Factory 4-Speed Drop-Top! 1968 Ford XL GT390

This special-order Ford would have been the only one of its kind in most neighborhoods when new, not to mention its rarity today. Start with Ford’s highest convertible trim level, the nifty XL with hidden headlights and other niceties, then add the GT equipment group, toss in air conditioning (rare in a convertible in those days) and a four-speed manual transmission, and this 1968 Ford XL GT outside Rancho Calaveras, California is one rare vehicle. The seller says you can “drive it home” for $15,000. Check out the listing here on craigslist for more details including a photo of the Marti report confirming this vehicle’s born-with configuration. Thanks to reader Pat L. for spotting this drop-top GT.

Be sure to raise the top before walking away from these black vinyl seats in the Summer, or you may put a crispy sear on your flesh when taking a seat. The factory buckets and console lend a sporty feel to the interior compared to most bench-seat convertibles.

At the rear, it’s easier to recognize the XL’s Galaxie roots. By default, the XL Convertible came with a thrifty 240 cid (3.9L) inline six-cylinder engine. Spring for the GT package, though, and the standard engine becomes this car’s 390 (6.4L) V8.  The GT package also added wider tires, front disc brakes, stiffer suspension, and GT stripes which must have vanished when this car was repainted some years ago. The original black top was apparently replaced with this nice-looking white one at some point too. My folks had a ’66 Galaxie 500 in a similar color with a black top and interior, and I sure have a soft spot for this XL.

The seller states this car retains its original four-speed manual transmission and “a” Z-Code (4bbl) 390 which apparently is not original. The current owner has replaced parts during their five years of ownership and drove the car periodically. I believe that’s a brake bias adjuster under the vacuum booster. Would you consider owning this interesting drop-top four-speed Ford?

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    I love the 60’s cars with hidden headlights. The Riviera, RS Camaro, Corvette to name a few. This car gets my vote. Price is still with reach for a average person who wants a nice performing cruiser whose hidden headlights suggest something special lurking beneath. Would definitely be a car I would buy if I was in the market.

    Like 14
  2. MattR Member

    This gets a big ‘Hell yes.’ from me.

    Like 18
  3. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Lots to like here. Convertible, V8, 4-speed, air, GT group, good colors. There’s work to be done, but the finished product would be a very attractive late 60’s Ford.

    Like 13
  4. John S

    I like it. Cool 60’s performance automobile.

    Like 6
  5. EPO3

    In a New York minute I would love to take this drop top for a cruise

    Like 3
  6. CraigR

    If I wasn’t 3000 miles away…… darn it.
    The curse of the Northeast is there aren’t many cars like this to be found.

    This thing is awesome in every way.

    Like 3
  7. 370zpp

    Nice.

    Like 2
  8. Howard A Member

    I believe it’s incredibly rare. I had a friend just out of HS (1972) whose dad worked for Ford in some capacity, and one of the cars his dad “let him use”, was a ’68 Ford XL fastback, 390, 4 speed.( The other was a ’68 Shelby KR500) He said the XL was a special order, and I never saw another like it. 4 speeds fell out of favor as cars got cushier, and not many wanted neck jerking acceleration at every stoplight with cars like this. I think these were some of the nicest Fords to come down the pike.

    Like 11
  9. its1969ok

    I don’t believe that these came with that goofy hood scoop.

    Like 5
    • Patrick Curran

      You would be correct. That scoop was not part of the GT package. It is a Ford scoop (maybe off a Torino?) but not correct for this car.
      This car is a rare beast for sure.

      Like 2
  10. ptches

    AC system removed (except for POA valve by brake booster) and heater core by passed and interior panels removed to access convertible top cylinders raises questions in my mind. All major $$

    Like 4
  11. House of Hotrods

    Neat and unusual car. The seller states in the ad that DSO equates to COPO, which is not correct. DSO is simply the District Sales Office that the car was ordered through, the “MATRI” (assuming they meant Marti) report lists how many of a particular type were ordered through the selling dealer’s DIstrict Sales Office. DSO is definitely NOT Fords version of COPO – which in GM-speak was a Central Office Production Order. Good try but no fly. :-)

    Like 5
  12. Joe Haska

    This is more than hell yes, if you don’t see the value of this car you need to do something else besides look at B/F. I can’t believe it is still available. IF ONLY! If I could I would be sending and on my way to pick it up TODAY.

  13. Bill McCoskey

    The main A/C system inside the dash appears to be there, but the hoses, compressor, & brackets are missing. Also not showing is the hard to find factory AM/FM stereo radio.

    Like 2
  14. Mr JEFFREY A TURNER

    yes nice wagon hood scoop needs to go.

    Like 1
  15. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    This is a very nice car and well optioned. The Brittany Blue exterior is a very sharp color (I had a ’68 Torino in the same color) and, as the writer stated, it’s fitted with buckets and a console, both options fairly scarce in a convertible. From the seller’s description, it seems quite a bit of work went into the mechanicals, a big plus. The extra parts that come with the car are an added bonus, too. The exterior trim needs some help and a re-paint along with some interior work would definitely make this rare Galaxie a show stopper. The late ’60s Galaxies aren’t worth big money but they were very good cars; well-built full-sizers that are great cruisers. I’d love to have this beautiful Galaxie but I’m happy with my ’72 Galaxie that I’ve owned for 26 years.

    Like 4
  16. Vance

    My sister’s in-laws owned a small Ford/Lincoln/Mercury dealership that employed my Father after he retired. He brought one of these home that was red with a black top, and it had every option known to man. It was a trade in with about 20k on it and my Father fell in love with it. It had a 390 in it with the console and an automatic, and it could haul ass. We owned 1966 Galaxie 500 with the same set up, but it had front end issues since new and my Mother was sick of it. Dad tried his best, “Feel the wheel seal the deal”. She put the kibosh on it, and we ended up with 1969 Grand Marquis. I think it was he last gasp at having a cool car. You could tell by his body language that he was disappointed. He was very pleased with the Mercury, but as with most families, Mom had the final say so. Good memories.

    Like 2
  17. bone

    Its really a beautiful car, but that repaint is terrible . Looking at the second picture on Craigslist, it looks like they either painted over sharp scratches in the paint, or painted over poorly sanded Bondo. On the East Coast these were prone to the usual lower quarter panel and front fender rot , as well as the rear frames. Like any old car, it should be checked over well before purchase

    Like 1
  18. Al

    I had a ’70 XL convertible w/ hidden headlights. Was grabber blue, white conv top, white leather buckets, console, 429 engine, C6 trans, loaded w/ 52k orig miles. Sold to a guy for $7500 in New Hampshire in ’03. Funny thing is 2 weeks ago, I JUST came across the extra set orig keys!

    Like 1
  19. Christopher Gentry

    I like it. It reminds me of my Dad’s 70 LTD with hidden head lamps only better. I actually like the scoop , but needs to be painted to match the rest of the car. Doubt I would’ve added it , but so long as it’s there , what the hey.

  20. chrlsful Member

    almost a stang in sheeps clothing till i saw that deck length. (108 inches v 119 in the ‘galixie’ alot for a car)

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