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427 V8 Beauty: 1963 Ford Galaxie 500XL

To breathe a little more excitement in their full-size cars, Ford introduced the 500XL to the Galaxie series in 1963. Available only in hardtops and convertibles, they were a little more decked out and could be had with 406 and 427 engines, depending on when in the model year they were made. The latter engine was available in 410 and 425 horsepower outputs. This black-on-black 500XL, as a “box top” hardtop, has the 427 powerplant and is located near Concord, California. It’s available here on craigslist for $45,000. Thanks, MattR, for steering this one our way!

Before the mid-size muscle car craze kicked in for 1964, Ford, Chevy and the others relied on their full-size machines to attract buyers with heavy right feet. When equipped with the 406 and 427 juggernauts, Ford now had something on par with the Chevy 409s. Ford introduced the 500XL in the Fall of 1962 and it became their premium full-size car. While the XL could be had with a small-block V8, the top performer would be the Thunderbird 6V 406, which used three 2-barrel carburetor. By mid-model year, the 406 was retired in favor of the new 427. Then there was the NASCAR connection and the mantra “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday.”

The 427 came with dual 4-barrel carbs. Sources disagree on whether you could get air conditioning, power steering or power brakes with either the 406 or 427. However, sources do agree that you had to go with a 4-speed manual when you checked the box on the order form. For the remainder of the 1963 model year, 1,038 buyers chose the 410 hp version of the 427, while 3,857 went all out with the 425 hp motor.

This ’63 500XL was the recipient of a restoration some years ago. We believe it’s a beautiful car from what we can see, but the seller doesn’t do it justice by taking all the photos in a darkly lit garage. A black car in that environment that can hide a lot of stuff, even if unintentional. This automobile is worthy of some glamour shots out in the California sun. At any rate, no issues with the body, paint, chrome or glass jump out. The interior also looks spotless, from what we can tell.

We’re told this Ford is the real deal and was sold in California with power steering and brakes, which is contradictory to the article in Hemmings. But the hardware is present, nonetheless.  This baby has not been a garage queen, having accumulated a reported 101,000 miles. Perhaps due to the rarity of production and survival rates, this 500XL was shipped to Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn Michigan as part of the company’s 100th year celebration in June 2003. The event drew thousands of people and Ford enthusiasts from all over to participate.

With less than 5,000 of these cars built back in 1963 (and a few more for ‘64), you’re not likely to see a Ford Galaxie 500XL every day. For that reason, its hard to get a fix on the value of a car like this. Hagerty quotes a figure far below the seller’s asking price, but that’s for a “regular” Galaxie 500 with a small block. The engine and transmission are what makes this car special and – if it’s as nice as we think it might be – the money is in the same territory as other muscle cars that saw a lot more production.


  1. 8banger 8banger Member

    LOVE these beasts!
    Here’s mine, a ’64 XL, sold new here in CO, just a few clicks away from my shop. Built to offend.

    Like 38
    • 8banger 8banger Member

      BTW – The lettering came with it…

      Like 9
      • 8banger 8banger Member

        Um…long day, I meant to say 63 1/2…

        Like 10
      • 370zpp 370zpp Member

        Actually, I like the lettering. Might be especially helpful identifying this one for some of the younger crowd that associate “Ford” with words like “Fusion”.

        Like 2
    • gaspumpchas

      8banger, beautiful galaxie. Mine started out in this color, painted it red later. Yours is so cool I would leave it alone , even the lettering. Plus the stance and the mags set it off. Truly a thing of beauty. Good luck and stay safe.

      Like 3
    • Burger

      Thank goodness someone painted “FORD” on the sides. Otherwise, a person would never know !

      Like 0
    • kebbiker

      yours is a 63 1/2

      Like 1
    • Kevin Kendall

      I did know where a 62-63 Starliner sat behind an old garage for years,pretty descent looking old Ford,long gone now

      Like 0
      • Burger

        Starliner was 60-61 model years only.

        Like 0
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    I probably saw it at Ford’s `100th.
    I brought back a lot of newspapers that
    I bought while there in 2003.Guess I need
    to pull them out & read them again.
    These were nice cars,& there’s always
    been something cool about seeing a 4 speed
    in a bigger car (from the factory).

    Like 5
  3. alphasud Member

    This car is a legend! I think the asking price seems fair for this beautiful piece of history.

    Like 7

    This model was the exact same year and model that I took drivers ed in high school, since then I’ve always wished I could have owned car like this along with a half a dozen other cars from the sixties .

    Like 3
  5. Skorzeny

    I’m not a huge fan of most Ford taillights from the’60’s, but I love these. Just a nice looking car… I would only change the wheels and tires, then drive from gas station to gas station.

    Like 4
  6. CCFisher

    The Galaxie 500XL was introduced mid-1962 on the 1962 models.

    Like 3
  7. EPO3

    I would have to put on my tombstone but I only borrowed 45 grand

    Like 1
  8. Boatman Member

    What are the chances of getting a ’63 R-code that still has a formal roof?

    Like 1
    • cyclemikey

      Not very high. I was thinking the same thing.

      I had one of these back in the 70’s, with the 63 1/2 style roof, and the 427. Black, like this one, and trust me it definitely did NOT have power steering or brakes. Sadly, it had been rode hard and put away wet, even back then, wasn’t very valuable at the time and I doubt it survives.

      Like 2
    • Anna

      What do you mean a formal roof?

