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1963 – The Super-Torque Fords
1963 1/2 Ford Galaxies
Tasca Ford’s Go Getter 1963-
1/2 lightweight Galaxie owned
the Super Stock class in New
England. (Alan Wood)
Dick Brannan received a second
1963-1/2 Galaxie. This car, No. 824,
was the backup to his national
record-holder. (Alan Wood)
Nineteen-sixty-three began much as 1962 had ended – with the top engine offering from Ford
being the 405-hp 406. Also still available on the option list was the 385-hp version of the 406 and
the 330-hp Police Interceptor 390. The good news was that a new engine was in development and
due to be released by December of that year. Ford’s public relations department was still singing
the praises of the 406 as an ad released early in the year titled “Strictly from stock” showed Ford
high-performance answer man Ak Miller’s sports car, powered by a stock production 406 engine,
winning the coveted Pike’s Peak Hill Climb as onlookers sit in a new 1963 Galaxie.
1963 Ford Galaxie
When equipped with the 330-hp
Police Interceptor 390 engine,
full-size Fords like this 1963
Galaxie fell into the D/Stock class.
Here they faced a tough challenge
from high-performance 289
Fairlanes. (Larry Davis)
The new engine offering would be the culmination of all things learned to this point from racing. The
427-ci version of the FE would feature a bore size of 4.23 inches while it retained the 3.78-inch
stroke of the 406. The new engine’s number two, three, and four main-bearing caps would have
cross bolts that had been proven to increase the reliability of the late-production 406 blocks. New
pistons featured unique “bumpers” on the top of the piston designed to “bump” closed the “floating”
valves of an over-revved engine before catastrophic damage could occur.
Dale Bargman's 1963 1/2 Galaxie
Dale Bargman was one of the
Ford Boys still winning with his
C/Stock 406 1963-1/2 Galaxie
later in the decade. (“Pete”
The 427 would be available in two versions, as was the 406. The single 4-barrel-equipped model
was rated at 410 hp while the top-of-the-line unit would mount two Holley 4-barrel carburetors atop
an aluminum intake manifold and carry a rating of 425 ponies. This engine would come to be known
as the Low Riser. Also slated for release in time for the 1963 Daytona 500 NASCAR race would be
an all-new roof line for the Galaxie. Called the “sports roof,” the new top was a fastback design,
which vastly aided the aerodynamics of the big Ford.
Honor Thy Father
In 1963 Walter Beasley was 19 years old and an employee of Mole Ford in Long Island, New York,
when he placed an order for a new Ford Galaxie equipped with the 425-hp 427 engine. Beasley
waited anxiously on the July day that his new car was delivered. When it came time to unload his
car from the carrier, young Walter was in a near panic when it wouldn’t start. Apparently the
bouncing ride on the car carrier had caused the floats in the car’s two 4-barrel carburetors to stick.
In very short order, the problem was corrected, the car prepped for delivery, and Beasley was
handed the keys. His first stop with the car would be the local speed shop, and by the end of the
day the Galaxie had been fitted with a 4.57:1 gear set. By Friday of the same week the big Ford
had claimed a trophy for an A/Stock class win at Islip Speedway. On Sunday, Beasley took his
second win at Hampton Dragway and embarked on a successful local drag-racing career that saw
him take class and Stock Eliminator honors quite regularly. So it was inevitable that Beasley and the
Ford he had named The Liveliest One would face off against local legend “George the Beard” and
his 409 Chevy. Present among the throng of fans on hand that fateful day was Beasley’s friend and
owner of his own 427 Ford, Willy Gerken. Gerken bore witness to the defeat of yet another
“invincible” 409 Chevy at the hands of a 427 Ford. Beasley’s victory over the Chevy was such a
local event that an artist did a rendition of the Ford crushing the hapless Chevy. This drawing was
proudly displayed in the rearquarter window of The Liveliest One in commemoration of the win.
Cartoon in Walter Beasleys window
This cartoon was done in honor of
Walter Beasley defeating a local hot-
shoe named “George the Beard” in his
409 Chevy. The cartoon was displayed
in The Liveliest One’s window to
commemorate the victory. (Brian
Eventually, Willy Gerken was forced to sell his Ford sans the engine, and ultimately the engine was
sold off as well. As fate would have it Beasley also sold The Liveliest One, and after blowing the car’
s engine the new owner came into possession of the engine that Willy Gerken had sold, which he
installed in the car. On learning that his engine was now powering the famous Galaxie, Willy
immediately bought the car from the second owner. Gerken drove the car on the street and raced it
regularly at New York National Speedway. His son Brian had fond memories of sleeping in the car’s
spacious interior as a youngster as it was being towed home from the races. In 1977 The Liveliest
One was retired and dismantled with just 18,992 miles showing on the odometer. After sitting for
over 30 years, Brian Gerken has undertaken a restoration of the car to its former glory as a tribute
to his dad and Walter Beasley.
1963 Galaxie lightweight
Al Joniec has much to smile
about in this photo. His
1963 lightweight Galaxie
was considered one of the
East Coast’s hottest Super
Stock cars. (Al Joniec)
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Total Performers Ford Drag Racing in the 1960s Total Performers: Ford Drag Racing
in the 1960s
by Charles Morris
The 1960s was arguably the most important decade for
drag racing. It had exciting cars, thrilling races, and most
importantly, factory participation. Among the best high-
performance cars and engines were those coming from
Dearborn, Michigan. Ford Motor Company’s “Total
Performance Years” saw a breakthrough as drag racing
helped the younger, performance- and style- conscious
consumer to begin receiving some recognition.
Factory participation in drag racing pushed the
envelope for high performance developments. Ford's
FE-series engine, Police Interceptor, GT 390, Single
Overhead Cam, Cobra Jet, and Boss 429 are all
covered in detail. See the cars and the drivers that
made them famous – Dick Brannan’s Goldfinger, Bill
Lawton’s Mystery Mustang, “Dyno Don” Nicholson’s
Eliminator Comet, Gas Ronda’s stretched Mustang, Al
Joenic’s Batcar, and more.
Click here to view sample pages from
each chapter.
Chap. 1 - 1960 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 2 - 1961 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 3 -
1962 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 4 -
1963 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 5 -
1964 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 6 -
1965 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 7 -
1966 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 8 -
1967 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 9 -
1968 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 10 -
1969 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 11 -
1970 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap 12 - Ford of Canada Drag Racing
Accomplished journalist and life-long Ford aficionado
Charles Morris takes you back to the Total
Performance Years through first-hand accounts as well
as over 400 rare photographs. A drag racer since
1966, Morris has run cars in both Stock and Super
Stock classes. He is currently the owner of the original
Norristown Ford 1963 _ lightweight Galaxie and races
the car in Nostalgia Super Stock as part of the 422
Motorsports Drag Racing Team. This book is a must
read for all drag racing fans, not just Ford enthusiasts.
10 x 10"
192 pages
130 color & 290 b/w photos
Item # CT407
Price: $Discontinued
Click here to buy now!
This is a great book any Ford
enthusiast will love!

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