1971 Ford Galaxie 500 “P” code 429 Interceptor

Before tearing up the highways in black Trans Ams, Burt Reynolds piloted a 429-powered 1971 Ford Galaxie 500 sedan as the Arkansas moonshine-runner Gator McKlusky in the 1973 movie “White Lightning.” This car, aside from not being brown or packing a four speed floor shifter, resembles Gator’s ride enough to warrant a diversion. Crack open a can of your favorite liquid refreshment and take a virtual walk over to YouTube.com where you can enjoy one or more splendid car chases from White Lightning. This particular 1971 Ford Galaxie 500 is a “P” code 429 Police Interceptor in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in which you can do your Gator impression after casting the final bid here on eBay. Pork chop sideburns are optional, but highly encouraged.

According to the seller a NASA employee ordered this serious-looking Ford for his personal use and thus, it never saw the extreme punishment endured by many police cars. The original powder blue paint has some shine left. Those wheels with the dog dish hubcaps complete the look. Police cars and taxi cabs were fitted with these “poverty caps” because fancier wheel covers extended to the lip of the wheel and were therefore subject to being knocked off when the wheels encountered potholes, curbs, or suspension-punishing hot pursuits.

The original blue vinyl interior appears to be in nearly-new condition, albeit with a crack in the dashboard. The odometer shows about 49,000 miles but actual mileage is unknown. It would be a shame to see this car changed visually as many Interceptors were used up like tissues and tossed away, crushed, and made into washing machines. That said, it would be equally woeful if this car never got a chance to burn up a pair of dry-rotted snow tires in a ceremonial controlled burnout. Better yet, it might be fitted with some modern drag radials and go back to its NASA roots with an occasional launch down the 1320.

Ford’s top engine in the Galaxie was this car’s 429-4V making 360 HP (gross) and a foundation-wrecking 480 lb-ft of torque (thanks to automobile-catalog.com for some details). The seller includes a Marti report confirming this engine choice and photos of Police-only parts that seem to confirm the Interceptor claim. The 3.00 rear axle ratio may seem conservative, but given the street tire options in 1971, this ratio makes the torque-monster V8 work slightly harder to incinerate the tires off the line while delivering a three-digit top-speed with the non-overdrive transmission. The seller points out that a previous owner installed a 460 crankshaft in the 429, rendering more cubic inches and torque at the expense of an (effectively) reduced redline compared to the 429. You could actually make this motor visually imperceptible from factory while displacing well over 500 cubic inches. Some days you just want to make some joker (who’s just installed a Folgers can exhaust on Mom’s Civic and wants to star in Tokyo Drift 9) into a small question-mark shaped spec in your rear view mirror. With bidding over $6000 and the reserve not met, what will take to buy this well-preserved Interceptor?

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Comments

  1. James B.

    We found a 67 Jist like this . But a 2 door post. When i poped the hood. Holly smokes. Hurry lets get it !. Found a 71 Torino wagon with a Big block and aFact 4 speed and a Shaker hood scoop.. Crazy !

    Like 2
    • Bobby Spedale

      Please post photos of the Torino wagon and or send them to me at bspedale@hotmail.com Thanks

  2. Shawn Fox Firth

    bottom of e-bay ad seller states ‘sells to US only’ WTF ?

  3. JW

    Isn’t this the same kind of car Clint Eastwood used in the Movie “Magnum Force” but his was blue and got blown up in the final scene ???

    Like 1
    • Bob C.

      Clint s was a 72 with the tail lights integrated in the bumper. Pretty much the same car otherwise.

      Like 1
  4. Chebby

    Gator’s car didn’t actually have the floor shifter either, those interior shots were from a Mustang.

    I don’t usually care for Fords or blue interiors but I love this!

    Like 6
    • Miguel

      I was just going to say that.

