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36K Original Miles! 1967 Ford Custom 500

When was the last time that you saw a Ford Custom 500 two-door sedan such as this 1967 example? They were generally purchased for one of two reasons, A: fleet-buy for various and sundry reasons, or B: budget-buy, someone didn’t want to spend a lot on a car and was looking for just a bare-bones arrangement. And likely, for that unexciting reason, they didn’t survive the test of time the way a Galaxie 500 or XL hardtop did. This surprising find calls Homestead, Florida home and it is available, here on craigslist for $18,500.

One of the reasons for a Custom 500 two-door sedan’s lack of current appearances is volume. There were approximately 18K of these, along with another 18K standard Custom two-doors assembled in ’67. Compare that number to the Galaxie two-door hardtop which mustered an output of 197K copies along with another 18K XLs, thrown in for good measure.  The condition of this Custom 500 is not to be denied! The finish has lost some of its luster but it still presents very well – it’s an attractive design for a lower-rung car. I’d say the 36K mile recording is credible.

Unless acquired under scenario A, fleet service, and intended for highway patrol usage, cars of this nature usually found themselves powered by an inline six-cylinder engine or an entry-level V8. Fortunately, in this case, it’s the latter as a 200-gross HP 289 CI powerplant is holding residency in the engine room. It does its thing via an automatic transmission and the seller states, “The car runs and drives as new“. One upgrade that has been bestowed upon this Ford is a front disc brake conversion – money extremely well spent!

The interior is surprisingly cheery (and there’s even a matching gym bag on the back seat – check the listing) and again, supports the low mileage claim. I’m not sure about the upholstery quality but this seems like a very pleasant environment for a budget-level car – it’s a lot more interesting than what passes for innards today. The seller claims that it’s all original and I have no doubt about that claim.

The verdict? It’s perfect as is, I don’t think that I’d do a blessed thing to this Custom 500. It’s a standout because it doesn’t really stand out, overtly; it’s just such a seldom seen today and that makes it a bit special. OK, price analysis time. At an $18,500 ask, what do you think, priced right or not quite?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo 8banger Member

    Those Prestone do-it-yourself flush kits are such a throwback!

    Like 6
  2. Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

    Like most people I prefer the higher-trim-level models. But this one has its own appeal, with its base hub caps and B-post and painted roof. It has an honest and straightforward look and feel. Period correct colors. For being a base model the upholstery style is attractive and looks in good condition. I’m with Jim, I’d enjoy it just as it is.

    Like 24
  3. Avatar photo David R.

    I like it! A big, basic, low tech sedan has be unavailable for many years. Interior is same color and very reminiscent of my ’65 Comet Caliente. This one does seem to fall into the paradox that it’d be a good and unusual driver, but that in turn would devalue it as a low-mile survivor.

    Like 4
  4. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    My dad bought a Ford of this vintage and it was a plain Jane 4-door sedan, and the dealer had several of them. They were sold with special pricing ,it was an excellent car and a good deal, except it looked like a salesman’s company car.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo William Wiseman

      Dad bought a used 67 Galaxie 4 door in San Rafael CA in June 1968 just before we moved to Washington DC. It was pretty basic, had the 289 CID engine and no AC. Same seats as shown in the custom, but all white. And it had been a salesman’s car. We drove it from San Rafael (Hamilton AFB, actually) to southern CA to get on Rt 66 in July 68, and equipped with our desert water bag tied to a door handle, set off across the Mojave Desert. We used 4-70 AC to keep cool. 4 windows down, 70 MPH. We took the Galaxie to Germany with us in 70 and drove it all over western Europe until July 74, then the old man sold it to a Turk who wanted to turn it into a taxi cab. Probably still being used in Ankara…

      Like 13
  5. Avatar photo RobA

    Nice car. It got bid to $12K with reserve not met in April 2023.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Steve R

      Thanks, that was probably the top of the market for this car.

      Steve R

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Robert Atkinson, Jr.

        Agreed. I like it, but $18.5k is a bit steep for even a top-of-the-line LTD, let alone this “Plain Vanilla” version, even allowing for its exceptional condition. The lack of a big engine or A/C is holding it back. If it had a 351 or a 390 V8 bolted to a C6 automatic, it might command a higher price, but a 289, not so much. You could bore and stroke the 289 out to 302, 347, or possibly even 351, while retaining the stock block, at the expense of originality.

        Like 0
  6. Avatar photo GarryM

    I’m a big fan of the plain jane cars having owned a used 71 Custom four door way back in the mid-seventies.
    Those old Fords were reliable and great highway cars as I know from experience. The price seems a little high but it appears the Ford needs little except a polish and wax.

