One of a Kind? 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 Convertible

The 1966 model year was a banner one for Ford, with more than 2.2 million vehicles rolling off their production lines. More than 25% of those wore the Galaxie badge, but only 27,454 were the Galaxie 500 Convertible. That makes our feature car a rarity in the big picture, but the seller believes its drivetrain combination could make it unique. Its engine would benefit from a refresh, although potential buyers may consider slotting something more potent under the hood. Whichever path they choose, having it ready to go for the upcoming warmer weather should not prove challenging. Located in Sacramento, California, the Galaxie is listed for sale here on Barn Finds Classifieds. It could be yours for $13,000, with the owner readily approachable if you have any questions about this classic.

The Galaxie presents well for its age in Candy Apple Red. The paint isn’t perfect, but it holds an impressive shine. It is thin in places, and a cosmetic refresh would seem the obvious choice. However, with most of the paint being original, retaining this classic as a genuine survivor will appeal to some. The panels look pretty straight for a vehicle of this age, although the owner acknowledges that there is Bondo present. If this has been applied correctly, it shouldn’t present any future drama for potential owners. Rust is not an issue, because while the underside shows dry surface corrosion, nothing has penetrated the steel. There may be a few small external spots developing in the lower door corners, although it is difficult to be sure. Since the seller is open to in-person inspections, that shows they have nothing to hide on that front. Otherwise, with solid rockers and a healthy frame, there’s nothing demanding immediate attention. The White power top looks excellent, with no rips or other issues. It operates as it should, offering effective all-weather protection. The chrome shines as nicely as the paint, and I can’t spot any problems with the glass.

The seller rightly points out that this Galaxie 500 Convertible is 1-of-791 to roll off the line featuring the 240ci six-cylinder engine under the hood. The original owner chose to back this with a three-speed manual transmission, and it is the transmission that may make this a genuinely unique vehicle. With Marti Reports only dating back to 1967, the buyer may need to channel their inner Sherlock Holmes to unlock the truth. The car was a Special Order for a buyer in Bettencourt, Iowa, and they also elected to forego power assistance for the steering and brakes. That six should produce 150hp, allowing the Convertible to cover the ¼ mile in 19.7 seconds. The car is numbers-matching, but its engine requires attention. The seller states that it has low compression on three cylinders, sticky lifters, and clogged oil galleries. They suggest that a rebuild will be on the cards but also raise the possibility of the buyer performing an engine change. If originality is not a key consideration, there are plenty of V8s that could find their way into the engine bay to unlock this classic’s potential. The buyer could select something period-correct, although biting the bullet and fitting a Crate Motor is another option worth considering. The specifications of these units vary widely, allowing the buyer to tailor the performance to their needs and taste.

The Galaxie’s interior remains original and untouched, trimmed in Red and Maroon vinyl. Its condition is impressive for a vehicle of this age, with no significant rips or tears on the seats. There is some discoloring that comes with age, but some excellent cleaning products on the market may help on this front. The dash pad is cracked around the speaker grille, which is one of the more common faults on a Galaxie of this era. If the buyer seeks perfection, replacement pads retail for about $400. Otherwise, throwing a $70 cover over it will hide the problem from prying eyes. The carpet is faded, but its general lack of wear means that replacement is not a priority. Carpet sets sell for around $200, making this another aspect of this project unlikely to break the buyer’s bank. If the buyer wanted to go for broke, an interior retrim would lighten their wallet to the tune of $2,200. That figure may sound daunting to some people, but it’s worth placing it into context. Any interior retrim should represent a one-off expense, as upholstery should last for decades if treated with respect. If the buyer elects to follow the restoration path with this classic, its potential value should soar well beyond $20,000 in the current market. That makes the expense of a retrim justifiable under those circumstances.

What path would you choose if you were to buy this 1966 Galaxie 500 Convertible? It is a structurally sound classic that represents a straightforward cosmetic restoration. Its lack of rust would make it ideal for anyone considering a first project build, although leaving its panels and paint untouched to retain its survivor status could prove tempting. The seller’s candid approach leaves potential buyers safe in the knowledge that while it isn’t perfect, its flaws are laid bare for all to see. If the new owner can confirm the rarity of its drivetrain combination, that may justify a faithful restoration. Otherwise, slotting a V8 under the hood could prove hard to resist. The world will be the buyer’s oyster with this Galaxie, but what would be your plan of attack?