      Like 1
      • flmikey

        Me too…if you watch the movie, you see Burt sliding it into park every time he gets out of the car…

        Like 3
    • Clint

      My wife had a silver ’71 LTD (same body) when we met. It was her grandparents car. It had a 390 2V and an auto. I had a 428 and a 4 speed I pulled from a wrecked 69 Cobra. I looked for over a year for a clutch pedal set to work in this car, and could not find it. I wanted to do a “Gator-esque” car.

      Alas…the day before we got married some punk pulled out in front of me and the old LTD was totalled. Sad day for me since I had sold my car to get our apartment set up. I had to borrow a car to get married in (since I was 19 & could not get a rental).

      Like 1
    • Jack

      It is funny to see him supposedly shifting the 4 speed with a nice wooden steering wheel, then in other driving shots the steering wheel is the plastic/vinyl standard.
      Hollywood…

      Like 2
    • Tony

      Yep. The last factory 4 speed big Ford was in 69.

      Like 2
      • scottymac

        Ray Skillman Ford has a barn find ’69 Galaxie 429/4 speed convertible sitting out side their restoration facility on the south side of Indy. And it’s red.

        Like 4
  5. Jubjub

    Love it. Still kicking myself for passing on an original ‘78 LTD police cruiser for cheap a few months back. Not nearly as nice as this and just a run of the mill 460, but cool that it’d been built, served JCPD and was still in Louisville.

  6. Miguel

    I associate this car more with the first season of “The Streets Of San Francisco”.

    It was this exact car in another color.

    It was nice Michael Douglas always used his turn signal, even when he was on a code 3.

    Like 1
  7. RNR

    My college roommate had a former marked Maine State Police cruiser – ’70 Ford Custom two door sedan with the 429, still in it’s two-tone Maine paint job.

    What a bear that thing was!

    Like 1
  8. Tommy Smith

    That’s not a crack in the dash it’s where the hard plastic and the pass side pad meet…..

  9. Bill Nelson

    I worked in the Mahwah, NJ Ford plant back in the late 60’s, we used to take the 427 2×4 out behind the water test area and race with the Mass. turnpike police cars, 429 not for public, and the cop cars would eat those 427 hipo cars up. You got to love those police spec engines!

    Like 2
    • Dick

      In the early 60s the Turpike “staties” had Chrysler 300 wagons. I had one play tag with me all the way from the western entrance to Worcester when I was driving my 60 vette. Never was able to get me going over the limit. Those wagons could fly!

      Like 2
    • Greg

      Fast forward to 2017 and you’ll find most law enforcement agencies driving “Soccer-Mom” SUV’s.

      What a disgrace.

      Like 5
      • 68 kitty

        They drive hemi chargers where I live.

        Like 1
      • scottymac

        68 kitty,
        Always felt that was a desecration of the nameplate. Four doors are for old men.

        Like 2
  10. Pat A

    Love to see that big mill without a lot of smog stuff on it. talk about a sleeper! i want this so bad I can almost taste it!

  11. Pat A

    I’d put exhaust dumps on this, just so i could hear that engine roar.

  12. Miguel

    It is amazing how much base model cars are worth these days.

    Like 1
  13. Jeffro

    You just gotta love a sleeper!

    Like 1
  14. Mattyou63

    I never cared for Ford’s but I’d take this car in a heart beat.

    Like 1
  15. GSCHEVY

    I thought I would add some factual information on these cars. I was a 22 year old Highway Patrolman in 1971 and my unit had two of these as marked cars and one as an unmarked car. The marked ones would do 140 mph and the unmarked 150 mph as it didn’t have lights, speakers etc to hurt aerodynamics. You needed all of your travel lane and then some as they moved around at speed. They would not “lay rubber” from a stop but shifted to 2nd at 60 mph (with a chirp) and to 3rd at 100 mph (with another chirp). When new they came with bias ply tires and they had a habit of shredding the right rear tire if driven very fast for very long periods of time. Radials came out at the end of 71 and that improved things greatly. We got rid of them at 60,000 miles which equated one year of use. Those were they days !

