1963 Ford Galaxie XL 500 Convertible
The Ford Galaxie is a full-sized car that was built in the United States of America by Ford for model years 1959 through to 1974. The name was used for the top models in Ford’s full-size range from 1958 until 1961, in a marketing attempt to appeal to the excitement surrounding the Space Race. For 1962, all full-size Fords wore the Galaxie badge, with “500” and “500/XL” denoting the higher series. The Galaxie 500/LTD was introduced for 1965 followed by the Galaxie 500 7-Litre for 1966. The Galaxie 500 prefix was dropped from the LTD in 1966, and from the XL in 1967; however the basic series structuring levels were maintained. The “regular” Galaxie 500 continued below the LTD as Ford’s mid-level full-size model from 1965 until its demise at the end of the 1974 model year. The Galaxie was the counterpart to the high-volume fullsize Chevrolet Impala.
The 1963 model was essentially unchanged save for some freshening and added trim; windshields were reshaped and a four-door hardtop 500/XL was added. A lower, fastback roofline was added mid-year to improve looks and make the big cars more competitive on the NASCAR tracks with less drag and reduced aerodynamic lift at high speed. This 1963½ model, the industry’s first official “½ year” model, was called the “sports hardtop” or “fastback” (it shared this feature with the for 1963½ Falcon). Galaxie buyers showed their preference as the new sports hardtop models handily outsold the “boxtop” square-roof models. The sports hardtop was available in both Galaxie 500, and Galaxie 500/XL trim.
The 1962-1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL was the first of the big performance Fords, with bucket seats, console, and posh interior trim. Introduced for mid-1962 as one of the “Lively Ones,” the 500XL was a sub-series in the Galaxie 500 lineup (named after the 500-mile NASCAR races in which Ford was doing so well).
The 500 was de-emphasized as a performance car after Ford’s winningest NASCAR year ever, 1965, in which the division’s full-size cars cleaned up on the super tracks against smaller, lighter intermediate competition. However, the XL remained part of the Ford line through 1970, though engines were progressively detuned to comply with federal emissions mandates.
This 1963 Ford Galaxie XL 500 Convertible is simply a nice driving and enjoyable car. Its been maintained as needed throughout its life, but never really “restored”. It runs great, starts easily, brakes and steers quite well. The pictures should clearly show its cosmetic condition. The next owner should plan for new tires and the convertible top is a bit fussy requiring manual operation to put up. Taking all that into consideration, we have priced the car very fairly.