1963 Galaxie 500 XL
This stunning 1963 Galaxie 500 XL belongs to Gary and Kae Wise of Molalla, OR. Gary acquired his love of Fords at 20 years of age, when he started working for the Holman-Williams Ford Dealership in Molalla, OR. In 1960, Gary and his wife Kae bought their first Ford, a 1960 Red Starliner, 352 3-speed car. In November of 1962, the 1963-1/2, Sports Hardtop with the 427/425 engine became available. The couple just had to have one. Kae’s color choice was Rose Beige metallic, with a black interior. This made the Ford 500 XL the prettiest car in town. Gary chose the R-code 427 engine, 4-speed transmission, 4:11 rear end gears, alternator, and transistorized ignition to round out the powertrain.
The car arrived in March of 1963, and was driven daily until 78,000 miles later – when the engine was used up. That engine was replaced with a 390 and an automatic tranny and it was sold in 1971. The 427 engine was kept by Gary.
The next few years were occupied with starting Wise Auto Supply. In 1977, Gary was on his way to an automotive golf tournament in Portland and spotted the Galaxie on a car lot. On the way home he stopped and purchased his old car back.
Gary tells us: “It was always our dream to restore it like new, but time didn’t allow us to do it. In 1998, the frame off restoration began. It was a bigger undertaking than we expected. With due diligence and much labor, the project was accomplished.
The maiden voyage in the Galaxie was to Gary’s 1958 Molalla High School class reunion. The car was never professionally raced on the race track, but… it was the fastest car in town. The engine was built back to factory specifications. The 4-speed was replaced with a TKO 600 5-speed.
It is a rare feat that you get to own the same car, brand new, twice.
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