    Like 7
  16. Neil

    I’d like it – but the “only sells to the US” kills that. Surprised no ones mentioned the clout on the nose of the drivers side front wing??

  17. Troy S

    Quite possibly the ultimate Q-ship. I don’t know what it is but I’ve always loved them old cop cars, particularly the fast ones. Wonder how this Ford measures up to the 440 pursuit cars from Dodge/Plymouth? Now that would be an interesting race!

    • Loco Mikado

      Does anyone today know what a Q ship was? The poster knows and it aptly fits this car. It was a WW1 term describing certain kind of ship.

      • Karl-S

        A Q ship was usually something like a freighter and was used to bait enemy submarines into surfacing to sink said freighter with its guns instead of wasting torpedoes on it. Only thing was, that freighter had naval guns hidden behind special drop down doors which would go into action as soon as the sub was within range. They were also loaded with timber so if they did take a hit below the water line, they wouldn’t sink.

        Like 1
      • Loco Mikado

        Yes, you described a Q ship exactly. You must know your wartime maritime history.

        Like 1
  18. boxdin

    Just happened to see parts of Gator McKlusky yesterday. Movies were pretty bad then, but I watched part of it anyway for the car viewing.
    Neat timing.

    Like 1
  19. KevinR

    Is anyone else concerned about the looks of the left side of the trunk? Look at the base where the carpet touches the upright. Something looks wrong, like it might have been repaired.

    Even so, this car is an incredibly rare find.

    • Chebby

      Good eye. Ad mentions LR quarter replacement in the 70’s. Must have been a good hit.

  20. Pat A

    That 429 needs some Jon Kaase heads to let it breathe.

  21. W9BAG

    scottiemac, is it possible to see that Ford ? I’d take the 40 minute drive up just to see it. What sort of condition is it in?

  22. Gaspumpchas

    The Town of Poughkeepsie NY had these and the garage I worked at Fixed them. Man they were fast–road testing with all the lights and siren on was a blast. Think they had solid lifters….now look at the jellybeans the cops drive–sheesh…would be the ultimate sleeper, as you don’t see any of these here in the rustbelt.

    • Bill Parks

      1970? It wasn’t an original OEM 429 in a 1970 full sized Ford “Custom” trim level Police Interceptor cruiser. It would have been a 428 4V, or the same P.I. motor that Carroll Shelby used in the Shelby GT 500 Mustang. I’m familiar with the 1967, 69, 69, and 70 CT State Police Interceptor package cars and they also ran the 428 4V FE block P.I. motor, a completely different motor than the 429 4V Cobra Jet in the 1971Interceptor and the watered down 429 4V H.O. that Ford used in their 1972 Police Interceptor.

  23. david

    Here is a picture of my 1971… the original drive-line has been yanked and replaced with 1968 429, top loader and 3.25 locker. Took a long time to find a pillar galaxie. It is a thrill to drive. Still hunting for the certified speedometer.

    Like 4
    • assari

      Wow, about the best looking car ever! More pictures? :)

    • Scott

      Very nice – I have a 71 Galaxie as well with factory manual, V8 and only 25K on the clock. Eventually, it will get a CJ that I am putting together, an extra gear and a locker unit for the factory 3.25. Would love to find that cop speedo as well.

      • Dave

        Regarding cop speedo- an instrument shop in Michigan made me a certified 140 speedometer from a extra 120 I picked up.

    • Philip Lepel

      I had one almost identical to this. Mine a lighter shade of biege. With a 350 and three on the tree. I used to chase down guys in Corvettes on the local expressways and pull up right behind them. They’d slow right down then I’d go around them and take off.

