Thursday, September 10, 2015

3 legged pony

Something caught my eye while I was riding past a little side street the other day:
Aww look at this hobbled punk! This is a 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 LTD in Caspian Blue Poly. She's certainly seen better days.
The Galaxie was named during the Space Race craze when it was introduced in 1959. By 1965 it had all the typical styling cues of the day; boxy, straight-line design, stacked headlights, very reserved amount of chrome, etc.
There are crests and badges all over this car. The one above is a stylized version of an English crest from the 18th century. Why? Who knows?
The hood ornament consists of 3 royal-looking lions that were also gleaned from that crest. Curiously these emblems were only on cars intended for North America. Fords throughout the rest of the world had no logos whatsoever!
Big car with a big engine but drum brakes is all you got back in '65. There's a pretty substantial shiny spot under the rear of the engine too.

The 390 V8 was an option this year and it put out plenty of power. This emblem has a stylized Thunderbird in the middle of it to denote that this was the same motor that came in the T-Bird.
Even though this is just a 2 door hardtop it weighs 3,700lbs. With the 390 it was still good for 125mph but you really needed to plan your stops with those drum brakes!
The vinyl roof was torn off of the rear I suppose to address any rust that was starting. The patina on the trunk is pretty righteous.
This was the first year for the LTD which was a top-of-the-line trim option for the Galaxie before becoming its own line in '67. I always thought it stood for limited, but it seems a good percentage of the Ford community thinks it means Luxury Trim Decor.
The interior is a disaster. The entire dashboard has been ripped out and the horn is missing, not to mention wires are visible everywhere. We can see however that it has some options such as air conditioning, pushbutton radio, and the Safety Convenience Control Panel. That last one is the small box hanging under the dash above that radio lying on the floor. It consisted of 5 idiot lights to warn you when your door was ajar or locked, fuel was low, seat belts weren't in use, or flashers were on.
Single Georgia plate on the back is all it takes to park this on the street with 3 freaking wheels and never get a ticket.
Ford had great continuity across all of its lines in the '60s. This taillight looks much like that of the Thunderbird and Falcon of the year.
Just sitting there near the curb, it's all good.
I applaud this little piece of trim for sticking it out! Pretty soon it's gonna look like the kickers helmet in the NFL.
Up close every inch of this beast is rumpled.
I couldn't resist taking a couple more shots of the inside.
I like this choice of wheels as it does make the car look tough.
This car was a massive hit when it came out. The years previous were lower and seemed wider due to the side by side headlights as opposed to the stacked ones. Since it's an LTD 2 door with the 390 it's certainly worth restoring.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Big Brooklyn Buick

I was riding the old bike out in Bed Stuy recently when this I came upon this mighty vision:
Sweet! Here we've got a 1955 Buick Special convertible in Temple Gray. To find a 60 year old car of any variety parked on a Brooklyn street is pretty surprising, but a convertible? Impossible!
I featured a Buick of this vintage once before (a dirty lump crouched beneath the BQE). This one seems to be in daily use.
That frowning grill opening with those chrome points jutting out of the corners remind me of a bigmouth catfish. This whole beast look like it could be trawling along the ocean deep.
In person this car is enormous, weighing in at around 2 tons. It was able to get up over 100 miles per hour though thanks to the 264 Nailhead V8 introduced the year before. Those three trademark portholes on the front fender would be four on each side if this were the top of the line Century. That chrome side trim spear that angles downward in the back would be present on Buicks all the way through the late '70s.
I dig the eyelid! Too bad it's missing the passenger side.
I believe this cowl vent below the windshield provides fresh air for those days when the roof and windows need to stay up.
I didn't want to take too much time taking pics of the interior on this quiet street so all I got was this crummy reflective shot. It's enough to let us know that this ride came equipped with the clock and a radio. The seats actually looks salvageable since all the tears are along the seams.
Hey this girl's been around! Who knows what caused this damage but if it was a modern car I'd hate to see the other guy.
That single hole below the fuel filler door originally held the side trim which continued its downward angle to the front of the rear wheel well before swooping up along the opening to the top where it continued straight to the rear of the car.
You could easily get in the trunk and sit cross-legged.
Those bumpers are so massive that they look like architectural detail rather than auto trim.
From this view you can just make out the dotted line where that side trim would've been.
That swooping accent above the broken Special emblem looks like a detail left untouched from the designers original clay model. That and the hump above it are like a shout-out to the separate fenders and bodies from decades past.
Even though this thing is a huge brick it looks classy. It's in great shape for such an old ride. 
The trim was screwed back onto the body over they years but it still wasn't enough! At least we get a glimpse of the non-faded paint color beneath.
The Special was below the Century in stature but this car was still well appointed when new. Buick was the car GM wanted you to buy just before you were able to afford a Cadillac, so the overall comfort was well above Chevy and Pontiac, and slightly above Oldsmobile. With the top down cruising around this thing would be fantastic regardless!