    Like 7
  7. Avatar photo Steve Douglas

    I had one of these 45 years ago, a column shift three speed in Robin’s Egg Blue. That 289 was a good engine, and would go and go.

    Like 6
  8. Avatar photo Mike

    I took Drivers Ed in the 4 door version of this Ford. The cars were donated by Hollywood Ford in Florida to South Broward High School for the class.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo MrF

      I had the same experience in Maine, with a car from the local Ford dealer. We went for a day trip and a fellow student swerved onto the wrong side of the road on a curve. No one coming, fortunately, but an unforgettable experience. (I remember after 50+ years!)

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Robert

        Wow, sounds like that was a ride that got the ol’ ticker going! I had a similar experience on my 2nd trip with the DE teacher, a buddy of mine pulled out of the highschool entrance (a couple of years before they installed a red light at that intersection) directly in front of a dump truck. Fortunately, he gunned it and it missed us by ‘that much’, but I know all of the other students as well as the instructor had our lives flash before our eyes. Ivan, my buddy who was behind the wheel, never blinked, never said a word, and just kinda shrugged it off when the instructor said ‘let’s give them a little more room from now on, Ivan’… I think I aged 12 years on that ride! But as to the Ford in the post, I agree with everyone who said they’d just shine it up and drive it, occasionally, and probably keep it forever, but I certainly wouldn’t change anything, except maybe hiding some good quality sound equipment where it couldn’t be seen, only heard.

        Like 1
  9. Avatar photo Michael R

    I actually never saw one of these with that roof line in a 2 door. Only the “fastback” style.
    Hummmmm, I like it though, Very nice example
    Mike

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo JustPassinThru

      That was the way, back in the day. The same basic car (“standard car”) was modded into all sorts of niches within the market. The fastbacks, for the sporty set. Convertibles, for lovely young ladies. Four-door hardtops, for the fashion conscious set with a family to seat. And post sedans for workaday family cars.

      The two-door post cars were for misers, police sergeants, city bureaucrats.

      Remember the Nomad? Front clip and tail lights, identical to the Chevrolet 150 fleet model. It was what was in between that mattered.

      Today, of course, they’d use the same “platform” but have different sheet metal. Lido Iacocca helped that trend along, by putting a whole new body on his youth-oriented Falcon-derivative, calling it “Mustang.”

      Like 5
  10. Avatar photo OldsMan

    Nice car! I’ve always liked the low spec Fords with dog dish caps; well equipped Custom 500 w/ 289 Auto PS,PB….. I have never seen that particular dome light w/ embedded map light though… was this a factory option on 65-68 FoMoCos? Certainly a strange (but nice) option for a Custom 500

    Like 3
  11. Avatar photo DARRELL G LAWRENCE

    My uncle always bought the base model Ford Customs and in white. He thought they were good cars for the money. He kept them clean so they looked exceptional. I gained a lot of respect for them.

    Like 7
  12. Avatar photo Troy

    Nice ride I would be curious if it’s a whole life Florida car or did the seller find it somewhere else because it’s managed to survive a lot of hurricanes if it’s originally from the area. Price is a little high for what you get but it’s not outrageous like we have seen others.

    Like 3
  13. Avatar photo Rick

    It’s a wonder the car didn’t leave the factory with the 240 inline six and a three on the tree. But it’s a great car, all the same, just the way it is.

    Like 2
  14. Avatar photo Kenneth Carney

    My former FIL bought one off my BIL
    who was using it as a winter time beater. It too was a 4-door sedan that
    was red with a white top and a black
    interior with a 289 V8 mated to a C-6
    tranny and a posi rear. That old man
    loved that car til the frame rotted out
    and the rear axle tried to leave the car! Save for the rotted frame, the car
    itself was in cherry condition. Think he paid $300 for it back in ’77. Neither one knew about the frame rot
    but it’s still sad about the loss of such
    a nice car. That’s why you don’t see
    too many of these at your local cruise
    in. Would love to have this car, but not when the apartment complex I live in is charging $150 a month for
    an extra parking space! Other than that, this old gal is as honest and
    simple as they come. Shoot, I could
    still change my own oil without having to pay over $300 for an oil
    change on my Kia K-5 sedan. Such is
    life in Florida.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo JustPassinThru

      My mother had a 1968 Galaxie four-door sedan…same basic car, one year later. The frame rusted out (Northern Ohio) in five years.

      There was no penetration of the body; but the frame had literally broken from rust.

      Apparently it was a problem back in that era. It might behoove a potential buyer to have a thorough undercarriage inspection.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Robert Atkinson, Jr.

