Rolled Thunder! 1962 Ford Galaxie Tri-Power

Upon first impression, younger readers may see this Ford as a gussied-up family coupe from the early ’60s. However, by 1962 (and before the 1964 Thunderbolt), the Galaxie was Ford’s big stick in the world of drag-racing. This 1962 Galaxie 500 may not have begun life as a drag-racer, but it might have! The 406 cid V8 and floor-shifted manual transmission certainly emulate one of the hottest quarter-milers of those days. Ford even made a “lightweight” version of this car to answer complaints that the Galaxie needed a diet to remain competitive. This 1962 Ford Galaxie 500 hails from Hennessey, Oklahoma where it apparently suffered the indignity of a crash, roll, or some other random and inconvenient roof-damaging accident. Listed here on eBay, bidding has surpassed $2500.

The seller knows little about this motor, but was told it’s a 406 (matching this car’s badges) and a “five-speed,” a phrase I’ve learned can mean simply “standard transmission” in the same way that “Coke” simply means “a sweetened carbonated drink” in certain areas. According to this excellent write-up by dragzine.com, the $379.70 high-performance package included the new-for-’62 Thunderbird 406 with 11.4:1 compression ratio making 385 horsepower and 448 lb-ft of torque. While the 406 would have come with a dual-quad setup, this Tri-Power setup (three two-barrel carburetors) is even more interesting.

This view is mostly showing some bad news including a punctured hood and the unfortunate bending of the greenhouse that evidently smashed every window. Make sure you have a line on a reasonably priced donor car before going all in on this black beauty, and remember to weld X-braces throughout the interior before sawing off the top.

The black and chrome theme continues within. Apparently the tremendous force of the roof-damaging accident caused the shift knob to be ejected and it could not be recovered. All joking aside, this dusty mostly-original interior backs up the exterior’s street-fighter looks. Nothing says Budget Butt-Kicker like a bench seat and a no-nonsense floor-shifter. A radio delete kit would complete the look. The listing says “JUST HAD NEW INTERIOR BEFORE WRECKED.” Don’t get me started on the ridiculous ALL CAPS, but I’m wondering if the “new interior” is code for “swapped in from another old Ford,” or perhaps the wreck occurred in 1971. Either way, I wouldn’t change a thing. Is this a parts car, or would you put it back on the road?

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Comments

  1. 86 Vette Convertible

    It is what it is. Unless you’re into top repairs, it’s a parts car though the drivetrain is interesting.

    • phil

      very easy to fix as a retired body mechanic ,have fixed far worse

      1
      • Michael thomas

        I agree Phil. People today only know replace. If you find a top cheap it would be an easy swap as you need all the glass but I have straightened tops like that back in the day in a couple of days with a minimum of filler. As I am better today than I used to be. haha I could do a much better job of metal finishing that top

        1
  2. Marcelo

    Only a magician could repair that roof without cutting it.

    • phil

      cutting and replacing very easy

    • Michael thomas

      Sorry MArcelo but a couple of porter powers in the right place that top can be made new again very easily. 40 year Mercedes collision tech

      1
      • mike

        I agree…and I only had 3 years in a collision shop

  3. Todd Zuercher

    The steering wheel is from a late 1970s Ford so it was probably on the road at least through that time.

  4. Steve R

    This is the donor car. The X indicates it started life as a 352 2bbl. It would have been a cool looking cruiser until it was wrecked. Multiple carbs, some “vintage” performance parts and sunburned paint would have made it stand out at a car show.

    The 2012 H.A.M.B. decal and current wheels indicate the damage was a recent occurance.

    Steve R

  5. Yoopermike

    Nice car and you have to love that six pack sitting on that 406. Must have been a fun car back before it was rolled. I’m sure someone out there has the talent to repair this car and putting it back on the road.

    1
  6. FordFEnut

    G code ws 406 tri power. X was plain 352. B was a 406 4 barrel. Factory shifter looked dif and was a round ring not square as this one.
    I own both. Just a parts car to me.

  7. Classic Steel

    The race stickers are 2012 and the engine is not matching the vin.

    The roof is crushed from being rolled but after going to dessert salvage and dropping over a grand plus shipping and then installing and glass purchase of another grand …….

    Money pit!

