Omar Ramirez is a man after Tom Cotter’s heart, even if he’s nowhere near his age. Ramirez, 26, is an old soul with a love for classic Ford Galaxies, so when he spotted a 1964 500XL on the Barn Find Hunter, he reached out to the owner, and soon a deal was done.
That was three years ago, in Episode 34. In this week’s BFH, Omar tells Tom the story of how the Galaxie made the move from Texas to his garage in Long Beach, California. “I saw it in the background,” Omar says of the Galaxie, which he spied in a sea of Fords owned by Tom Cross. “It was like a time capsule.”
Omar says the 500XL has air-conditioning and a swing-away steering wheel, and its patina-covered body is solid. He has installed new suspension and disc brakes all around, and although the Galaxie arrived with a 300-horsepower, 390-cubic-inch V-8 engine, he’s swapping it for a 428 that he found locally. Now he’s just waiting to get it back from the machine shop.
“It just kind of worked out,” Omar says about finding the 428 engine. “It’s going to be a nice little fast car.”
Tom applauds Omar’s pursuit of original parts as he brings the 500 XL back to life. The car hasn’t been registered since the 1990s.
“What I like is that you’re going to junkyards and pulling parts yourself—sun visors and taillights and trim and interior … 26-year-olds don’t do that.”
Omar’s attitude is even more surprising considering he is the first car guy in his family.
“I admire you, man,” Tom says. “… You’re like an old-time hot rodder. I really dig it.”
“I love it; I love the whole culture,” says Omar, who also owns a Ford Torino. “I love anything to do with these old cars.”
No wonder Tom appreciates his effort so much.