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Ford Muscle Cars of 1962
The Beginnings of Legends
1962 Thunderbird
The 1962 Thunderbird
Sports Roadster is one of
the most desirable models
from the decade.
For several reasons, 1962 is one of the most significant years in Ford history. It was the first year
of the sporty Galaxie 500XL, it was the first year for the new intermediate size Fairlane series, it
was the first year for the famous Windsor family of small block V-8 engines, and finally, 1962 was
the first year we all received a dose of “Snake Venom,” in the form of a British sports car filled
with good ole American V-8 engine, the awesome little Cobra.
Galaxies
The full-size Galaxie models continued to shoulder the high-performance banner and, with the
introduction of the intermediate sized Fairlane models, all full-size Fords were referred to as
Galaxies. The base models were simply referred to as “Galaxie,” while the top line models added
“500” to the nameplate. Late in 1961, Chevrolet had introduced a sportier version of its Impala,
referred to as the “SS.” Dodge had its bucket seat-equipped Polara 500 models, Plymouth had
its Sport Fury models, and Pontiac was about to introduce its famous Grand Prix, a sporty
version of the Catalina. To stay with the competition, Ford introduced the Galaxie 500XL models,
both in convertible and two-door hardtop configurations. The XLs featured front bucket seats,
center console and floor shift, both for the automatic transmission and the new four-speed
manual transmission, which was being offered for the first time as a regular production option. On
the outside, the XL wore special badges that read “500XL” on the rear quarter-panels and in the
center of the rear trim panel, which also doubled as the gasoline filler door.
1962 Thunderbird Sports Roadster
Attempting to recapture some
of the flair of the original
two-seat Thunderbirds, Ford
offered the Thunderbird Sports
Roadster in 1962. A fiberglass
tonneau cover fit over the rear
seats, giving the appearance of
a two-seater. Kelsey-Hayes
wire wheels also added to the
sporty appearance.
For the performance enthusiast, the biggest news of 1962 was the introduction of the
Thunderbird 406 High Performance V-8 engine, the first time Ford Division had ventured into the
400-plus cubic inch displacement arena. With the horsepower race once again in full swing, and
NASCAR wins as a goal, the block for the 406 featured thicker webs for increased strength. The
four-barrel version of the venerable FE engine was rated at 385 horsepower, and the three two-
barrel version featured 405 horsepower, also a new high for a Ford engine. All 406s featured the
streamlined cast-iron exhaust manifolds used on earlier high-performance 390 engines, to help
reduce backpressure, as well as using stiffer suspension and larger tires. As was the case in the
two years previous, the Cruise-O-Matic was not considered adequate for the 406s 444 ft-lb of
torque, so the only transmissions available were the heavy-duty three-speed manual and the
new Borg Warner T-10 four-speed manual.

It wasn’t long before Ford determined the “boxtop” styling of the Galaxie body was considerably
less aerodynamic than the discontinued Starliner models of the previous years. As a result, it
developed a unique fiberglass top to be fitted to the Galaxie convertibles for super speedway
racing. Dubbed the “Starlifter,” the removable top was contemplated as a regular production
accessory for Sunliner buyers, and proved to be so successful in improving the Galaxie’s
performance, that NASCAR promptly banned its use after only one race!
All 1962 full-size Fords feature a 11-inch wheelbase, an overall length of 209.3 inches, and
weights varying from 2,453 pounds for a Galaxie two-door sedan with the six-cylinder engine, up
to 4,057 pounds for a V-8-powered Country Squire station wagon.

