Ford Galaxie XL 500 1964 Carmel Fire Chief






scale 1:18

Model number: 1448


Review of the model:

The Ford Galaxie XL 500 is a muscle car before the concept really was hip. The model of 1964 had some new features regarding the body work for better performance at the racetrack. Here were options for very strong V8 motors from Ford. When we look back in time, it was no wonder why this model 64 was the most selling Galaxie ever from Ford. In 1964 the cars had no longer big fins; they were more square and low. One special looks in this model was the roof, which looks like a closed convertible. It was highlighted by some with black vinyl on the roof.

We must give credit to Sun Star who produces both the 63 and 64 models in hardtop and convertible. And this Galaxie can be found in a Police and, in this case, Carmel Fire Chief! One thing for sure - The Fire Chief can have a short response time with this fast car.

The model from Sun Star is from their U.S.A. Collectible series, as stated before its not a high level or high price model, but you get a lot bang for the bucks here. Okay you will miss a carpet inside the car, trunk does not open and the windscreen vipers are molded in the frame. But you forget this quickly as the car has other features you love; well made wheels and hubcaps, beautiful interior and all in all well made model.

You must be fast to get this model/color combination its discontinued from the producer!

I will give this model 4 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and a little movie clip for the real car. So please enjoy!





A fancy car for the Chief of Fire Department



Sun Star have produced a very good model car here

  The fashion of cars in the mid 60' are low and square  
Note the well build emergency rotor light on the roof
The big rear lights resemble the exhaust of a space ship is inherited from the Fairlane days
Note the chrome panel line, that has it out springs in the front lights and way back over the door, to end at the far rear fender - This is speed
Lots of chrome detailing in the interior -but we have no carpet and real pedals
Bucket seats and a gearstick. Note also the small XL emblem on the instrument panel far right
Many fine decals on this model car
The gabs at the door are acceptable for a model in this price range
The hard top for the Ford Galaxie is light and looks like a ragtop - Very cool design
The color of this model is more orange than red
Even the backseats are bucket type
The hubcaps and  wheel are well made
The trunk can not be open at this model
Nice grill and front of the car - only minor pupils in the lenses
390 cu. inch (6,4L) V8 330 HP Thunderbird motor




Ford Galaxie 1964

Model year 1964 was the fourth and final year of this body style. Interior trim was altered, and the exterior featured a more sculpted look which was actually designed to make the car more aerodynamic for NASCAR. The formal-roof "boxtop" style was no longer available, all non-wagon models now featuring the "fastback" roof design that was the runaway best-seller in 1963. The base 300 was replaced by a line of Custom and Custom 500 models. The 289 continued as the base V8 and was standard in the XL series. XL models got new thin-shell bucket seats with chrome trim. Federal regulations now required lap-style safety belts for both front outboard occupants. The ignition switch was moved from the left side of the steering column, to the right, but otherwise the attractive instrument panel remained unchanged from '63. The 1964 XL two-door hardtop became the best seller of any XL produced in any year.


Ford Galaxie 500XL, 1963-1964 from Hemmings Muscle Machines

Before the intermediate muscle car craze reached full swing in the mid-1960s, the American high-performance mantle was primarily shouldered by full-sized cars. While the products of the Ford Motor Company were well engineered and solidly built, they couldn't keep up with arch rivals Chevrolet's and Mopar's more potent, youthful designs. But everything changed when the 1963 and 1963 1/2 Galaxie 500XLs arrived, and their racing pedigree brought new excitement to Ford showrooms. Available in four handsome body styles, with ground-pounding V-8 engines and stretch-out room for the whole family, Galaxie 500XLs offer big collectible muscle for less than the price of an anemic new Taurus.

Although Ford's full-sized line hadn't languished in showrooms, competition from the V-8-powered Chevrolet Impala Super Sport and the "Max Wedge" V-8-powered Plymouth Sport Fury certainly took its toll on their image. Ford's new "Total Performance" tagline was more than advertising hype in 1963. The compact Falcon, mid-sized Fairlane and range-topping Galaxie were reaping the benefits of the NASCAR and drag racing programs that Ford Division General Manager Lee Iacocca sanctioned. By testing the cars in competition, the engineering know-how and quality control that evolved to win races filtered down to the passenger-car line; this gave the conservative company a youth-oriented appeal that was fostered by the "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" dictum. Nineteen sixty-three would be one of Ford's best years in NASCAR, and the Galaxie 500 would become the car to beat.

