The Ford Galaxie was first produced in 1959, intended as both a full-size family sedan with high performance. A precursor to the Chevy and Ford muscle cars of the 1960s, the original two-tone Galaxie had virtually the same design as Ford’s Fairlane, with lots of chrome and big tailfins, as well as a three-color interior trim pattern. The Galaxie was offered in six models, like the Club Victoria, the Town Sedan, and the Skyliner Retractable, whose steel hardtop gracefully slid into the car’s trunk space at the push of a button.
Some of the more exotic features available on early Galaxie models included Sunray multi-colored wheel covers, a “Flying Ellipse” hood ornament, and a visor spotlight mirror. In addition to the standard straight 6 and V8 engine choices, Galaxie buyers also had the option of a “Thunderbird Special” engine, with an impressive 300 horsepower.
In 1960, the Galaxie was altered to make its design less ostentatious, and Ford adopted the sleeker, more futuristic “Starliner” body, which was also used for the 1960 Fairlane. The updated sedan was smaller and included no door posts, giving the car a more stylish, open feel. Italian fashion authority “Centro per L'Alta Moda Italiana” praised the Galaxie’s 1961 edition for its “functional expression of classic beauty.” The following year, the car was revamped again to incorporate five different V8 engine options.
During the late 1960s, Ford increased the size and weight of its Galaxie models, opting for an emphasis on luxury over performance. The overabundance of features resulted in 19 different models for the 1966 version, though faltering popularity led Ford to discontinue the Galaxie in 1974.