Comments

  1. Evan

    Man, this is a toughie. It would break my heart to destroy a 1-of-1 but then again, rarity does not equal value. What a dilemma!

    Like 5
    • jo6pac

      Put a 427 crate motor in it and 5 speed. Save all the original parts.

      Like 9
  2. Gary

    We had a local Ford dealer that ordered a new 72? Mustang convertible, dark brown with a saddle interior, six cylinder with a three speed, I believe on the column. They couldn’t sell it so they put it in their storage building and drove it very little. I heard it sold a few years ago for almost 20k with under 10,000 miles. It brought decent money but it’s still just a underpowered six banger.

    Like 6
    • Marvin

      6 cylinder Mustangs (or other Ford models of that era) are fun to drive
      and can keep up with V8s on the highway. The engines also ca be built to produce awesome horsepower. However, Ford never produced a coluum shifted Mustang from 1964 to date. Paddle shifters were recently intrduced.

      Like 4
  3. Kasey

    My family has a 65 2door with a 352 & barely pulls itself. I couldn’t imagine half that motor doing any good but I’d leave it as is with a rebuild.

  4. Bob McK Member

    Engine is shot, no AC, manual everything, bondo for $13,000. It looks so nice in the pictures.

    Like 1
  5. Steve Brown

    Putting in a mild crate motor with 300 HP or so and fuel injection would be the way to go IMO.

    Like 2
  6. Dave

    I love oddball cars like these. This is a unique combination, I hope the new owner keeps it original.

  7. Troy

    I like it because it’s a 6cyl. If my planned poll barn was already finished I would strongly consider getting it but for now it would have to sit outside

    Like 4
  8. Troy

    Long as the valve’s aren’t bent from stuck lifters you might be able to squeeze a little more life out of the engine, get some cheap 3-4 oil filters and then drain the oil. Fill that thing until it almost over flows with vinegar and let it sit for 2-3 days then do the same thing with diesel fuel. Then change the oil and run it let it get to operating temp and change the oil again. This time putting on a quality filter this should work to free stuck valves and get the sludge out of the engine.

    Like 4
    • Jay

      Where did you come up with that idea?? I’d never put anything water-based in a crankcase.

  9. scottymac

    My vote is for a 300c.i. Ford big six, Clifford or Offenhauser dual quad intake, or if you’ve got big bucks, custom intake and three 45DCOE Webers!

    Like 5
  10. Brian

    So many possibilities. Its not a drag car (too heavy) so a waste to go huge power. The joy is cruising with the top down, but it needs 2 things:
    * power to do burn-outs, or you’re missing the fun on cruise night
    * safety — as soon as its faster, it needs the PB.
    So, being an engineer (knowing everything is a compromise) I’d personally look at 3 things: (this should be sub $5k after getting the car)
    1. upgrade brakes, adding a booster, and beefy discs, preferably at all 4 corners
    2. source a wrecked 5-Litre Mustang and have it shipped over.
    You need access to ALL the parts, because you’ll save $$$ running a modern, injected engine with much better fuel mileage. But it requires the computer and assorted sensors and shtuff connected.
    At the same time, its pre-73, so no emissions, so it can get a custom “Cat-free” exhaust system (hopefully retaining the stock, stainless headers from the Mustang … not sure if that’s doable without converters … last American car I built was a ’65 Malibu SS with 350/327, M22, 4.11 posi running 3″ pipes off Hooker headers into Walker turbo mufflers with 2.5″ exhaust)
    3. “steal” all the brake components possible from the Mustang: booster, front calipers, etc. if possible. If there’s no disc-brake option there, get truck or van rear discs from the scrap-yard.
    Regarding power-steering — it both steals engine power, AND it adds weight to the front … neither helps.
    In fact, I’d also relocate the battery to the rear passenger side (as I’ve done on light Japanese cars, like Datsun 510s) using #6 or so aluminum cable (weight matters … and its cheaper than copper too). If cranking is an issue (due to cable length) add a light LiFePO4 motorcycle battery to the engine compartment (down low) or put it under the dash and run a heavier cable (the original battery cable, maybe) from the starter to the “intermediate current booster” battery, and then the lighter alum wiring back to the bigger battery in the trunk.
    Then the cosmetics discussed by the author.
    Change the cam on the Mustang small-block before installing it.
    Consider swapping rads with donor car too … probably lighter weight and better cooling. And the electric fan too! (controlled by the sensor in the rad)
    In the end, for under $20k, I’d have:
    * an eye-catching classic that’s a fun ride
    * much better performance than stock
    * much better safety than stock
    And I’d have ALL the original parts in a crate, to boost the value at re-sale time.
    Who’s with me?
    (now its time to fight over “stock steel rims and caps” or modern wheel/rubber package)

