18 February 2014

Losses and Lessons: Wandering cow causes damage to the Galaxie

VEHICLE COVERED: 1968 Ford Galaxie 500 XL

WHAT WENT WRONG: From squirrels to porcupines to deer, animals attempting to cross from one side of the road to the other pose a constant threat to drivers. Just imagine seeing a cow in your path. The owner of a 1968 Ford Galaxie 500 XL was cruising along a Texas highway and noticed cows grazing on both sides of the road. What he failed to notice was an “Open Range” sign warning drivers that the animals in the area were free grazing. A calf wandered onto the road, and despite his best efforts, the Galaxie owner couldn’t avoid it.

DAMAGE/LOSS: The driver escaped injury, but his car didn’t – and neither did the calf. The injured animal hobbled back to the herd, but its left rear leg was permanently damaged. The damage to the Galaxie amounted to $4,967.81 (hood, grille, A/C condenser and radiator), which Hagerty paid. The owner of the calf also received compensation.

LESSON: Always be on the lookout for animals when you’re behind the wheel, as even the smallest creature can cause an accident if you swerve to avoid it. Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to posted warning signs in a case a greater degree of caution is required. And it doesn’t hurt to know that in most cases you are responsible for any injury to livestock.

6 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Frank Wichita February 19, 2014 at 14:37
    I remember watching a couple of 'Foxes' along the road and drove slightly off center and hit a curb back in '62 when I was a teenager. All I needed to do was replace the rim on my '51 Pontiac. Of course, the girls (foxes) just kinda giggled.
  • 2
    GroveMan45 Minnesota February 19, 2014 at 16:41
    I truly believe that the largest engine available in the 1968 full-sized Fords was the 428-FE series, not the 429 as stated in the sidebar. That became optional in 1969.
  • 3
    DB VA February 19, 2014 at 17:30
    Are you responsible if there are no "Open Range" sign. Does this apply in Virginia. If a rancher doesn't maintain his fence then we should not be responsible for his loss.
  • 4
    Cynthia Arnold Purvis, Ms. February 19, 2014 at 17:35
    My husband and I own a fair sized farm and are ever vigilant about keeping our fences secure. We have several cow and horse pastures that border a local road. Several times there have been accidents that have involved our fences. Luckily, NOT our animals. But not ONCE has any of the motorists involved even attempted to APOLOGIZE, much less PAY any damages for repairs. So, well done for being fair to the farmer. That calf would have been worth a lot of money uninjured. I know you were upset about your car, but, it was the right thing to do. 1966 Mustang owner.
  • 5
    L.E.Metz TX February 20, 2014 at 09:18
    It must be something about cattle and Galaxies! My Daddy had a 1960-something Galaxy, and as kids, he frequently took us for a ride along the beach highway in the hot evenings. A fence was down, and several head of cattle decided to go for a stroll. We hit 4 ,all of which had to be put down. That Galaxy was a mess-literally!- but no one was hurt . Hurrah for metal cars-they do hold up in a wreck.
  • 6
    Tony Summy Simi Valley, CA February 21, 2014 at 14:12
    GroveMan45, You are absolutely correct. The 429CID "385 series" engine WAS available in 1968, but only in the Thunderbird. It was not made available in Ford full size cars until 1969. The largest engine available in the 1968 Galaxie was the 428-FE.

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