      Like 3
  7. Avatar photo jerry z

    It may not be an “R” code Galaxie but close enough! And a lot cheaper to boot!

    Like 9
  8. Avatar photo 370zpp Member

    Some cars just have that look that says “This one means business”.

    Like 7
  9. Avatar photo Steve Douglas

    I am finishing up a 2 year restomod of this model. This car is many, many tens of thousands of $$ away from being solid. And the problem is, after a drivetrain re-do, a paint job, an interior and all else that comes with it, you’ll be tens of 1000s of $$ upside down in it. I love ’em, and mine is very show-worthy, Porsche Sport Classic Gray with a Ferrari orange interior, and a stroker. But I’ll never make a profit on it, and to maximize what you CAN get back out of it, you have to keep spending to make it the best. Ouch!

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo alphasud Member

      Just another labor of love. No problem with that. If I had a dollar for every time I thought I would buy a project and turn a profit I could have afforded to buy one that someone else restored:)

      Like 3
  10. Avatar photo gaspumpchas

    If that is a marine engine it could be a side oiler, not sure if the original 427 was a side oiler. Desirable feature on the FE Mills. Would love to own this beauty. Good luck and stay safe.

    Like 2
  11. Avatar photo Super Glide

    Breaks my heart to see this once great Ford in this condition. This is worth saving.

    Like 2
  12. Avatar photo Johnmloghry

    This is indeed a nice find. These cars ruled the stock car market in their day. In 2006 I delivered a load of material to a ranch outside Corsicana, Texas. Inside a open l pole barn sat a 63 Galaxie. I asked the rancher about the car, he said his father bought the car new and it was a R code lightweight that he planned to restore. I sure wish I could have talked him into selling it to me, but it had to much sentimental value to him. I don’t know the rest of the story but I sure would like to know.
    God bless America

    Like 0

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