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Where’s The Magic Gone? 1966 Ford Galaxie

1966 Ford Magic Cruiser

Yes, modern cars are full of incredible technology, they are amazingly dependable and capable of serious performance all while managing to be as efficient as ever, but they just lack something. As I was looking over this old issue of Motorcade Magazine, it hit me what modern cars lack (well I should say manufactures lack) and that’s magic. Now I’m not talking about the kind of magic that makes things disappear, I’m talking about the kind of magic that leaves you in awe, sort of like this Ford Galaxie does! Ford called it the Magic Cruiser and you can easily see why. One minute it’s a fastback, the next it’s a station wagon complete with third row seats! More on this interesting creation below.

Ford Galaxy Magic Cruiser

Here is Motorcades short article about it. You can read the whole thing in the image above, just click on it to see a larger version. For those of you that would rather not squint ,here is my condensed version. For the 1966 New York Auto Show, Ford wanted something amazing to wow crowds. They decided a fastback Galaxie that turned into a wagon with the click of a button would do the trick, so they took a car to George Barris. What you see here is what he came up with!

Motorcade Ford Galaxie

While the hatch/wagon roof is a bit odd looking when in the fastback position, it isn’t too bad. It actually looks exceptional when in Wagon form. I wish they would have put this thing into production, I seriously want it. It just leaves me wondering, why don’t manufactures build things like this anymore? If any of our good friends over at Ford are reading this, please start creating oddball show cars like this for us to dream about. We could all use a little more magic in our lives! Oh and if anyone know what happen to this particular car, let us know in the comments.

Images Courtesy of Motorcade Magazine


  1. wynkin

    Never seen that before, it’s a great idea.

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    • Bob Sifferd

      The whole roof mechanism was removed and put on a 1967 Galaxie for the next year’s Ford tour. So it’s, “Whatever happened to the 1967 Magic Cruiser II?”

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  2. Dave Wright

    We are living in different times, with government regulation and the general lack of imagination on the part of young people, every time an interesting out of the norm car is produced, it does not sell well. Everyone wants a Honda or a Camery. Chrysler has built some fun cars in the last decade but has a difficult time selling them……..it is a tough task trying to shoehorn a gen X er out of his plastic oriental computer designed shoebox.

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    • Dan h

      I have to agree with you,David. I’m not the biggest fan of Chrysler but they did at least come out with some innovative designs in the last 10-15 yrs. It seems American car designers have lost any if not all motivation for thinking outside the box.
      I would think,competing for market share would trump any risky , radical car design.

      Like 1
      • Dave Wright

        Chrysler did some fun cars that didn’t sell, the Prowler, the Viper and even the lowly PT Cruiser. GM built the SRT (?) Sport pickup and there version of a PT Cruiser. Interesting fun cars just do not sell well to today’s customers. Even Porsche was nearly bankrupt in the US in the 90’s.

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      • JW454

        What I see more is when Detroit or any of the other car makers introduce their newest hot design, they price it way above anything else that is offered. Back in the sixties a SS Chevelle, Plymouth Road Runner, or a Fastback Mustang was cheaper than a decked out station wagon. Today, a Dodge Challenger Rt or RS8 is one of the priciest cars in the Dodge lineup. People lose interest in things they can’t afford. Put the fun back in the designs and price them where an average working stiff can buy it and you have a winning combination. It worked before.

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    • TopJimmy5150

      Yes, those Chrysler products sure were innovative!

      Caliber – What a fine, fine car!
      Avenger/200/Dart – Yep, they sure did those right.
      High HP RWD Unreliable Sedans based on designs from 1970 – Just what the people were asking for!

      I can’t imagine why they’re not selling!

      Like 0
  3. roger

    New does not mean better.
    I hate new cars.
    Was riding in new van when it shut off in intersection and would not restart.
    Was riding in new car when it went wide open for a few seconds,Very scary.
    The newest vehicle I own is 1982.
    Oldest is 1927.
    They are easy to work on yourself and very dependable.
    Everyone else can fly by wire.
    I will stick with my old pre computer cable throttle.
    They don`t go crazy.

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  4. Spencer

    The rear side and back view, when the hatch is in the closed position, look very similar to the 1968 and 1969 Ford Torino GT.

