Moonshiner’s 1968 Ford Galaxie 500 Fastback

I love a great car story and this 1968 Ford Galaxie 500 fastback comes with a real doozy of a story. It is supposedly an ex-moonshine runner, located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and for sale here on craigslist for $5,700.

This 1968 Galaxie 500, known as “White Lightening”, was reportedly used to run moonshine in eastern, Kentucky; northeastern Tennessee and southwestern, Virginia years ago. There is quite a story to read with the posting detailing how White Lightening lost a three-mile moonshiner’s competition to a competing Monte Carlo called the “Big Black Train” so the owner of White Lightening, being a man of his word, turned the car and the pink slip over to the owner of the Monte. The seller indicates that there is fact or fiction involved here so who knows for sure but it’s quite a yarn.

So, let’s take a look at what we do know. This ’68 Ford Galaxie 500 is powered by either a 289 CI engine, per the listing, or a 302 CI per the listing’s accompanying YouTube video which records the car idling while a walk-around is performed. We do know, it runs, sounds strong and the ’68 Ford sales brochure doesn’t list a 289 CI as a ’68 engine selection so I’ll go with the 302 CI suggestion. What can be seen, is a sizable Holley carburetor, an aluminum intake manifold, and an MSD ignition system. The seller goes on to state that on an 8,000 RPM run (the aforementioned moonshiner’s competition), the cooling fan lost a blade and the dent is still visible on the surface of the hood. I don’t doubt losing a fan blade, I do doubt an 8,000 RPM run, or at least that the engine would still run after an 8,000 RPM run. Backing up the engine is an automatic transmission that I imagine is an FMC C-4.

There is no mention made of this Galaxie being a “tanker” with a hidden ‘shine tank or any extraneous plumbing or suspension mods necessary to move the hooch over the highway. The seller claims that this Galaxie 500 is equipped with rear disc brakes added to its “locker” differential, which would be unusual, but there is not a good visual to verify. Additionally, there is a reference to “Shine Runners Covers” for the headlights designed for stealth running at night.

Inside, there isn’t much of a view available. The best image indicates bucket seats and a center console which is a nice touch in this full-size runner but the upholstery is clearly in need of some help. No word on the condition of the floors.

Speaking of floors, the structural aspect of “White Lightening” doesn’t look bad, some surface corrosion but nothing glaring that would require a lot of metalwork. We know this Ford was in outside covered storage for some time but the seller is mum regarding frame, floors, body panels, etc.

I have always preferred the fastback roofline of the ’68 Galaxie 500 as opposed to the more formal roofline that was also shared with the LTD. By 1968, full-size performance cars were falling out of favor, being replaced by intermediates and 2+2 pony cars. This was a last-ditch effort at full-size performance and Ford did it well. So, I have to ask, does the back-woods moonshine story enhance this car’s attraction or is it just too out there to be believable? Regardless, with open container laws pretty much in force everywhere today, White Lightening’s booze-cruise days are over but this is a nice example of late ‘60’s full-size muscle and could be a lot of fun with some work – pretty wild story included at no extra charge.

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Comments

  1. Stevieg

    Didn’t we see this one recently?

    Like 14
  2. Maverick

    Bs.story what WAS The story last time. Still.hasn’t sold.

    Like 8
  3. dave brennan

    What is whiter than white? Prolly lightning not lightening

    Like 5
    • Jim ODonnell

      Oooops, right, Lightning, thx!

      Like 2
  4. J_Paul Member

    I was waiting for the part of the story where the driver was revealed to be Paul Bunyan…with Babe the Blue Ox as crew chief, naturally.

    Like 9
  5. Tom71mustangs

    This could be true – word is that the previous Owner was good friends with Uncle Jesse.

    Like 5
  6. Bob S

    I was looking at the underside photo, and that rear brake looks like a drum brake not a disk.
    I wouldn’t have too much of a problem believing 8,000 rpm on a specially built engine with a forged crank, but my experience with the small block Fords with the cast crank, makes it virtually impossible for me to believe that the engine would hold together at that rpm, particularly for any period of time.
    Good story though…
    Bob

    Like 5
  7. grant

    Same BS story as last time.

    Like 4
    • Miguel

      If somebody pays extra because of the story, then they deserve to get screwed.

      Like 8
      • grant

        Pretty sure that’s why it’s still for sale. As a warmed over small block car, it stands on its own. The story is just overkill and make the seller seem untrustworthy.

        Like 3
  8. Camaro Joe

    On the 1968 Ford 289 vs 302 question, both motors were used in 1968 Fords. A friend of mine had a 68 Mustang. The story I got was the 302 was put in cars made before 1/1/68 and the 289 was put in cars made after 1/1/68. Apparently the 302 wouldn’t get past the emissions law that was effective 1/1/68.