      Like 0
      • Allen L

        This car (formal roof) has a squared off sedan like back window. In 63 1/2 Ford brought out the more slanted fastback rear window, see the roof on the earlier poster’s car.

        Like 3
  9. Deane Tranbarger

    Don’t know why the ad states “power steering and brakes”. The underhood shot shows it obviously not equipped with them. They WERE NOT available on the 425 hp cars. Not sure about the single 4 bbl. 410 hp. You can see the power seat control button, that is not a common option.

    Like 6
  10. Joe Machado

    Friend of my parents bought a new 62, notch roof, 406, 4 bbl, air, auto, white, red interior.
    Bill, the old man, took me at 16, a few blocks so my parents would not see, and had me drive it.
    I do not hot rod other peoples car, but Bill kept edging me on.
    I hit the throttle at about 15-20 mph and spin they did. Ok, enough from me.
    Nice experience.
    As a Mopar guy, I do love 57-64 FOMOCO’s

    Like 7
    • Hoss

      Your story brings back many memories for me as a young teenager. About 40 years ago my brother bought a well worn ’64 500XL. It was a 352 automatic with no posi and something like 3.00 gears. He found a ’62 406 4 barrel engine somewhere fairly cheap. It was one of the easiest engine swaps I was ever involved with. Anyway, when the swap was done that thing would just about incinerate that single poor old bias ply tire. That car was sold when my brother left for U.S. Navy basic training. Never saw it again. Like you, I always loved the big Galaxies and Fairlanes even though I am a Mopar guy with a ’70 GTX.

      Like 3
    • Rex B Schaefer

      No factory AC automatic ’62 Ford 406 street cars made, period!

      Like 0
  11. Steve Clinton

    Who made up the term ‘box top’?

    Like 0
    • Gus Fring

      Look at it.

      Like 4
  12. Will Fox

    I see this 427 isn’t a base model; 427, power windows, power driver’s seat, etc. Nicely equipped. I think I can understand the price.

    Like 1
  13. Steve Clinton

    This is my favorite ’60s Ford. I love those taillights!

    Like 2
  14. Steve Clinton

    I checked his FB ad and someone needs to teach this dude how to take a photograph. Next time he should hold the camera sideways and get the entire car in the picture!

    Like 1
    • Bigbird

      I hear you, but my cousins ’64 Pontiac Bonneville convertible was so long we had to photo it in 2 sections, front and back, then put the photos together. Old camera technology. Today….no excuse for bad photos.

      Like 0
    • PatrickM

      Yeah. And make sure he is using a “camera”, not a cell phone.

      Like 0
  15. Lance G Nord

    I’ve owned two 63 Galaxie 500XL… my first car and my third car (sadly, neither with a 427 although I tried to find one). One of the most unusual aspects of the car is the hood latch (emblem on the grill; lift it to pop the hood to the safety latch). I was cruising down a highway in South Dakota one summer afternoon. A pheasant flew out from the ditch. It hit the front of my car (I was driving about 80). It popped the emblem latch; the safety latch didn’t hold. It peeled the hood back and off the car, destroying the windshield and denting the roof in the process. A trip to the junkyard got me a new windshield and hood.

    Like 8
  16. Morley Member

    finally a car worth buying. I want

    Like 3
  17. Gus Fring

    If this car checks out, it is a steal. That is one very rare car (especially being a loaded boxtop). Looks like Grandma’s 289 car.

    Like 3
  18. Tort Member

    A beautiful black 1960 Ford Starliner 406 with three deuces a few days ago and now this very nice black 63 Ford 427 with 2 four barrels. Great finds and fantastic cars and that is coming from a long time Chevy guy!

    Like 2
  19. gaspumpchas

    The stuff that dreams are made of. I think that if you had a 4 speed you couldnt get power steering because the clutch linkage interfered with the power steering mechanism. Mine was a 352 automatic car that I installed a 390 4 speed; clutch linkage did interfere a little but with some massaging I got it to work ok. Regret selling the car. Good luck and stay safe.

    Like 0
  20. james shuster

    [ had a 69 xl white with a black and white beautiful car good ride and quick if i wanted it to be loved that car

    Like 0
  21. geezerglide85

    I remember back in the 70’s there was a ’63 500XL 4 door hardtop running around town. Beautifully kept with a set Cragers, I thought it was odd having a set of wheels like that on 4dr. One day I got a closer look, 406, 4 speed, bucket seats and a console. I guess you could order it any way you wanted in the sixties.

    Like 0
  22. Troy s

    This engine was all about racing, back when GM was every bit as involved as Ford. From the 360 horse 352 through the 390, the 406 on up to the full bore 427, which was actually right around 425 cubes. But unlike the other FE’s the 427 was only offered in ground pounding form like this one here. Solid cam, heavy induction, steep compression, basically everything Ford was learning on the track was evolving in the 427 clear to the end of it. It’s the most notorious, most obnoxious, most well respected high performance engine Ford ever made. Okay, the Galaxie looks really cool too, but I like the look of 8banger’s a little more. Happy motoring!!!

    Like 0
  23. Robert Woodward

    I had the 62 406 6 pack Galaxy. It was immaculate at the time and a prior Car Craft Magazine profiled car. Unfortunately with the outside hood release some jealous individual dropped some small nuts and bolts down the carburetor while it was unattended and ended the motor. I ended up trading it (nonrunning) for a 72 440 Roadrunner which was almost worthless in the late 1970’s just to have transportation.

    Like 1

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