  11. Frank

    As a 16 year old in 1966, I wanted the 66 Mustang on the other side of the showroom, but it was the new family car, so forget that. I was, however able to talk Dad into a Galaxie 500 fordoor hardtop, with a 390 V/8 and Cruise-O-Magic. That was the car I learned to drive on and the first car I crumpled a fender on too!

    Like 2
    • Barry

      Cruise-O-Magic? hehehehehe

  12. karl

    ” the owner acknowledges that there is Bondo present. If this has been applied correctly, it shouldn’t present any future drama for potential owners ” I disagree ,Bondo shrinks with age and eventually water gets in behind it. I wonder where most of the “original ” paint is. The full size Fords of this era were also noted for rotted frames, so a buyer would really need to take a good look at this one.

    Like 4
  13. OldSchool Muscle

    Yes pull the motor and trans save for the future. Drop in a 427 and a stick and have a blast change up the rear gears and you have a cool cruiser…

  14. chrlsful

    240 isa million mi motor. Friend hasa nxt yr model (300/4.9) duz 10s at the drag in a Mav. I like everything but the bondo & white on red.

    Fantastic style esp the stacked hdlghts/grill and pre muscle straight lines (no ‘humps’ over the wheels, etc). Between the bulge-mobiles of the ’50s and humps of the mid/late ’60s I would have this if going ‘big (to me) car’.
    105 inch and less suit me (AMX- 92 inch?, my 1st gen bronk- 96 inch, my fox wagon 105). All fun & if wanted will take big blocks, suspension & break upgrades if wanted. Almost 120 inch WB on this guy w/plenty overhang in back & some in frnt…

  15. Bil Hall

    My first car was a 65 Galaxie convert I got from some relatives in 71. It was not great when I got it but over the next few years almost everything on left side was wrecked. Lots of bondo and trips to the junk yard made it look half decent. The 390 under the hood also took a lickin and kept on kicken. The odometer was stuck at 55,000. It was even still running barely five years later when it was sold. Nobody makes cars like that now for better or worse?

    Like 2
  16. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    It’s only original once. Pull the cylinder head and perform a valve job & see how the car runs at that point. Yes, do check the frame for rust, but based on what I’m seeing in the photos, I suspect the frame is going to be fine.

    This car is VERY rare with the lack of options. It’s got 2 options: radio and heater. Probably the only Galaxy 500 convertible made with that option list. Unless the new owner is planning on towing a trailer or needs a big V8 for mountains, then this car will do fine, while delivering decent mileage from the $5/gallon stuff he’s pouring into the fuel tank! I suspect in another dozen years a big convertible with a small engine will be even more in demand.

    Like 2
  17. T. Mann Member

    How did the buyer explain that poor engine decision to his friends, and his son???

    Like 1
  18. bone

    This could have been ordered by the dealership as a loss leader car; they then could advertise a Galaxie ragtop at a really cheap price to get the customers in. I cant imagine anyone ordering a high line car like a Galaxie convertible and then ordering it with the most basic drivetrain ,no P/S , dog dish caps, etc. but then paying extra for the optional clock

  19. RogerT

    One of 791?? Pure disinformation on the seller’s part. All production breakdowns by engine, feature, option, etc were deleted off of mag tape by Ford. Kevin Marti confirmed it. There are no such records indicating how many ’66 Galaxie convertibles were built with 6-cylinders, wagons with 428s, etc. The best you can get is total production by model (LTD, 7-Litre, Ranch Wagon, etc). Only exceptions are the 237 full-size 427 Fords which is a number Ford published after the 1966 model year, and a few features by total. But nothing by model.

  20. Vince

    This is a case where rare doesn’t mean desirable . Ever drive one of these with the 240 and that 3.00 rear end? Not exactly great power to weight ratio. I got tired of it in my 66 Custom 4 dr plus parts were becoming obsolete for it . That was close to 40 years ago I had put in a more modern 302 as a replacement .

    Being in a convertible it’s even heavier than the 2 or 4 door plain Customs these engines came standard with

    For me this oddball combination doesn’t scream desirable

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