The Galaxie was the base trim level full-size Ford for 1962. Standard equipment included
“Diamond Lustre” baked enamel paint; bright metal moldings on the windshield, rear and side
windows; a bright metal molding across the front of the hood and along the body sides; the
GALAXIE name in block letter across the rear deck lid and in script behind the headlights on the
front fenders. Inside, Galaxies featured a ring-pattern nylon cloth with leather-grained bolsters for
upholstery material, color-keyed side panels with chrome Mylar piping, front and rear nylon and
rayon carpeting, cigarette lighter, front and rear ashtrays, coat hooks, glove box door lock, dome
light and front door operated dome light switches.
The Galaxie 500 was the top trim level of the Galaxie series. It included all the standard features
of the Galaxie models along with the Galaxie star in the center of the grille; body side moldings
with color coordinated inserts; front fender ornaments; bright roof drip rail moldings; a vertical
ribbed trim panel with the “500” designation centered on the fuel filler door; bright rocker panel
and quarter-panel moldings; bright wheel well moldings; the GALAXIE 500 script on the lower
portion of the rear quarter-panels, and the Galaxie crest at the base of the rear roof pillars.
Inside, Galaxies 500s included all the standard features of the base Galaxies, plus a combination
of cloth and vinyl seating surfaces, utilizing a Venice pattern material and leather grained
bolsters; white vinyl headliners; color coordinated steering wheel and column; ashtrays; deluxe
arm rests front and rear; self-regulating electric clock; and chrome rearview mirror.
1962 Galaxie Club Sedan 1962 Galaxie Club Sedan
The 1962 Galaxie Club Sedan was a very
subtle place to hide your big 406ci engine,
particularly a white sedan with white sidewall
tires and simple hubcaps. One can only
imagine that this unassuming old Ford
surprised more than one Chevy and Mopar
owner in the early 1960s.
Retaining the traditional round taillights, the
1962 models completely eliminated any
vestiges of a fin, and utilized slab-sided
styling. The Galaxie Club Sedan was a
relatively low production model, with slightly
more than 21,000 examples rolling off the
assembly line. Very few of those enjoyed
motivation by the mighty 406.
The Victorias and Sunliners were considered the top-level models of the Galaxie 500 line-up.
They included all the features found on the Galaxie 500 sedans, in addition to chrome window
caps on all side windows; SUNLINER script on the lower rear quarter-panels of the convertible.
The Galaxie crest was included as part of the trim at the base of the rear roof pillar only on the
four-door Town Victoria models, instead of above the trim as on other Galaxie 500 models.
Inside, the Sunliner included special courtesy lights mounted under the instrument panel, which
replaced the dome light on hardtop models.
1962 Galaxie 500 Club Victoria
A good number of 406s took
up residence in the engine
bay of the Galaxie 500 Club
Victoria, or “boxtops,” as they
were commonly known. The
gold fender badges and 15-
inch wheels were a warning
to many unsuspecting
owners of the competition.
The Galaxie 500XL was the sporty version of the Galaxie 500 series. Variations from the
standard Galaxie 500 included front bucket seats; contoured rear seats to match the front seats;
center console with floor-mounted shift lever and small storage compartment; the 170-
horsepower 292 V-8; the GALAXIE 500XL designation on the lower rear quarter-panels; the “XL”
crest in the center of the fuel filler cap; special courtesy/warning lights on the inside door panels;
and deep pile nylon and rayon carpeting.
1962 Ford Sunliner XL Interior 1962 Ford Sunliner XL Convertible
In addition to the bucket seats and floor
shift, XLs had engine-turned inserts on the
instrument panel and chrome trim on the
pedals. Brightly colored upholstery trim only
added to the flash of the XL interiors.
With the top down, the XL convertible presents
a very long, low image, enhanced by the
addition of the fender skirts. Continuing a Ford
tradition, all V-8-powered Sunliners featured
dual exhausts, perhaps to reinforce the
powerful, sporting image. Whether the car was
powered by the Y-block or FE, the mufflers
were at the very rear of the car, and it
sounded fantastic with the addition of glass—
pack mufflers.
1962 Ford Galaxie 500
Galaxie 500s featured a bench front
seat and no center console, as in the
XL models. These interiors were
available in either all-vinyl or vinyl and
cloth combinations.
The Thunderbird 406 high-performance (6V) V-8 was the top engine option, and featured 405
horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 448 ft-lb of torque at 3,500 rpm, with an 11.4:1 compression ratio,
solid valve lifters, and three Holley 2100 two-barrel carburetors, totaling 920 cfm, mounted on an
aluminum intake manifold. The engine block and cylinder heads were black, with gold valve
covers and used a natural finish oval aluminum air cleaner. Galaxies originally equipped with this
engine have “G” engine code on their data tag.
Thunderbird Special 406 V-8
When ordering the “Thunderbird
Special 406 V-8,” all the buyer had
to do was check the appropriate
box on the order form and a three
two-barrel induction system was
placed in the trunk at the factory,
for dealer installation as the
“Thunderbird 406 High
Performance V-8.” The owner of
this example has installed a set of
later-vintage “pentroof” valve
covers on his 406, complete with
the engine identification decal.
Thunderbird Special 406 V-8 engines featured 385 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 444 ft-lbs of
torque at 3,400 rpm, with an 11.4:1 compression ratio, solid valve lifters, and a single 600 cfm
Holley 4160 four-barrel carburetor mounted on an aluminum intake manifold. The engine block
and cylinder heads were black, with gold valve covers and open-element air cleaner. Galaxies
originally equipped with this engine have a “B” engine code on their data tag.

The Police Interceptor 390 was a special version of the 390 that was supposed to be available
only to law enforcement agencies. The PI 390 featured 330 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 427 ft-
lbs of torque at 3,200 rpm. It had a 9.6:1 compression ratio, solid valve lifters, streamlined
exhaust manifolds, and a single 600 cfm Holley 4160 four-barrel carburetor mounted on an
aluminum intake manifold. The engine block and cylinder heads were black, with gold valve
covers and air cleaner. Galaxies originally equipped with this engine have a “P” engine code on
their data tag.
The base 390 engine for 1962, called the Thunderbird 390 Special, featured 300 horsepower at
4,600 rpm and 427 ft-lbs of torque at a lazy 2,800 rpm. This engine used a 9.6:1 compression
ratio, hydraulic valve lifters, and featured a single 446 cfm Ford 4100 four-barrel carburetor
mounted on a cast-iron intake manifold. The engine block and cylinder heads were black, with
gold valve covers and air cleaner. Galaxies originally equipped with this engine have a “Z” engine
code on their data tag.