        Still worth it, even if the frame is gone, as long as the body is still solid. Just pick up the phone and call Art Morrison Enterprises, Schwartz Performance or The Roadster Shop, and they’ll drop ship a custom chassis right to your door, after you write them a nice check. Lighten the wallet to the tune of about $20k, and not only will a brand spankin’ new, powder-coated chassis show up at your door, it will come with significant upgrades, such as four-wheel disc brakes and rack & pinion power steering. Add another $10k to the tab, and you can upgrade the four-link rear suspension to a fully independent rear suspension setup. Rebuild that 289, C4 automatic transmission and replace the U-Joints in the driveshaft, then you’re all set to cruise off into the sunset!

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo geezerglide 85

      I had a ’67 Merc Monterey, same thing. The car ran great, nice interior, good body, but a rusty frame. It went to the junkyard, wasn’t worth fixing back then when you could buy another beater for 300 bucks.

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo Robert Atkinson, Jr.

        True, most of these ended up in the boneyard back in the day, because, as you said, fixing them cost more than they were worth. The economics have changed, as they have become very rare, simply because most of them did go to the crusher back in the day, leaving very few drivable survivors left. The ones that are left will command top dollar, simply because they are so rare now.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo Zen

      $300 for an oil change on a Kia? I’d expect that for high end european cars, not Kia.

      Like 2
  15. Avatar photo rustylink

    clean honest car – but that is a lot of ask for a bare bones 200 hp gussied up Galaxie (sans disc brakes and power steering)

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Jim ODonnell Staff

      No “sans” disc brakes, it is disc brake equipped.

      JO

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo Robert Atkinson, Jr.

      “…gussied up Galaxie”? These slotted below the Galaxie 500/XL in Ford’s full-size lineup! IIRC, it was Custom at the bottom, followed by the Custom 500, then the Galaxie 500, with LTD and XL at the top of the heap. The LTD badge appeared on the four-door cars, with the XL badge appearing on the top-of-the-line two-door coupes and convertibles.

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo Robert Atkinson, Jr.

        Wikipedia lists the nameplates for the full-size Fords for the twelfth (12th) generation cars (1965-68) and confirms my hazy recollections. See link below:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full-size_Ford

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo Kevin James

        The LTD was always available in a 2-door (hardtop) form, until at least the mid-seventies; the XL’s had a distinct, fastback bodystyle.
        I am pretty sure the XL-model was discontinued starting with th ’71 model year.

        Like 2
  16. Avatar photo Butch smith

    The thing I’d like to see is less asking price and a column 3 speed. Good to go!

    Like 2
  17. Avatar photo pixelpusher

    A wonderfully proportioned car. I had a Pontiac Catalina of the same vintage, and I just loved the visual balance front to rear for such a large car. This gets a thumbs up from me!

    Like 3
  18. Avatar photo TorinoSCJ69

    Jim,
    Good write up.
    This Custom needs TLC and a good Home. These ’67 big Fords were practical, inexpensive and roomy.

    My first car was this year Custom, a long retired police version with 428 and rubberized floor, spotlight and steelies – bought for $275. in 1977.
    My daily driver for 3 years in Louisville (built there). Was simple, reliable and ran very well – and all that room came in handy with that monster sized trunk + it seated 7 of us young adults easily.
    I still have the registration slip – looking back I really enjoyed that big Ford very much and have not seen another, yet!
    The VIN was #7 U50P168200.
    Marti Report says 3,021 Customs that year with police pkg but only
    1,080 with the 428 PI mill and C6, like what you said about most having entry level v8’s.

    Hope this goes to a good caretaker that puts one of the very few remaining Ford Customs on the road so it does not just rust away under a mattress somewhere.

    Like 2
  19. Avatar photo chuck

    Yes… for me, Summer of 1965 back when the schools offered it. It was a rite of passage… We were taught things that seemingly no longer apply…. like using turn signals and some basic courtesy…..

    Anyway our school had a Ford, a Plymouth, and a Chevy all donated by the dealers who put signs on the cars showing their support of the program. My group was in the Chevy.

    There was classwork from a textbook…. we learned how the engine worked both mechanically and electrically…. and one day’s lesson was no driving at all… all 4 of us changed a tire starting from removing it from where the last kid put it away….

    How do kids learn to drive these days ?? Osmossis ?

    Like 4
  20. Avatar photo John Morrissey

    A good friend of mine had the 4 door version in dark blue. Fit 6 teenagers comfortably with room for a beer cooler! Just put gas in it and sometimes check the oil. Simpler days.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Robert Atkinson, Jr.

      As Jay Leno once observed: “This was back when cars were made outta STEEL!”, LOL!

      Like 2

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