The Galaxie 500XL, introduced in 1962, was Ford's premium full-sized car. It used a 119-inch wheelbase and stretched to 209.9 inches in length. Although Galaxies were available as two- and four-door sedans, two- and four-door hardtops (called Club Victorias and Town Victorias), station wagons and Sunliner convertibles, the 1963 500XL came only in $3,518 convertible, $3,268 hardtop (or "box top") two- and $3,333 four-door forms. Standard 500XL equipment included an all-vinyl interior in seven trim combinations with front bucket seats and a transmission selector-housing center console, deep loop carpeting, courtesy lamps in the doors, crank-out vent windows, pedal dress-ups and spinner wheel covers on 14-inch wheels. Option availability varied depending on the engine selected, but choices included power steering, brakes and windows, air conditioning, an AM-FM radio, a padded dashboard and a Swing-Away steering wheel.

While these cars shared their underpinnings with the previous year's models, their sheetmetal and interiors were notably revised. The softly rounded hoods, smooth body sides and horizontal bar grilles flanked by quad headlamps were swapped for more modern flattened hoods, creased body sides and headlamp-enclosing mesh grilles. The Thunderbird-inspired formal roofline that the Club and Town Victorias shared with Galaxie post sedans was conservatively handsome, but it caused speed-robbing drag on the racetrack. To remedy that, Ford debuted a hardtop coupe with an aerodynamic semi-fastback roofline halfway through the 1963 model year to replace the Club Victoria. The introduction of the new fastback coincided with the debut of a new range-topping engine, the V-8.

In the days when gas cost 25 cents a gallon, big performance and small economy were a reasonable tradeoff. The 500XL's calling card was its selection of engines; unlike other Galaxies, the premium model used a standard V-8. When this model arrived in 1963, it used a V-8; this engine was replaced halfway through the model year with the new V-8. Other choices included, and V-8s. The top performer was the Thunderbird 6V 406, which used three 2-bbl. carburetors. This engine had been introduced in 1961, and would only be used through mid-1963, when it was replaced by the fearsome dual 4-bbl.-carbureted V-8. These 406 and 427 V-8 engines were available in any 500XL, and all cars so equipped could not be optioned with A/C, power steering or brakes. They were further factory-mandated to use a four-speed manual transmission, along with 15-inch wheels and heavy-duty suspension, brake and driveline components.

Although their straight-line performance wouldn't embarrass a contemporary Corvette, Galaxie 500XLs turned in solid numbers. A 1962 Motor Trend road test of a 406 6-V-powered coupe turned up 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds, with a 15.6-second quarter-mile at 92 mph. A 1963 1/2 fastback powered by the dual-quad-carbureted V-8 did 0-60 in 6.9 seconds and the quarter mile in 14.9 at 96 mph; its top speed was 135 mph. Motor Trend also tested a 1963 500XL Sunliner with a 390 V-8 and Cruise-O-Matic, which ran 0-60 in 9.8 seconds but averaged a sobering 11.8 mpg.

While 500XLs were not the only Galaxies built with the hi-po engines, they are the most sought-after for their combination of luxury and brute strength. The four-door hardtop is the most rare 1963 500XL, with 12,596 built, followed by our feature convertible, which is one of 18,551. Production of the two-door hardtop (29,713) was topped by the fastback coupe, of which 33,870 were made. In the abbreviated early 1963 run, 3,465 Fords were built with the 405hp, V-8 and 1,157 came with the 385hp version. After that year's changeover, 3,857 cars were motivated by the 425hp V-8, and a mere 1,038 used the 410hp variant.

Because Ford included information ranging from plant of origin and body style to engine and transmission in their vehicle identification number tags, it's easy to decode and authenticate a 500XL. A handful of ads for 1963 Galaxie 500XLs appear in each month's Hemmings Motor News, so decide what body style and engine of Galaxie will suit you, gather up your family and friends, and begin your quest for full-sized Ford fun.


The Galaxie 500XL came with a standard F-build code V-8, which used a 3.80 x 2.87-inch bore and stroke, 8.7 compression and a 2-bbl., 270 cfm Holley carburetor to make 164hp at 4,400 rpm and 258-lbs.ft. of torque at 2,200 rpm. This engine was replaced mid-year with the new C-code V-8; while its compression and carburetion were carried over, its 4.00 x 2.87-inch bore and stroke let it make 195hp at 4,400 rpm and 282-lbs.ft. of torque at 2,400 rpm.

Stepping up the performance ladder netted the X-code Thunderbird 352 V-8. This engine used a 4.00 x 3.50-inch bore and stroke, 8.9 compression and a 2-bbl. 270 cfm Holley carburetor to make 220hp at 4,300 rpm and 336-lbs.ft. of torque at 2,600 rpm. The next level was the Thunderbird 4-V/390 V-8, which jumped to 300hp at 4,600 rpm and 427-lbs.ft. of torque at 2,800 rpm via a 4.05 x 3.78-inch bore and stroke, 10.5 compression and a 4-bbl. 446 cfm Holley carburetor. This engine used premium fuel and dual exhausts, and was coded Z.

