1960–64 Ford Galaxie values have taken a journey to the stars

Hagerty Marketplace

America couldn’t get enough of the space race in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Seemingly everything carried the theme, from consumer products to TV programming to automotive design. Ford eagerly got into the mix, and introduced the Galaxie as the top trim name for the Fairlane 500 in 1959. The Galaxie became its own model the following year and didn’t look back. Now, as collector cars, Galaxies have quietly—and significantly—increased in value.

The Galaxie found itself in constant evolution after it branched off from the Fairlane. Its debut in 1960 presented a step away from the frippery of 1950s design and toward a cleaner, more streamlined look. A swath of engines were available, from a 223-cubic-inch straight-six to a trio of powerful 352-cubic-inch V-8s. Despite the new look and power under the hood, however, sales tumbled to 289,268 from 1959’s 464,100. Couple that with the fact that cross-town Chevy had a winner on its hands in its full-size cars, and particularly the Impala, Ford had to stay on its toes and decided on an immediate update.

1960 Galaxie. Mecum

1961 brought styling that could be considered less distinctive but that was more in line with conventional tastes. Full, round taillights came back, and the fins, while still carrying a style line from the front door to the back of the car, grew more vestigial. Up front, the grille’s shape was simplified. Alongside these updates came the availability of the 390-cubic-inch FE V-8 making 375 horsepower. Stronger still was the 6V 390, which was Ford’s odd way of sharing that the engine came with three two-barrel carburetors sitting atop an aluminum intake manifold. In this guise, the 390 made 401 horses and 430 lb-ft of torque. Production began to rebound, falling just shy of 350,000 units.

1961 Galaxie. Mecum

Fins left the Galaxie for good in 1962, the same year that brought the phrase “Xtra Lively” into the mix. That’s what the XL stood for in the new 500 XL trim, which positioned itself against the Impala SS. The 500 XL featured sportier finishes inside and out, along with standard bucket seats and a center console. Two versions of the 406-cubic-inch V-8 became available, though the 352 and 390 mills remained.

1962 Galaxie. Mecum

1963 was a big year for the Galaxie. Sales, which had been trending upward with Ford’s constant tweaks, peaked that year at 648,010 cars. It was also when Ford introduced the “Total Performance” marketing campaign for the brand, and the famous 427-cubic inch V-8 between the Galaxie’s front fenders. The Sports Hardtop, with a more-raked-but-not-quite-fastback treatment to the rear roofline, became available as well, helping Galaxie-driving NHRA and NASCAR teams with a welcome aerodynamic complement to the added power of the 427. The Galaxie was now a force to be reckoned with on the sales sheets and on the track.

1963-Ford-Galaxie-500-R-Code high angle front three quarter
1963 Galaxie 500 Sports Hardtop. Hagerty Marketplace

With the winning formula determined, Ford only made minor visual changes in the 64 model year, the final one of the Galaxie’s second generation. The Sports Hardtop became the standard roof design for all non-wagon, fixed-roof Galaxies, and engine choices remained the same as those from 1963.

These regular improvements in the breed (and GM’s official withdrawal from racing) led to more than a couple of trophies for the Galaxie. Perhaps its biggest victory came at the hands of Dewayne “Tiny” Lund at the 1963 Daytona 500. Lund got his chance to race for the Wood Brothers that year after their driver, Marvin Panch, was injured in a sports racer ahead of the 500. Ford finished first through fifth that year, boosting the Galaxie’s popularity, while Lund’s win helped set the course for the Wood Brothers to secure the NASCAR Owner’s Title.

1963 Daytona 500 Winner Tiny Lund Glen Wood
ISC Archives/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images

The Galaxie’s prowess wasn’t limited to turning left or hitting the quarter mile, however. Jack Sears piloted a ’63 Galaxie (as well as a Jag and a Mini) to the British Saloon Car Championship. In a beautiful display of period saloon-car racing, touring car pilot Sam Tordoff’s impressive drive from last to third in 2020’s Goodwood Speedweek is an ample reminder that big doesn’t have to mean unwieldy.