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  5. Frankie

    They don’t take many risks in the auto industry because of the bottom line, like when Homer Simpson designed his own car for his brother Herb and bankrupted Herbs company. It takes money to run a company, those people need to eat, pay thier mortgage, send the kids to college, etc….
    There are cool cars out there like this one, ones that didn’t get made and ones that did. We shouldn’t crush any older cars, they should be put aside and saved, once their gone thier gone and then the prices go up and up and we bitch and moan about how the regular guy can’t afford them, how they sit in museums and on and on.

    Like 0
  6. Walt

    Aloha Josh and Jesse, ” Where has the magic gone ? ”
    simple answer I think . Detroit and their Great designers were and
    continue to be Gelded. Their great ideas minimized and homogenized
    into a government mandated Pablum of look alike Clones. I do not imagine
    we will see the days when American Marques were instantly recognizable.
    I consider myself so fortunate that I was born in the ‘ 30’s and can remember
    all of the great designs and models that were offered to the American car
    buyers. Mahalo for these thoughts.

    Like 0
  7. DanaPointJohn

    Cool concept, but it would not pass roof crush tests. So much of 2016 design is based on safety requirement baselines, that an innovative car like this has no chance of coming to market.

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  8. Randy W

    It’s also a lot like the 1967 Dodge charger. Today with the suv’s on the market, wagons wouldn’t do well. Old wagons were heavy but they drove like heavy Caddies on the road, nice and smooth like gliding down the highway.

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  9. Ernie the Dancing Weasel

    If I recall this particular issue of Motorcade, it contained an eerily prescient Ford sketch of what would eventually become the Pinto…

    Like 0
  10. Roselandpete

    They would make a car like that today if it looked like a jelly bean.

    Like 0
  11. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Here’s what the tailgate looks when in the lowered position.

    Will see if I can find out what happened to it.

    Like 0
    • Rick R

      Looks like Ford updated it to a ’67 – compare the tail light treatment and sheet metal with the magazine pics of the ’66.

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    • Bob Sifferd

      The ’67 Magic Cruiser photo with the tailgate down is a colorized photo I made from a b/w press photo. I think the roof was removed from the ’66 version and married to a ’67 for the next year’s show.

      Bob Sifferd


      Like 0
  12. Galaxie Greg

    What a cool looking machine. Roofline looks like my ’68 Ford Galaxie XL.

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  13. Howard A Member

    I think I built a plastic model of this car when I was a kid. I know I’ve seen it before. I agree with the others, make no mistake, these cars, while nicely styled, were death traps, and today, many people walk away from crashes that they probably would have died in this. Be that as it may, driving back then, was fun and new. It was fun going somewhere. And auto makers offered every kind of model for all the different tastes. Today, driving is more of a necessity, and barreling down crowded 6 lane highways sucks all the fun out of it.( just to turn around and repeat the process), and “generic” looking cars are good enough. This is pretty cool, but can just imagine what a few years in “the salt bath” would do to this, but a neat concept. There’s no need for excitement in cars today. Driving is a PITA. ( for me, anyway)

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  14. youcanrunnaked

    Modern cars are plenty magical. Remember, this was a show car — a one-off never intended for mass production. May be it can serve as a symbol of Detroit’s lost promise, but is it a symbol of what American car companies used to be? Nah.

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  15. gene

    These days the “technology” is too $$$$ and unfortunately we have a litigation crazy society we live in……COOL cars stopped being built a ways back……..how SAD!!

    Like 0
  16. Levi Comstock

    I must agree that that us car makers have lost their touch. I’m just 17 but most of the auto manufacturers products just aren’t appealing these days, the few that I personally find good looking, are cars like the dart, Chrysler 200, charger, challenger, and camaro.
    To deal with the useless of computerized jelly beans I drive a 1968 Mercedes 200d (w110/fintail) and people love that car, everywhere I drive it turns heads. I guess people still like classic styling? Personally this article has got me thinking about replicating the Ford “Magic Cruiser”, especially since I love station wagons and like fastbacks!

    Like 0
  17. Walt

    Right on Levi ! Keep up the good work.
    A Pox on Jelly Beans. Malama Pono !

    Like 0

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