The early top engines were the V-8s; the Thunderbird 4V/406 High-Performance V-8 used a 4.13 x 3.78-inch bore and stroke, 11.5 compression, a 4-bbl. 600 cfm Holley carburetor and super premium fuel to make 385hp at 5,800 rpm and 444-lbs.ft. of torque at 3,400 rpm. This engine used a dual breaker ignition, solid valve lifters and special valve springs, and wore a B-code. Three progressively linked two-barrel Holley carburetors totaling 920 cfm fed super premium fuel to the G-code Thunderbird 6V/406 High-Performance V-8, and it made 405hp at 5,800 rpm and 448-lbs.ft. of torque at 3,500 rpm with its low-restriction exhaust headers and extra-high capacity oil and fuel systems.

The V-8s were replaced in 1963 1/2 models by the new V-8 that used a 4.23 x 3.78-inch bore and stroke (This engine actually displaced 425 cubic inches, but marketing considerations dictated using the 427). With solid valve lifters and a 780-cfm 4-bbl. Holley 352 carburetor, the Q-code engine made 410hp at 5,600 rpm and 476-lbs.ft. of torque at 3,400. The competition ran scared from the famous "R"-code 427; this engine used an 11.5:1 compression ratio, two 652-cfm Holley 4160 4-bbl. carburetors on an aluminum intake manifold and dual exhausts to make 425hp at 6,000 rpm and 480-lbs.ft. of torque at 3,700 rpm.

Ford's competition efforts translated into hearty engines that exhibited few flaws in daily use; the V-8, with its rigid cross-bolted main bearing caps, cured an issue found in racing V-8s where engine blocks cracked in the number-two bulkhead where the main bearing caps bolted to the block. Road-ready V-8 engines are easily tuned for more power and offer great durability and parts availability.


Galaxie 500XLs were available with three transmission choices. A fully synchronized Borg Warner T-10 four-speed manual with positive reverse gear lockout was required with the 406 and 427 V-8s. It was optional on 352- and engines, and the ratios were 2.36:1, 1.78:1, 1.41:1 and 1:1; reverse was 2.42:1. An 11-inch semi-centrifugal clutch was used with the optional engines.

The two-speed Ford-O-matic Drive automatic was standard on V-8-equipped 500XLs, but the three-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic was more commonly seen. That transmission used 2.40:1, 1.47:1, 1:1 and 2.00:1 reverse gearing, and no automatics were allowed with the top performance 406 or V-8s. "Warner four-speeds are sturdy, and are the same basic transmission used in Buicks, Chevrolets, Pontiacs and Studebakers," says Mark Reynolds, director of the Ford Galaxie Club of America. "Automatics are fine as long as they aren't overloaded with power -later heavy-duty C6 transmissions are an easy swap on a 1963."


Whether the car was a hi-po 427 or a garden-variety 352, all 500XLs used deep-offset hypoid semi-floating differentials with straddle-mounted drive pinions. Heavy-duty units with high-capacity wheel bearings and large-diameter shafts came in 406- and cars. The rear-axle ratio was 3.50:1 with three- or four-speed manuals and 352- and 390-inch V-8s. Base engine-equipped cars with Ford-O-matics used a 3.25:1 ratio, and with a Cruise-O-Matic, ratios ranged from 3.25:1 to 3.00:1. An EquaLock limited-slip differential was optional, and the 9-inch Ford rear end is a highly regarded, tough unit.


Despite their substantial girth, Galaxie 500XLs were considered good handlers from the factory. The independent front suspension used upper and lower A-arms with wide-base coil springs, double-acting tubular hydraulic shocks and a rubber-bushed anti-roll bar. The live rear axle used four semi-elliptic leaf springs, diagonally mounted tubular shocks and torque control arms. The "compliance link" built into the suspension allowed some horizontal shock absorption for better control, and the heavy-duty springs fitted to 406 or 427 cars were 40 percent stiffer in the front and 20 percent stiffer in the rear. The standard recirculating ball steering often used power assist, which decreased the overall ratio from 30:1 to 23:1, but allowed the same 41-foot turning radius.


Although they were capable of amazing speeds, the full-sized Fords didn't offer state-of-the-art disc brakes. The duo-servo system found in 500XLs used 11-inch cast-iron drums on all four wheels. Performance models used 3-inch front and 2.5-inch rear drums that offered 212 square inches of swept area. Sure Swift power brakes were optional on all except 406/427 cars. Because that year's power brake booster bracket was a 1963-only design, one has to be obtained before retrofitting a 1964 or later system.


Ford promoted the Galaxie's "wide contoured frame" with double-channel side rails, a box-section design with flexible inner channels, and flexible front cross members. Base engine (260/289 V-8)-powered 500XLs used the lightweight frames that were shared with six-cylinder Galaxies, while those under large-engine cars were reinforced; convertible frames were braced with four crossmembers and an X-member, while closed cars used five crossmembers. New 500XLs also had longer chassis lubrication intervals of 36,000 miles for the front suspension, universal joints and steering. Because these frames are shared with other Galaxies and there are many parts cars around, a seriously rusted frame can be swapped for a solid replacement.


