Drive and Restore: 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 Convertible

There is a certain attraction to buying a classic car that the owner can drive immediately but can be restored as time and circumstances allow. That is what this 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 Convertible has to offer its next owner. Its presentation is acceptable as a survivor, and its rust issues are minimal. If the thought of getting the most out of the remaining sunny weather and having something in the workshop to occupy the colder months sounds attractive, you will find the Galaxie located in Buffalo, New York, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has passed the reserve and now sits at $5,900. A big thank you has to go out to Barn Finder Larry D for spotting the Galaxie for us.

The owner says that he located the Rangoon Red Galaxie hidden in a barn in upstate New York. In his opinion, he believes that it was either not from that area originally or that it rarely saw snow. He has come to that conclusion due to its overall lack of rust. The panels look particularly clean, with none of the major problems in the lower body extremities that can afflict these old classics. He says that the floors and the frame are also clean, suggesting that the buyer will potentially only be facing a cosmetic refresh to have this Ford presenting at its best once again. The paint does look a bit tired, but if the buyer wants to retain the “original survivor” exterior appearance, it would still turn heads. The fully functioning Black power top shows no evidence of tears or troubles, and the back window is clear and free from the cloudiness that can come with age. The trim looks good, and the original hubcaps are in the trunk.

The Galaxie’s interior is showing its age, but it remains serviceable. There are no significant rips or tears and nothing that would demand immediate attention. However, it is aged and showing the effects of UV exposure, so the buyer may choose to refurbish it. How they tackle this would be a matter of personal preference, but the most obvious choice would be to spend around $1,700 on a trim kit. At that price, the buyer would secure all of the parts required to whip the carpet and the upholstered surfaces into shape. The dash pad and instrument cover would need to be considered separately. Neither is cracked, but both are warped and discolored. It is possible that they would respond okay to a high-quality vinyl dye, but it may be a case of spending a further $750 to replace both items if perfect presentation is the goal. If the buyer didn’t want to spend bundles of cash on the interior, there is another option to consider. They could spend around $270 on a carpet set, another $50 on a dash cover, and whatever they fancy for a nice set of slipcovers for the seats. With those items installed, the interior would look far nicer without spending a fortune. It is worth considering for buyers on a budget. The wheel is cracked, but that’s about the only other issue that I can find with an interior that features a console and a pushbutton AM radio.

Ford offered several engine choices in the 1965 Galaxie, and this one features a 352ci V8 that should be producing 250hp. The original owner also ordered the car with a 3-speed automatic transmission and power steering. The Convertible will never be mistaken for a muscle car, but a ¼ mile ET of 17 seconds remains respectable for a vehicle of this type and size. The previous owner told the seller that the Galaxie was on the road in the past Spring, so ensuring it is roadworthy should be pretty straightforward. That owner also told the seller that the engine and transmission had been rebuilt, but he has no way of confirming this. For the buyer, the news is still positive. The Galaxie runs and drives, with the engine sounding crisp and clean. There are no odd noises and no signs of smoke. The Convertible rolls on a good set of tires, so it might only take a careful inspection to confirm that it is ready to hit the road for some top-down fun.

This 1965 Galaxie 500 Convertible offers its next owner the potential for some immediate Summer fun and a project that the buyer could tackle during the depths of Winter. Alternatively, the buyer could choose to leave the car largely untouched and enjoy it as the original survivor that it is. Regardless of the path that they choose, it has the potential to be a car that has many years of reliable motoring left to give. Would you restore it, or would you let it wear its survivor tag like a badge of honor?



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  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    A fairly nice car as-is but with the potential to be really nice if the buyer chooses to. Sure, the interior might cost a good bit but it would certainly be worth it and fresh paint would finish it off nicely. It all depends on what the final bid is and if that would leave enough room to spend the money and not be under water when you’re done. It’s a ragtop and it’s red, a sharp combination that deserves to look it’s best.

    Like 11
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I’m with FordGuy, I’d like to see some time and money spent on this convertible. I think it would look great with this effort.

    Like 11
  3. misterlou Member

    Don’t you mean a 351 Cleveland?

    Like 1
    • Cav427

      The 352 was an FE family engine, available from around 1958 until the mid 60’s, an ancestor to the 390, 406, 427, 428, 430 and 462…

      Ford really tried a bunch of different V8 engines, the Widsor’s (289, 302, 351)

      The Cleveland (Boss 302 and 351’s)
      The M Series 351 and 400
      The 335 series (429’s and 460)
      The Boss 429 (Hemi Heads)

      Many engines, perhaps this strategy gave Chevy the preferance in Hot Rod Engines…

      Like 4
      • Rick

        The FE series also included the 332, the 360, the 361 police interceptor, the 361 Edsel and the ’66 and ’67 Mercury 410.

