Junkyard Treasure: 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 Sedan

Some lucky 1966 full-size Ford owner grabbed a bunch of the front body parts from this car.

As I have proven again and again with my Junkyard Treasures, Detroit sedans from the 1946-1975 period just don’t attract the attention of car freaks looking for a new project; nearly everyone with the time, money, space, motivation and skills to take on a restoration will grab a coupe or convertible, or at least a four-door hardtop. Here’s a very solid 1966 Galaxie 500 post sedan, found in a Denver-area self-service yard a few months back.

Yes, I now own this badge. It looks good on my garage wall.

Johnnie Harper Ford was a big dealership in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, about five miles from the yard in which this car ends its days. Looking at the body plate, I learned that the Domestic Special Orders office handling this car was the Denver one, so we’re looking at a car that started and ended its 53-year career in the same part of the country. I learned as well that it was built on March 10, 1966, the day Edie Brickell was born, and its color is Light Blue Metallic.

This really is not a rare car at all; more than 900,000 full-sized Fords were sold for the 1966 model year (most of which were sedans), but my family history with full-sized blue Fords of this era means that the sight of this doomed car made me sadder than most vehicles I find in auto graveyards. At least I rescued the clock.

One of many millions of big-block Ford V8s made over the decades.

The engine is some member of the FE big-block V8 family; most likely, we’re looking at the 352-cubic-inch (5.7 liter) version, which had a 250-horsepower rating in 1966, or a 390 (6.4 liters and 275 horsepower). That year, Ford offered an amazing selection of engines in the big cars, ranging from a stingy 150-horse straight-six all the way up to the crazy 425-horsepower twin-carburetor 427. Since this engine has the sensible two-barrel carb, which wasn’t available on the hairier powerplants, we can assume it’s a 352 or 390. Next time, I’ll look at the casting numbers on the block (if I feel like getting dirty).

The Galaxie 500 was the second-from-the-top trim level for full-sized Fords in 1966, just below the Galaxie LTD.

The Galaxie 500 offered a lot of luxury for the dollar, and this one still had plenty of nice interior bits available for junkyard shoppers. Perhaps some Custom 500 owner upgraded to Galaxie status, thanks to this car.

So if you don’t worry so much about resale value and want to restore the sort of big everyman sedan of the 1960s that once ruled American highways, find yourself a Galaxie (or Caprice or Fury) and save it… before it ends up as my next Junkyard Treasure.

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