One of the mistakes one can never make with a 1963 ½ Ford is to leave out the fraction.


‘A 1963 ½ Ford Galaxie 500 XL is neither fish (a 1963 model) nor fowl (a 1964 model) in a chronological sense.’


It is a tweener and lives in its own time zone: after the 1963s and before the 1964s.




Ford did the same thing a year later when they introduced the legendary 1964 ½ Mustang. However, the debut of the 1963 ½ Ford Galaxie 500 was a remarkable occasion in its own right.




The car featured a radical new roof line which swept back to the trunk and triggered a wave of fastback cars in the mid to late 60s. The re-designed roof line on the 1963 ½ Ford was lower and sleeker than the 1963 Ford Galaxie introduced just a few months earlier.




Rick Burgess owned a 1963 ½ Ford once before in his life. His first 1963 ½ Ford played a big role in his younger years because it was his courting and wedding car with his first wife.




The nostalgia bug had bitten him hard and he began to search for another 1963 ½ Galaxie so he could remember those days from his youth. He found one last year and Rick described it as “buying back my youth”.




The second Ford has all of the whistles and buzzers that came with the car when it left the showroom. He likes the effortless feel of the full-on power steering in his Galaxie and recalls how easy the car drives down the road.




The 390 big block under the hood gives Rick plenty of horses to move the big Ford at any speed he chooses on a trip. He took the car out to the West Coast and let his mechanic son tweak the car back to its full potential.




Then Rick took the long way home so he could spend more time behind the wheel of his Galaxie 500. The car ran flawlessly on the trip and Rick only had one minor glitch along the way because the car was not a good cold weather starter.



The automatic choke was not quite adjusted to the conditions and gave Rick a little trouble until the car warmed up a little.



Rick bought the car for nostalgic reasons and wants to keep the 52- and-a-half-year-old car as original as possible to capture that vibe.





He pointed out the radio/cassette deck in the car and noted the unit was not an original feature in the car. Cassette decks would become a popular add-on in cars several years later, but this deck allowed Rick to listen to some pretty special tunes on the road.



His second wife was involved with a radio station and recorded all the music she liked on cassette tapes. Her tapes are a big part of his road trips in the Galaxie and Rick enjoys all the memories of his time with her through her music.




‘Rick plans to hit the road as much as possible in his 1963 ½ Ford because it is a trip down memory lane for him.’  



Jim Sutherland



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