The Thunderbird 352 Special was the smallest of the big block FE engines available in 1962,
once again reduced to mere “grocery getter” status. The 352 featured 220 horsepower at 4,300
rpm and 336 ft-lbs of torque at only 2,600 rpm. It had an 8.8:1 compression ratio and a single
270 cfm Ford 2100 two-barrel carburetor on a cast-iron intake manifold. The engine block and
cylinder heads were black, with medium blue valve covers and air cleaner. Galaxies originally
equipped with this engine have an “X” engine code on their data tag.
The Thunderbird 292 Y-block was the smallest V-8 available in the full-size Galaxies, in its last
year of production for use in passenger cars. The 292 produced 170 horsepower at 4,200 rpm
and 279 ft-lbs of torque at only 2,200 rpm. It had an 8.8:1 compression ratio, with a single 270
cfm Ford 2100 two-barrel carburetor on a cast-iron intake manifold. The engine block and
cylinder heads were black, with red valve covers and air cleaner. Galaxies originally equipped
with this engine have a “W” engine code on their data tag.

The humble Mileage Maker 223ci six-cylinder was the standard engine in all Galaxies (including
XLs). This engine produced 138 horsepower at 4,200 rpm and 203 ft-lbs of torque at 2,200 rpm,
with an 8.4:1 compression ratio and a single Holley 1904 single-barrel carburetor. The engine
block and cylinder head were black, with a red valve cover and air cleaner. Galaxies originally
equipped with this engine carry the “V” engine code on their data tag.
Popular options available to the 1962 Galaxie buyers were the 292 V-8 engine ($116); 352 V-8
engine ($148); 390 V-8 engine ($197); the 406 four-barrel V-8 engine ($430.80); the 406
three two-barrel V-8 engine ($488.70); Cruise-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission
($212); Ford-O-Matic two-speed automatic transmission ($180 with six cylinders, $190 with
V-8s); the four-speed manual transmission ($188); back-up lights, standard on “500” models
($11); Equa-Loc differential ($39); electric clock, standard on “500” models ($15); heater and
defroster ($28, or a $28 deduct option); rocker panel moldings ($16); padded dashboard cover
and sun visors ($24); two-tone paint ($22); power steering ($82); power brakes ($43); power
windows ($102); push-button AM radio and antenna ($59); tinted glass; wheel covers ($19), or
deluxe wheel covers ($26); windshield washer and two-speed wipers ($20). The PolarAire air
conditioning with V-8 and tinted windows ($271) and SelectAire conditioning with V-8 and tinted
windows ($363) were becoming slightly more popular, particularly with buyers in the southern
states, as the luxury level of Galaxie models increased.
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This has been a sample page from

Super 60s Fords Super '60s Fords - The Inside Story of the
Most Powerful Fords Ever Built
by John Smith
In the ‘50s, Detroit built cars with style in mind . . . but as the
‘60s arrived, a younger group of car buyers had another
thing in mind: Performance! Ford Motor Company met that
demand with some of the fastest and most powerful cars on
the street. In this book, John Smith covers the entire Ford
performance story in the ‘60s, -- and not just Mustangs and
Cobras, but Galaxies, Torinos, Falcons, Fairlanes, Shelbys,
Mavericks, and every other Ford that got extra horsepower
stuffed under its hood in this fast-moving decade. Models are
covered year by year, from the Supercharged T-birds of
1957 to the last gasp of the muscle car era in 1973, and
everything in between. Performance engines and stats are
listed for each year, and an informative appendix includes
information on deciphering VIN tags and parts codes.
With 200 black and white and more than 100 outstanding
color photos, this book has the images and information that
Ford fans want on their favorite performance models, from
supercharged Y-blocks to Boss 429s.
Click below to view sample
pages from each chapter.
Chap. 1 -1957 The Foundation
Chap. 2 -1958 352 Big Block
Chap. 3 -1959 High Style
Chap. 4 -1960 New Ideas
Chap. 5 -1961 Back to Tradition
Chap. 6 -1962 Legends
Chap. 7 -1963 Fast Backs
Chap. 8 -1964 The First Mustang
Chap. 9 -1965 Big Changes
Chap. 10 -1966 Beat Goes On
Chap. 11 -1967 Changing Guard
Chap. 12 -1968 428 Cobra Jet
Chap. 13 -1969 Boss 302 & 429
Chap. 14 -1970 429CJ & SCJ
Chap. 15 -1971 Last of Breed
Chap. 16 -1972 - 73 End of Era
This is without a doubt one of the best books about
Ford muscle cars ever written!
Soft bound
8-1/2 x 11
160+ pages
200 b/w photos
100+ color photos
Item #SA25
Price: $Discontinued
Click here to buy now!
This is a book any Ford enthusiast will enjoy to read over and over.
Read the sample pages to learn more.


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