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Each year the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association commissions a top-notch street machine for their giveaway program. They try to keep things fresh, with everything from a Chevy C10 and a ’32 Ford roadster to a ’71 Challenger being given away to a lucky showgoer. For 2017, big muscle is in season so a ’63 Galaxie made perfect sense.
Car collector, Ford aficionado and all-around good guy George Poteet went out to the full-size Ford tree that must be growing in his back 40 and pulled out a pair of ’63 Galaxies. No one car was in nice enough shape to be a superstar, but a combination of the two was just the ticket. The first car was a Midwest native suffering from stage four cancer, so a California-local became the focal point of the project; the deteriorating hulk donated what it could by the way of trim and other hard-to-find details. The pair was sent to Legens Hot Rod Shop in Martin, Tennessee for a complete going over.
First things first, get the underpinnings squared away. You don’t build a house from the top down; same goes for a Galaxie. Roadster Shop was tapped for a Fast Track chassis, which was trimmed with a Strange 9-inch with Afco coilovers and Baer brakes on each corner. Greening Auto Company made a one-off set of wheels, which were wrapped in BFG rubber. This combination gives the Galaxie a road-grater stance with the ability to carve cones with the best of them, yet the hours behind the windshield pass with pleasure thanks to the supple ride. In other words, the Ford exudes three qualities the Goodguys name stands for: good looks, solid performance and the ability to go the distance.
Despite being a west coast shell, there was still plenty of sheetmetal work to be done. Once the rot was eradicated, Legens moved on to the fun stuff; reshaping the front bumper, hand-forming a hood scoop, shaving most of the trim, fuel filler door, lock cylinders and the trunk. Inside, the sheetmetal surrounding the engine and transmission was cut out to allow for new goodies, while the dash lost its speaker grill, heater controls, ashtray and radio openings. The firewall was moved back three inches, and a new transmission tunnel was created. New rear wheel housings were also fabricated to make room for something more than 14x6 steelies. Paint was handled in-house at Legens, using a custom-mixed tan color sourced from PPG.
Motivation comes via Ford Performance’s 5.0L Coyote and a Tremec stir-it-yourself six speed. The girth of this combo necessitated the aforementioned firewall and transmission tunnel mods, neigh, replacement. While the 5.0 takes center stage, it would be nothing without its supporting cast; a Be Cool radiator, a steady fuel supply from Rick’s Tanks, Flowmaster pipes, Lokar details, Bowler bits, Powermaster parts to get it cranking, K&N for deep breathing and many more.
The interior offers plenty of space to stretch out, and who wouldn’t want to with miles of brown leather stretched over Wise Guys seats? The smoothed dash wears satin bronze paint, which highlights the all-new direct-fit VHX instrument system in the stock gauge cluster. We made a custom face for this system to match the PPG hue and added the Goodguys logo for good luck. Vintage Air came through with a climate control system, while a Kicker sound system lurks beneath, heard but not seen. A Hurst shifter stands proud atop the tunnel, with a wicked shift knob as its crown.
If you’ve been drooling on these pages, picturing yourself behind the billet wheel of this bruiser, you may be in luck! A happy Goodguys participant will be taking this car home in July! The drawing will be held at the Columbus show July 7-9, so be there with an extra driver! Dakota Digital will also be on site, so even if you don’t win the Galaxie, you can still hang out with your favorite manufacturer.