Under their Diamond Lustre Enamel paint, Galaxie 500XLs wore baked-on primer and anti-rust treatments in addition to their galvanized rocker panels; bodies were made with heavy ribbed floor sections and box-sectioned roof supports. Unlike their later Mustang brethren, 1963 Galaxies don't have a plethora of reproduction body panels. "A few patch panels are available, including the rockers and rear doglegs, which are okay if you're building a driver," says Greg Donahue, owner of Greg Donahue Collector Car Restorations in Floral City, Florida. "But they're not good if you're building a show car. Inspect the floor pans, the lower doors and lower rear quarters, and the trunk floor--if you have to replace these areas, you'll have to get full quarters and floors from salvage cars."


The 500XL's interior was a comfortable place to spend some time. The standard front bucket seats and center console limited occupants to five, but the heavy vinyl used on the seats and door panels could withstand years of use. "New door panels, carpeting, dash pads and dash pad overlays and instrument bezels are being reproduced," Mark says. He also noted that replacement seat covers and seat foam are available in a number of colors, as are the molded package trays. If a potential restoration project car is missing its interior, it would be sensible to pick up a complete parts car to have access to the clips, fasteners and other small parts that aren't available new.


"The majority of parts required to keep a Galaxie running are available," Greg says. "Most driveline parts are commonly available from your better old-time parts stores and obsolete parts companies, and the majority of body rubber has been reproduced." He relates that Fords are not like Chevrolets when it comes to the reproduction of trim; "All Ford trim has a true right and left designation, and they aren't interchangeable like on some Chevys, which used the same die with different ends. It's cost-prohibitive to reproduce it today," he notes. He also notes that although reproduction steel and fiberglass gas tanks are available, they often don't fit properly. Mark adds, "Nobody reproduces the grilles and side moldings-new taillamp bezels are available, but nearly everything else will have to be located in decent shape and re-anodized or re-chromed." Although restoring a 500XL is a labor of love due to the limited supply of reproduction parts, Greg says not to give up, because everything can be found if you look carefully enough.


Full-sized Fords are very amenable to performance upgrades, and they are lucky to have the support of a number of dedicated parts suppliers. The sturdy V-8 engine blocks can be overbored and fitted with forged pistons, upgraded camshafts and hardened pushrods for even greater muscle, and they respond nicely to upgrades in breathing with medium- and high-rise cylinder heads, aluminum intakes and multiple-carburetion setups. Stock header-style cast-iron exhaust manifolds or lightweight aftermarket or custom-designed big-bore headers and exhausts will round out the external engine modifications. Upgraded C-6 automatic transmissions will handle nearly any engine output, and a locking rear end is a smart upgrade if a car isn't so equipped. Drag racers and others who crave extreme speed can even substitute their 500XL's steel bumpers, trunk lids and hoods for lightweight fiberglass replacements.


Although these Fords were good handlers in their day, they can be made even better by adapting some modern technology to their old-school power. "The stock recirculating ball steering can be replaced by a bolt-in rack-and-pinion conversion from Wurth-It Designs," Mark advises. This steering upgrade can be done using stock spindles or those from a Granada, which allows off-the-shelf front discs to be used; suppliers like Master Power Brakes and Stainless Steel Brakes offer manual or power-assisted front and rear disc brake conversion kits. Modern gas-charged shock absorbers, heavy-duty front and aftermarket rear anti-roll bars and custom-rate coil springs will also do wonders for ride and handling. And as on any older car with an upgraded suspension, fitting a set of touring or performance-biased radial tires will add greatly to handling, control and predictability, so you can get out and enjoy your modern classic Ford.


December, 2004 - Mark J. McCourt

This article originally appeared in the December, 2004 issue of Hemmings Muscle Machines.



Technical specification:



1964 593.533 Galaxie

Body and chassis

Body style

  • 2/4-door sedan
  • 2/4-door hardtop
  • 2-door convertible


Mercury Monterey
Lincoln Continental



223 cu. inch (3.7 L) OHV I6
289 cu. inch (4.7 L) Windsor V8
292 cu. inch (4.8 L) Y-block V8
352 cu. inch (5.8 L) FE series V8
390 cu. inch (6.4 L) FE series V8
406 cu. inch (6.6 L) FE series V8
427 cu. inch (7.0 L) FE series V8


3-speed manual
Cruise-O-matic automatic (3-speed)



3,023 mm (119.0 in)




81.5 in (2,070 mm)



Old brochures of the Ford Galaxie 500 XL 1964




















Video of the real car from Youtube






1964 Ford Galaxie 500 Commercial




1964 Ford Cars Commercial





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