Bootlegger’s Beauty: 1968 Ford Galaxie 500 Fastback

The idea of owning a car with a past has a lot of attractions, and that is reputedly what the next owner will have when they buy this 1968 Galaxie 500 Fastback. This is a car that was supposedly used for running moonshine for a while before it was retired to the carport that you see above. Even that is a story in itself, but we’ll get to that shortly. I have to thank Barn Finder Roger for referring the big Ford through to us. It is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking $8,650 for this bootlegger’s beauty.

As you can see, the Galaxie doesn’t look too bad once it was removed from the carport and given a bit of a wash. According to the story, the Ford finished up in the carport as the result of a lost bet. The original owner, who also happened to be a bootlegger, was involved in a race against someone in another potent piece of machinery. The prize? The winner walked away with the loser’s car. Unfortunately, the owner of the Galaxie lost and had to forfeit the car. It was taken back to the new owner’s home, parked in the carport, and that’s where it stayed. It seems to have survived this ordeal quite well, but there is some rust visible in a few lower spots on the car. The owner doesn’t make mention of any rust in the floors, but the supplied photos paint a very positive picture. One interesting little side-story surrounds a hole that is visible in the hood. Apparently, this occurred during this infamous race. The Galaxie is said to have had the race all sewn up when it threw a blade off the cooling fan. It flicked up into the hood and inflicted the damage that you can see. I don’t know whether it’s true, but it’s still a good story.

The interior of the Galaxie hasn’t fared as well as the exterior, and it will need some work to get it back to a decent state. The seats will need new covers, and possibly foam. The door trims have been cut to fit a set of speakers, the carpet is worn and dirty, and the dash pad is cracked. Still, it could actually be used as it is, but I’d be inclined to fit a set of aftermarket seat covers first if I was going to do this.

Powering the Galaxie is a warmed 289ci V8, while the car also features an automatic transmission, a locker rear end, and power steering. To cope with the rigors of a life of running moonshine, that locker rear has been fitted with disc brakes, which should really haul off the speed in a hurry. The good news is that after its time parked in the carport, the Galaxie has fired right up and runs nicely. In fact, there is a YouTube clip at the bottom of this article where you can see and hear it, and that 289 sounds really sweet. Don’t think that the car is ready to hit the road though, because it will still require attention to components such as the brakes before it could be considered to be roadworthy.

Whether this Galaxie’s history is fact or fiction, it still makes for a good story. It is believed that the original owner is still alive somewhere, and it would be great to contact him to verify all of this. If it could be confirmed, then that makes this car a part of American folklore. Even if it all turns out to be nothing more than a work of fiction, the person who buys this Galaxie will still be landing themselves a great car.


  1. KSwheatfarmer

    Always liked this fastback body, start with getting that horrid engine compartment back to stock,a little interior work and good to go.

    Like 3
  2. Poncho

    A race for pinks with a tweaked 289 in a heavy car like this? I think someone was skimming a little moonshine off the top for personal use.

    Like 37
    • Steve R

      That story sounds like a bunch of BS, designed to get the gullible to dig into their wallet.

      The performance parts are from the 1990’s, it’s hard to believe such a big car with so small of an engine would have been used to run moonshine. By that point in time, a stealth mini-van, which would be invisible to law enforcement, seem like it would be more effective at keeping the driver out of jail.

      I do give the guy credit for washing and waxing the car. Maybe it’s the start of a trend, he’s the series or third person this week to have done so.

      Steve R

      Like 24
      • Dave

        When I visited the Tail of the Dragon a few years ago, I remarked to a friend that US129 must have once been a moonshine hauling route. A local overhead me and said “Whadda you mean, ‘ used to be?’ ”

        I stood corrected…

        Like 13

    Cool story bro but what’s sitting next to the Monte in the weeds? Looks like a Camaro maybe.

    Like 1
    • Calipag

      @ Oil Slick
      I think you are correct in photo #20, it looks like the front grill of a 69 Camaro!

      • OIL SLICK

        Looks to me that they are trying to clean the property out.

  4. Classic Steel

    Heavy sled needed a big block to be real.
    Now if a 428 or 429 was present with heavy shocks with mods under the rear and tail light shut off switch your story might / slightly been believed.

    I think a copy-of Reynolds movie Gator 🐊 should be supplied and moon shine plus erbs to buy this one 😂

    Like 14
  5. 86_Vette_Convertible

    So if this was a moonshine hauler, was it in a tank or bottled? if a tank, there should be some remains of that. Either way, seems like a ‘interesting’ story, I wonder how fast the car would have been given the extra weight of the ‘cargo’ that’s being claimed to have hauled? I would have expected something like a 390 or bigger under the hood to move the ‘load’. Personally I think the story is just that, a story that came out of a night of drinking.
    Regardless, the car is interesting though it would be a bear to parallel park that thing.