Despite its capability, the Galaxie isn’t widely considered as popular a canvas for customization as the Impala. While not all Hagerty insurance policies indicate modifications, 6.7 percent of ’60–64 Galaxies are noted as modified, while 12.7 percent of ’61–64 Impalas are so listed. Interestingly, values for both suggest that modified examples are more prized than those left stock, with values for modified Galaxies and Impalas sitting at 37 and 45 percent higher, respectively.

Speaking of values, between engine choices, body styles, and trims within the Galaxie’s second generation, we could create dozens of valuation charts. To simplify things, we picked #2 (Excellent) condition values for three coupes—which, along with convertibles, are at the top of the valuation heap in terms of body selection—using varying trim and engine choices from the final year, 1964. Naturally, 427-powered cars lead the way, and they have done so to a dramatic degree, skyrocketing over 65 percent in value since the beginning of the pandemic boom. More entry-level cars with the 392- and 352-cubic-inch engines have also seen healthy bumps in value, but crucially, all have held their place in orbit even as the market has cooled over the last year. The average value for Galaxies listed with Hagerty in 2023 is about $21,800, so despite some flashy numbers up top, it is possible to get into this big Ford for reasonable money.

Quote data, a metric we use to infer who is buying specific models, has risen among Gen X and younger buyers for the Galaxie over the last four years. Gen X interest is up just under seven percentage points since 2020, while millennial and Gen Z interest is up about four percentage points. That said, interest in the Galaxie among folks under 40 still lags their overall share of the market.

These early Galaxies proved their mettle through regular refinement and evolution. Their proven reputation on track didn’t hurt, either. While the Galaxie might not be as emblematic of its era as the Impala, their values have demonstrated that enthusiasts believe Galaxies belong in the firmament of full-size muscle.




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    1975 I was 20 and my bride was 18, I quit my 70 hr a week job at Massey Ferguson engineering in Livonia and gave My beloved 72 Chevelle and the payments to my grandfather, headed for northern Michigan where we paid $50 for a 64 ford wagon that was sitting in a field. The only time I didn’t work in my life was that summer (before kids) We slept in the back out on the fire trails and washed in rivers, the best summer ever. Now I am retired and drive a 64 F100 modified with a Mustang 302 HO. And I’m back in beautiful northern Michigan saving every old truck I can get my hands on.

    Bought a new ‘63.5 Galaxie 500 XL 2door hardtop in rose/beige, 290 c.i.. Had spinner wheel covers Drove it to So. Calif. in 1963 with 500 miles on it. GREAT car and a head- turner ! Met , dated and married my Cal-girl wife when had the XL. It was ” TOP OF THE WORLD , MA “

    I own a White with Black interior 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 XL 390 Z code car. Fastback & it run perfectly. Bought it for $ 12,200, then put $ 15,000 into the car. She looks as good as she run. Here in Troy Michigan.

    My first car was my Fathers 63 1/2 Galaxie XL500 Convertible, after his passing in Key West MCPO, my Mother, my two sisters, born 63 in Pearl, other 64 in Key West, and I had to evacuate from the Base December 24, 66 to a small town of Jesup, Iowa where her sister lived and there was a house a few doors down for sale, Mom bought it, we drove partially with the top down, till we got further north, had the 390, 4sp and mom could shift well, buckets seats, console and chrome dress up kit, even resivour was chrome, got there day after Xmas, Mom bought a new Mercury Caliente, put tag top in garage, a few years later at 12 she said your Father would want you to enjoy his car! Being young I started driving around the block learning the Stick, not the greatest at first, Clutch started to slip and parked in garage, I went on to military school that fall and came home for Christmas and went to check on rag top and it was gone, Mom sold it to have more room in garage, I get now but then I was furious with her, it wasn’t a pleasant Xmas, never have seen another one like it! Torch red, red buckets, white top w/zipper window!
    No I have a 68 GS 400 Convertible, as well as a 39 2dr Opera Coupe Packard and others!
    Nice article!

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