  24. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

    Todd wrote “The 3.00 rear axle ratio may seem conservative.” These cars were set up for highway pursuit, not hole shots. When you punched it at 60 or 70 mph, that’s when the 429 really showed what it had. Keep in mind these cars weighed close to 4,000 lbs., but were helped with a handling package, heavy duty power disc brakes, trans cooler for the C6 tranny and dual exhausts.The PI version of the 429 has the CJ camshaft. In fact, the entire short block assembly is identical to the ’71 CJ. They also used the CJ’s dual point distributer and CJ exhaust manifolds. Horsepower ratings for the police version ranged anywhere from 240-375 hp (gross hp, the common hp rating of the era). The 1971 429 police interceptor, with 11:1 compression (which is a slightly more powerful version of the 429 Cobra Jet) was rated at 375 hp. However, these engines were actually underrated and produced power in the 440–460 hp range.

    I had a ’72 ex-State Police cruiser with a 429 PI. Compression was down to 9.8:1, so HP was down from ’71. Still, a great performer at highway speeds. That was where these cars really showed what they had. I can’t tell you how many Corvettes were left in my rear-view when that car hit triple digits! It would just keep pulling!

    The cruiser pictured is exactly the same as the car I had; ex-Connecticut State Police Ford Custom with a 429 PI. I purchased it at a state auction for $275 in 1976 or ’77. It needed a distributer and mufflers so I put a re-built distributer ($25) and a pair of Thrush mufflers ($15 each, give or take) and took it on an out-of-state hunting trip within a week. Came back a week and 1,000 miles later with no problems and an 8-point buck tied to the trunk! Jeez, I miss those days!

    Like 1
    • david

      nice review of the 72 ford custom, there is a skeleton of a 1972 ford custom
      CT state police car at a shop in newington conn; cerone automotive. wish you had a photo of that deer on trunk to share

      Like 4
      • FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Rooney Member

        I know Joe Cerone and I’ll just say I’m not a fan. I’ve seen his car, he brings it to Mark’s Cruise Nite sometimes. Nice car but it has a terrible paint job. Can’t recall if it’s a ’71 or a ’72. As far as ex-State Police cars go, my very first car was a ’69 Ford Custom with a 428 PI. That one was considerably more powerful than my ’72 429 PI; like night and day.

      • BILL PARKS

        Joe Cerrone has some very unusual ideas about restoring / preserving these very special Ford Police Interceptor cars from the early1970’s. One time, I attempted to purchase a real, 1971 Ford 429PI CT State Police car that had been found under a bunch of leaves, dirt, debris in one of the old Colchester, CT. Salvage yards that used to deal with these cars, in an eBay auction. Guess who beat me out? Joe Cerrone. Joe had 71 Ford Custom civilian / retail car with the retail “N” Coded 429 4V, and had an electric trailer brake and what would be considered a Class 5 or Class 6 Heavy Duty Trailer hitch. He tried to get a friend of mine to sell him a 0-140 MPH PI Certified Calibrated Speedimeter for his civilian “N” coded car originally tells my ke and my friend that the original speedometer had “burnt up”. It hadn’t. He was just attempting to make Mom and Pop’s old 1971 Ford Custom, “N” coded 429 retail car used to haul large trailers, into a fake 1971!Fotd PI car. Once he was successful in acquiring a real 1971 CT SP from eBay, instead of spending the time and money to restore this real 1971 Ford 429 PI CT SP car, Cerrone indicated to me that he was intending to transfer everything that said / spoke 1971 Ford 429 PI from the real car, to his 1971 Ford “”N” coded 429 4V retail civilian car so that he could unlawfully transfer the REAL 1971 FORD 429 PI VIN, to the retail / civilian car so that he could have, in his mind, a supposed real CT SP 1971 Ford PI car “on the cheap!” In conclusion, whatever Mr. Cerrone is taking to car shows, local drive nights, et cetera, IS NOT A REAL or A GENUINE example of a 1971 Ford 429 PI CAR [Emphasis Added].

        Like 1
      • Dave

        Hey Bill and ford guy. I hope you two can somehow find some grace to offset your axes to grind.