        The 430, the 462, the Mercury 383 and the Edsel 410 were in the MEL series.

        The Boss 302 combined a Windsor block with Cleveland style heads.

        The 351 Cleveland was in the 335 series.

        The 429 and 460 were in the 385 series.

        Confusing for sure, but it was what it was.

  4. Senor Kaboom

    What is a “Cleveland” ?

    Like 1
  5. flmikey

    I thought the buckets/console only came with the XL package…this one is not an XL…I owned a 65 XL in high school, and one more recently, and wished I still had them…they ride like a dream…not so fast with the 352, though…

    Like 7
    • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

      It’s a Galaxie 500, not an XL. I’m sure you could opt for buckets seats and a console if you wanted them. Back then, you could pretty much option a car any way you wanted. The original owner probably have ordered the car that way.

      Like 5
  6. Ralph

    At least the seller does not want all the money in the world for this car.
    Not a FORD guy but it looks decent everything considered.

    Like 10
  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    No sir Mr. Lou. 352 is correct for 65 models. 351 engines came later. This is a nice car with plenty of potential. The bid has not changed yet, but likely will go higher. I once owned a 65 custom 500 289 three on the tree with overdrive and factory a/c. That was in 1967 and was a gift from my dad. I also owned a 65 f-100 with 352 three on the tree with overdrive. Loved them both.
    God bless America

    Like 10
    • misterlou Member

      Once again, Barn Finds is teachin’ me things. Thanks @johnmloghry

      Like 3
    • Gary D.

      Question: When I turned 16 I briefly inherited my mother’s 1965 Galaxie 500 convertible with a bench seat in the front, a three speed automatic on the column, and an engine emblemed as a 351 rather than a 352. Was her car a unicorn of some sort?

      • Cav427

        Perhaps a later Model emblem was placed on the Car, NO 351’s at all in 1965.

        Like 4
  8. DaveK

    Isn’t that a ’67 steering wheel?

    Like 16
    • flmikey

      Good eye, DaveK….

      Like 3
    • Paul

      I am glad I am not the only one that spotted the ’67 steering wheel on the car!

      Like 8
  9. A.G.

    If this were closer I would very interested. Other than necessary maintenance and service I’d have the buckets rebuilt using the OE covers and replace the weather stripping. The two areas of rust through over the rear bumper are a concern though.

  10. piper62j

    Better inspect this one very closely. New England car (salt – sand). They were not rustproofed and convertibles of this era had drain tubes from where the top folded into a well.. The floor rotted out at those locations. Look closely at the trunk where to rear axle hump shows a deteriorated finish.. That whole area was painted with the trunk paint from the factory.. This one is rusting.. Just sayin.. It’s up over $6k now

    Like 1
  11. C5 Corvette

    I’ve been looking for a 1966 Galaxie Conv. no rust for a long time. too bad this is a 65. just too many differences for me. I want to replace our Honeymoon car which was a new 66 Red Galaxie conv 352 automatic. Crap! This one is only about 15 miles away from me!

    Like 1
  12. Jeff Bradshaw

    Wise counsel here. Any cars originally from this part of the country (not saying this one is), during this era and into the 70s, and if driven at all in the winters (even if “rust-proofed”), are guaranteed to have rust issues. A close inspection of the frame highly recommended.

    Like 2
  13. Majik

    ~ I like. Minimal rust makes this something to consider. It’s a pretty big car, in surprisingly good shape. Too far away from me or I’d be in the mix. Of the many ’66 Fairlanes I built, my favorite was a ’66 XL 289/C4 convertible, so I’d love to have another blue oval ragtop in this style. I’ll be watching this one, with my checkbook locked up.
    Memories of playin’ “Runnin’ Down A Dream” on a beautiful day.

  14. Bill Hall

    My first car was a 65 Galaxy forty years ago. It literally took a licking and kept on ticking. The odometer was stuck at about 56,000. By the time I got rid of it a few years later I think the right door was the only straight body part not full of body putty or replaced and by then it had at least 200,000 thousand and still ran (barely)

  15. John Oliveri

    Not an old Ford guy, but if I was, I’d buy this one, get paint straight, replace interior w a white one, and a white top, and dump the 352, for something more desirable, 390 anyone?

  16. chrlsful

    like the SB 5.8, stacked hdlghts, red, dash, seats, console (& the T handled shifter). The vert just adds to it all ~

    Like 1
  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $6,200.

  18. Steven Doan

    These were bad for frame rust, if it’s solid this was smartly bought for 6,200. Lot of one year only parts on a 65 as well, nice car.

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