  8. Rube Goldberg

    Pretty sure this car was an automatic, they never changed the brake pedal, and the floor shift added but someone replicated the fastest car Ford made in ’62. Too bad they accelerated a lot better than they handled or stopped, as someone found out. I don’t see any lap belts, so I bet in the rollover, they broke the shift knob off flying around. I think it could be fixed and a cool car again, even though ’62 was my least favorite Ford.

    1
    • Ron Schweitzer Member

      I was hoping that someone else saw that too. The pedals aren’t the same size…..automatic brake pedal.

      1
  9. Bob

    I have a buddy that owned a new 62 Ford 2 dr HT with the 406 tri-power and 4 speed. This was the street version cross-bolted version of the engine Ford wanted to run at NASCAR and in the stock classes at the drags.
    It was an awesome car in its day, but even today the performance would be impressive.
    I would love to own it.

    1
    • phil

      engine if real 406 worth 5 grand

      1
  10. Geof

    I’ve wanted one of these since I was 15 years old. And someday I will own one.
    If only I could afford this one. A parts car it may be. But to this 56 year old disabled veteran, it’s the beginning of dream coming true.
    Anyone wanting to help out will be greatly appreciated. And grateful for the rest of my years. Something to pass on to my Son when I’m gone.

  11. Alex

    I would keep it as is and make sure the weather is good before driving it out to make sure I don’t get soaked when driving it. Plus it be a blast to see people looking at me when I drive it around town.

    1
  12. jeff6599

    The only High Performance FE Fords with tripowers were the 390 rated at 401 HP and the 406 rated at 405 HP. 2×4 setups came only on the 427 engines. However, all were interchangeable among FE engines. The car was obviously an A/T car with that large brake pedal and converted to a manual shift. Since the HiPo Fords were all manual, this car was obviously not an original HiPo. But, at this price, the engine ought to be worth $3k and the engine, most likely a world class T-5 $500 to $600. The rest of the car for the shredder.

    1
  13. Marty

    I would be inclined to think it took a good size tree, glass is still in the right windows, and how would you roll a car the big and not damage those big wide chome strips running down the sides ? Nice catch on the wrong brake pedal, 352 cc, automatic from the factory. Think I like the beef it has now. I would put it back together.

    1
  14. RoughDiamond Member

    Is that the factory brake and clutch pedal setup? Looks odd to me, but I know nothing about these cars.

  15. Troy s

    I really like the old Galaxies and seeing one with the mean tri power 406 is a treat despite the big oops to the roof. But I’d really like to see that 406 under the hood of a ’66 fairlane GT, which to me would have given all the GM super cars a real headache.
    You could always just cut the roof off and make it an old NASCAR stocker clone! 😎

  16. pete

    Get the Sawzall out and make a convertible

    1
    • waynard

      Exactly what I was thinking. With a removable hardtop in the same profile. In that this car is already modified it won’t make any difference.

      1
  17. Michael

    I’m sorry people it I don’t mean to be captain obvious here, but how does a vehicle roll over and not damage the sides? It looks to me like something fell on the roof causing the damage. If it has a 406 and it has been converted to a manual transmission and has a posi rear as evidenced by the tire rubber on the drivers side tailpipe, than who cares if it’s not original. It will be a fast, fun car to drive.

    1
    • waynard

      Yeah, I agree. This isn’t a rollover. Something big fell on it. And the way that paint is lost on the roof and trunk looks like it was pulled just in time out of a fire where that building partly collapsed.

  18. Dusty Stalz

    I don’t think this car rolled. It looks like something fell on it. Garage collapse?

    • Classic Steel

      Maybe it was stacked on a junkyard and drew lower level

  19. David

    Okay, this one is really easy to discypher. New metric tires, repro Halibrands, “5 speed”, wonky pedals, mystery motor, crushed from above with hole in hood (obviously didn’t roll) VIN says 352 no performance, recent stickies. Seller is trying to flip a “bitsa” car. If you’re an early Ford guy, and want have fun, and can get more info on the motor, maybe 5k or so.

  20. Steve

    You guys have it all wrong on the pedals- this has the ultra-rare heel/toe option. Maybe not :-)

    1
  21. jw454

    I agree that the damage looks more like something fell on it. The quarter has some damage but, not what you’d see on a roll over. Also, the body tag says it came with a Cruise-o-Matic and a 300:1 open rear axle and all black interior.
    I have a friend that could fix that roof without replacing it. I wish I had half his talent and all of his youth.

  22. Bullethead

    Had me at “WORTH LOST OF $$$ WHEN FINISHED”.