    I have a 1971 Hollander’s Junkyard Interchange Manual that confirms this. I don’t claim to be a Ford expert, the only Ford I own is a 1943 MB Military Jeep and it’s built with mostly 1942 Willys parts and a 283 Chevy motor. I did run into the 289/302 situation helping my friend build the 68 Mustang.

    Like 4
    • Miguel

      The VIN says it is a 302.

      Like 6
  9. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Always liked the fast back styling of these Galaxies, they were pretty sporty looking for a big car. All that moonshine BS aside, what we have here is a car that appears to be mostly rust-free with a bucket seat and console interior. Up here in rusty New England, rust-free is pretty rare for vintage cars so this Galaxie has that going for it. The performance upgrades are a plus as long as they were done properly.

    I feel the price is reasonable. Sure, there are some exterior blemishes to be addressed but metal work is expensive and this car doesn’t seem to require too much of that. Refresh the interior and clean up under the hood and you’d have a pretty nice driver. I’d like to park this in my driveway but there’s no room for it. Too bad, I see a lot of potential here.

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      Ford Guy, yes the roof style is great unless you are a kid in the back seat on a hot day.

      My parents purposely bought the formal roof 2 door hardtop for that exact reason and it was a great car.

      Yes the fastback roof looked a little better, but it is not practical if you have a family.

      Like 2
  10. Arthell64 Member

    If the car had a 427 or 428 with a four speed the moonshine story might be a little more believable. I can’t imagine trying to outrun the police in such a big car with a little 289 automatic loaded with moonshine.

    Like 10
  11. OIL SLICK

    Is this on here again because the scammer got scammed?

    Like 1
  12. Gaspumpchas

    I’m with fordguy72- you don’t see these here in the rust belt because the frames rotted out early on. I like the fastback and with a warmed up small block it would be fun to drive around and cruise. Looks bad@$$ with the mags and duals. You could do what you wish with the moonshine story. Would be great conversation at cars and Kawfee!!! Good luck to the new owner. Give the underbelly a good looking over since its been sitting.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 1
  13. Miguel

    The door code says it has an automatic and the picture shows a floor shift, but it does not have the factory horseshoe style shifter, so can anybody with better eyes see what kind of shifter that is?

  14. Joe Btfsplk

    It belonged to PopCorn Sutton’s cousins nieces ex-boyfriend. True story…

    Like 5
  15. Butch

    ROFLMAO…My story, an 83 factory Purple, three tone pink striping,11a is color code? Z28 Camaro, 305, 5speed, I bought at auction last year, A Foxy Blonde bought it, tinted the rear window, and Hauled pot, 10 kilos a week,from Tewanna? Mexico, to Bakersfield, it smells so of perfume, not hard for me to believe…the paint is tired, shows 80, on the clock, interior is Ok…but it still runns out good…no mechanical changes were ever made that I can see…sorry I don’t know how to post pics

    Like 1
  16. Bowtie Guy

    I call b. s. Also, these days you can haul shine with no worries. I’m always bringing home a few cases when I come back to Illinois from visiting my family in Kentucky. Not to mention most of the updated speed equipment seems to be not of the era as story is

    Like 4
  17. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Shine stories are always colorful, and mostly lies with a little truth mixed in. In my youth there was a shine runner movie called Tobacco Road. I was enthralled with idea and romance of being a shine runner. But the truth is I lived in the mountains of Washington state in the early 80’s. I cut, hauled and sold fire wood. But there were a few shine runners up there. They didn’t drive fancy souped up cars, no they drove pickup trucks so as to look like just regular country folk on their way to town, when they went to town. But for the most part all the dealing was done in the mountains to city folks buying a couple gallons to take home. But these guys did protect their stills, with guns if necessary.
    I minded my own business, and let them do the same. Some of them even took me to where the Aldar trees were because that’s what they like in Seattle for fire wood.
    God bless America

    Like 2
  18. TimM

    I really like the car but if BS could fly this would be an airport!!!

    Like 2
  19. Troy s

    The car itself is a fine machine, no question there. I remember this one not too long ago and being somewhat startled over the idea of running from the law in a big car like this using the legendary 302, feared across the land….forget it. Even without any extra weight there’s already too much mass here for that low torque engine. For kicks I could almost see some dumb high school kids thinking they had a chance, but not when it comes to serious business like transporting illegal liquor.

    Like 2
  20. butch

    Troy, I was that 17 yr. old in a 64 SS Chevelle,327 202 heads, dual 4s, 4 speed, 411 posi, on Perrillies, even in 1971, “You Can’t Out Run A Radio”

    Like 1
  21. Bruce Fischer

    Hummm, I live right next store in Sevierville .I might have to check it out.Bruce.

    Like 1
  22. jerry z

    Cool story bro! All kidding aside, it is a good looking car and price is not terrible. Other than some mechanical upgrades and new seats, this is a good runner…..;)

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