    Like 9
  6. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I’ll give the seller credit for typing out the whole story in the ad, including lots of details. But like others, I don’t believe it. Maybe there are tidbits of truth (e.g. the car was used to haul the home brew around mountain roads), but otherwise even if true it doesn’t add value to the car.

    I always liked these 68’s, the clean styling with the fastback created a l-o-n-g, sleek look. Not a high-dollar collectable car, though.

    Aside: I know the NASCAR history of moonshine runners back in the 40’s and 50’s, but was this still a ‘thing’ into the 70’s (when this claimed story might have happened)?

    Like 5
  7. Lance

    No sale on story sorry.

    Like 2
  8. scottymac

    Bill Seifert’s was one of last Galaxies, like this one, to run in NASCAR. Maybe Bill Champion, too.

    • MorganW Morgan Winter

      Not sure that anyone was running a ’68 Galaxie in NASCAR. Transition to mid-sized cars started in ’66. By ’68, Ford Winston Cup teams had the Torino.

      Like 1
      • scottymac

        Sure, for the big money teams that could afford them. I think many independent teams (Clyde Lynn, Big John Sears, Henley Gray, Wendell Scott, & Elmo Langley) were still running ’66 or ’67 Galaxies in ’68. If they had the money, they might have switched to the miserable ’66 or ’67 Fairlanes, or if they were lucky they might have switched to the squared off front end and fastback roof of the ’68 Galaxie. There were no “Winston Cup Teams” in 1968, since R.J. Reynolds didn’t begin sponsoring NASCAR until the 1971 season. Here are a few photos for you, if you need more, I’ll see what I can dig up in my old issues of AUTOWEEK.

  9. 433jeff

    The moral of the story is : You cant run shine with a 289

    Like 13
  10. Jim King

    I gotta call bullcrap on the story….FORD quit building 289s and went to 302s in 1968 …..and nobody looking to increase speed is putting in a SMALLER engine!…and didn’t the hidden headlights come out in 69?

    • MorganW Morgan Winter

      Jim, you’re right about the 289, but hideaway headlights were available on a couple trim levels of the Galaxie in ’68. I had a ’67 289 Galaxie, and it wouldn’t outrun much of anything. Didn’t keep me from trying, though! These are really rust-prone; not just the sheet metal but the frame as well.

      Like 2
      • Snotty

        Look’s like an XL. with the hideaway headlamps and bucket seat/console.

        Like 1
      • Jim King

        Thanks for the info on the headlights Morgan!, I probably knew that at one time but perhaps those were some of the brain cells that perished in my beer drinking days!

      • scottymac

        But it’s a ’65 or ’66 console, not an original ’68.

    • Boatman Member

      Hidden headlights in ’68. And 289 was still available.

  11. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    A gallon of ‘shine weighs about 7 lbs., so I doubt this heavy car could outrun anything with a trunk full of gallon jugs and only that little 289 to haul all that weight. It’s a nice car for what it is though priced a little high considering the condition of the interior. Hopefully, the floors and trunk aren’t rusted either. It would be at it’s best with a big-block, though.

    Like 2
  12. Chebby Staff

    It’s a great story, but as others have pointed out, seems really unlikely. A big block and crazy high unladen springs would support the moonshiner theory.

  13. Troy s

    The car being claimed as a bootleggers special brought me here fast, fell for it right off. The story about the race, all of it.
    289’s are just fine, and one like this set up could be fun….but not with the law chasing me, or even just the idea of it. No way. With all the extra weight let alone the big car I was expecting a heavily worked 428 at least, but more like a 427.
    After all, it’s more of a purpose built getaway car, not some teenagers hot rod. If and only if the old tale is actually true.
    Still a neat car.

  14. jerry z

    289 plus bootlegger car didn’t add up. Don’t care, this Galaxie body style is sweet!

  15. TimM

    Nice car hope the M&T valve covers made him go faster!!!

    Like 2
  16. Tony

    The car is worth the asking price for what it is without the story. It’s a rare Fastback with buckets, console and flip folding headlights. Sounds like you boys never experienced a built small block before, get one screaming at 8,000 rpm, you’ll see how fast it is. I know this car and the story, it really happened. It’s a built 302 not a 289. By the way, Moonshine became legal in TN in 2010, it’s still not legal in many of the surrounding states.

    Like 1

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