  23. KSwheatfarmer Member

    Geof, If you get this bought get in touch with me,I have a parts car with a good roof.Wil let u have it 4 cheep. Thanks 4 your service.

    1
  24. jdjonesdr

    “I can fix that. Here, hold my beer.”

    • phil

      I can but then I was a pro…. 30 years in the trade

  25. Ralph Terhune

    All 406 cars either had a single 4 barrel carb or a 3 deuce setup. There were never any dual quad 406’s from the factory until the 427’s we’re introduced mid year 1963.

    • Frank Molby

      I agree with you Ralph. My 406 had a 3×2 set up on it!

  26. JimBot

    This car was not rolled over.. ugh! These write-ups are so bad sometimes, come on BF! Also as some others noted, the H.A.M.B sticker is a good find – anyone interested in this car would be well served to search the postings there, or ask around on the message board about it. I used to be a very active member there back when I had a shoebox Ford. Great place.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if members are already talking about seeing it posted. You’ll likely get all your questions answered about it.. curious how the current clueless owner came to get it.

    1
  27. Madmatt

    I love the 60-64 Fords and Mercs..!
    This car is worth trying out a “top chop” on..,
    nothin 2 lose…if something goes wrong..,
    but it could be fixed..,just wouldn’t make economic sense,
    unless you can do all the work yourself.
    this car was really sharp looking,back in its day!

    1
  28. Joe

    Tripower is a Pontiac name.

  29. CaCarDude

    Always liked the body style here, this particular car for me just screams Shine runner, and a balls out drive down the back roads, I have to agree with others that something fell on the top, tree or box of bricks, or..
    See ya’ll on Thunder road…

  30. John

    I suspect that the market for FrankenFords fell on it. This is someone’s attempt to re-make a legend. The 406,4 speed was one helluva car in its day (and mine). That little “V” badge with a 406 above it commanded a good bit of respect.

  31. Slowride

    As “Lover” of Ford” especially Galaxie’s and T-Birds and Torino’s; Would somebody please take the upper hose out of the radiator!!!!

  32. Gary Day

    If that car was close to Maine I would buy it in a heartbeat.
    That roof can be fixed little time and love you could never tell it was repaired.
    Shipping would kill me.
    But it’s fixable no question

  33. John Taylor

    That is repairable no worries, if you can’t find a panel beater to do it get a New Zealand beater and they would have that done in no time for you.

  34. Rustytech

    A true barn find! Looks like the barn gave out first though. Definitely deserves to be brought back to life.

  35. Tort Member

    A friend back in the 60’s had one exactly like this except it was beautiful. Same color with a 406 but can’t recall the transmission. Always been a Chevy guy but I really liked his car. Remember drag racing him (street) with my 57 Corvette 283 4 speed. Fun times until Nam disrupted lives.

    1
  36. Burger

    “New for 62”, the writer says. Is that right ? I once saw a low mileage, 61 Starliner, owned by a couple in their 90’s, with a 406 Tri-Power and 4-speed. They bought it new and were hardly the type to be building a car. They were being placed in “a home” because advanced age and I was asked to do some work on the house before it was sold. The car was in the garage with a nice coating of dust. I could not believe my eyes, but the car had already been spoken for. This was around 1982 (?) The car was black, with a red bucket seat interior, and outside of the dust, looked like a new car. I think it had a mileage reading in the 30-thousands.

    1
    • KKW

      The 61 Starliner is my favorite Galaxie of all time, beautiful automobile. Unfortunately, you are mistaken on a couple items. Ford’s top dog in 61 was a 390 with tri-power, the 406 was introduced in 62, as were bucket seats with the new XL package.

  37. Alan (Michigan) Member

    For sure someone spent time rolling the smoke off of the rear tires… They look melted, and not just a little bit.

  38. chad

    it’s already modded in a way many want, never rolled (like others – I’d say something dropped on the top) keep goin in that direction. Approx. $20K (hi end? I don’t know) when done (gently)… Y not DYI & have a fun machine B4 ur sale? Not something I’d want to own indefinitely, tho.

  39. gaspumpchas

    Cool car and a blast to drive,fix that roof and brake pedal,No discouragement here would love to own!!!

    1
  40. Midnightflyer

    I had a 1960 Starliner they were classy cars and fast. Steering was better than chev or dodges. Won’t tell how fast mine would go. I should not be here to write this.

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