  25. Brad Smith

    I contacted the seller of this 71 Galaxie as I had a couple of questions when he listed it the 1st time. He put the 72 PI exh manifolds on it as one of the 71 CJ manifolds was apparently severely cracked, but they will still come with the car. It still has the DOOE-R heads and believed to still have the correct C6 in it which has had a cast iron tailshaft added. He was going to check what servo it has for me. Also has an uprated 73 PI rear sway bar which is larger than the 71 rear bar. Apparently the original owner removed the air door on the air cleaner housing and added a bunch of ground straps. Did not say what the 2nd antenna on the right rear fender was apparently for when I asked if there were holes drilled in the dash for accessory stuff. The ripples in the rear of the left rear wheel well housing are what is visibly left from the quarter panel repair which he advises was adequate and functional and as done by a typical body shop many year ago. Also he did not advise what the extra holes were on top of the rf inner fender panel which was obviously something that the original owner had added. I wonder, would a 429 PI package have come with a big-pulley alternator like CJ cars had, or a normal pulley to keep everything charged while it spends it’s time idling?

    • Bobby Spedale

      How much did he want ?

  26. Bill Parks

    The ’71 429 P.I. cars were spec’d out OEM from the factory with a much larger capacity alternator than the similar full sized Ford civilian car were so as to drive all of the additional electrically 12V powered emergency equipment, e.g., emergency lights, radios, siren, radar units,et cetera. I’m not sure of the size of the pulley on the ’71 Ford P.I. alternator, but everything in that car was extra heavy duty!

    • Sergio

      That is right, the custom 500 had the heavy duty rubber floor boards, and heavy duty upholstered seats made for police use.

  27. Brad Smith

    $12,000 with no sale at the end of bidding. I wanted to buy it but wanted a custom 500
    4 dr

    • Bobby Spedale

      Thanks, Had a 72 P code back in the late 70s…. loved it but 9 mpg no matter how I drove it . I did notice it appears the 71 has the Q Jet . Mine had the same card as the Boss 351, Had to buy a new one. I feel just like you on the car….Did you see the 71 P code wagon that sold on bring a trailer ? 30k But is was nice.

    • Sergio Diaz

      I have a 1971 Ford Custom 500, all original, P code, 429 PI. Bought it in 1974 with 60K miles. Currently, 103k. Have many memories on it.

      Like 2
      • Dave

        Would enjoy seeing some photos of your 71 custom 500. Fun cars

      • BILL PARKS

        And, how much do you want for it?

        BILL PARKS

  28. w9bag

    Great comments on this car. I read all of them, and learned a lot of the specs & history. Thanks to all for the valuable information ! I can’t imagine one of these with a FOUR SPEED ! The closest I can come to one, was my ’74 Galaxy 500 2 door sedan, with a 400 cid. The only car I ever took to the drag strip, Terre Haute Action Dragway. It whooped a ’67 Chevelle 396 (with mechanical issues). My favorite body style for Galaxy’s.

    Like 1
  29. Bobby Spedale

    None of them had 4 speeds, If watch the 4 speed shifting scene it a Mustang interior and when he isn’t shifting you can see him put it in park with a column shifter.

    Like 1
  30. Bill Parks

    No “ax to grind” here. I and (I dare say) most Ford PI enthusiasts that I know do not like people who go to extremes to fake these cars and then pass them off, and sometimes even sell them to some unsuspecting soul as being real. In the police business that’s a fraud, and it is highly illegal, never mind being immoral.

  31. DAVID KENIRY

    😲I HAV A 1 OWNR RUNNING WHEN PARKED 53 000 mi C6 TRANE OUT 4 REPAIR 69 FORD GAL VERT, 429 2 BARREL. COMPLETE NO ACCIDENT’S, RUST. BEEN SETTING COVERED ON
    CAR HAULER 4 30 YRs 😎

    Like 1
  32. Ryan Hilkemann

    60 comments, wow that’s awesome.

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