Built from 1959 to 1974 the Ford Galaxie was a direct competitor to the Chevrolet Impala. It was named to build on the excitement of the space race that was currently in full swing. Introduced as a concept car at the Chicago Auto Show in 1958 named the “La Galaxie” it was shown along with several ⅜ scale concepts including one that was to be atomic-powered.

For 1962 the Galaxie 500 XL was offered as a 2 door hardtop or convertible and featured bucket seats. The tailfins from the previous year were removed and a sportier exterior trim package was added. This was done in response to Chevy’s Super Sport package for the Impala when Ford saw the increase in popularity of the Impala.

The 500 XL came standard with a 292 cubic inch V8. There was a 406 cubic inch V8 available as well with the options of a single four-barrel or a triple carbureted “six-barrel”. The transmission that was included was a manual Borg-Warner T-10.

Ford produced 41,595 Galaxie 500 XL models for 1962 of which 28,412 hardtops and 13,183 convertibles. No one knows how many 406 cubic inch 405hp engines were actually manufactured, but the accepted estimate stands at 297. Stats for performance from Motor Trend’s March 1962 issue place 0-60 time at 7.1 seconds with the quarter mile coming in at 15.6 seconds @ 92 mph.

I bought this car sight unseen in the late 1990s from a guy in Montana and have been driving it ever since. Just had the interior done after all these years, and now it’s like a brand-new car to me. Not many 1962 Galaxies driving about these days and certainly not the 500 XL models. This car truly puts a smile on your face when you drive it.