In ‘62 Ford put the whole Galaxie… on a diet!
This is a special car indeed. While Dodge was burning up the dragstrips with 413 Wedge engines, and Chevrolet was making tracks with their famous 409, the 1962 Ford entries were maxed out at 406 cubic inches. And although they cranked out 405 HP through a high-compression, aluminum intake multi-carbed FE series V8, 1962 Ford Galaxies needed every advantage to beat the competition. Ford’s solution came in the form of fiberglass and aluminum!
Super Stock drag racing was really hot in the early 1960s, and by 1961, Dodge and Chevrolet had lightweight cars to compete. Ford engines made power, but the cars were heavier, so the result is this factory lightweight 1962 Galaxie here in The Brothers Collection.
These early lightweights are an uncommon sight for sure. Ford only built 11 of these diet 1962 Galaxies fitted with fiberglass body panels like the hood, fenders and trunk lid. They used aluminum for the front bumper, and the inner fenders were also formed aluminum. It all looks like regular production parts, which was part of the goal… the Super Stock classes needed to stay true to the production form. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t get creative!
Inside, Ford ditched the radio, heater, and other non-essentials like the door pulls, sound deadener, and carpet. The driver sat in a light bucket seat and grabbed the thin steering wheel and Borg Warner 4-speed handle on the way to low ETs.
The 406 breathed harder through tubular-style cast steel exhaust headers and dual exhaust, and the underhood area looks sparse with no comfort options and a trunk mounted battery. These engines ran a 11.4:1 compression ratio, churning out 405 HP and 448 lb-ft. of torque. The 4-speed sent the twist back to a 9” rear end spinning 3.50:1 gears. This one relies on heavy duty shocks, springs, and ladder style traction bars to help the 15” wheels and tires grab what they could of the road. A bigger radiator and better drum brakes round out the performance package for less than $400.00 in ‘62.
One problem is that the conversion of the 1962 Galaxie lightweights took a while, and by the time these cars were race-ready, it was already time to start building the new 1963 cars. In fact, many of the ‘62 chassis were re-bodied as ‘63 cars to get a head start.
Of the 11 built, only 4 1962 Galaxie lightweights are known to survive as ‘62s, and of those, only 2 are said to have their original body panels. This is one of those 2. The total weight reduction was around 164 lbs, allowing the car to tip the scales at just 3400 lbs.
We love to share super uncommon cars like this factory lightweight racer from The Brothers Collection. Subscribing to our show is easy, just hit the button to get our next episode sent right to your inbox. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time on MCOTW!
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1962 Ford Galaxie 500 Lightweight – Muscle Car Of The Week Video Episode 331