1/64 Scale Car of the Year – ’64 Ford Galaxie 500 XL

Like so many of the best automotive advancements, muscle cars were born from racing. What do you do to make your car good at racing? Well, if you’re an American manufacturer in the 60’s, you keep the big v8, preferably make it even bigger, and ditch as much of the remaining car as possible. Such was the effort behind the Ford Galaxie lightweight, a version of ford’s big luxury car, build with lightweight components and few luxuries for one single purpose: dominate racing.

The Galaxie started as a higher trim level for Ford’s big sedans in the late 50’s. By 1963, a little something called NASCAR was on every Detroit executive’s mind, and racing details began to emerge in road cars. The Galaxie gained a fastback roofline, bigger motors, and more speeds in it’s transmission.

Then, Ford dropped a bomb. In the middle of the year, the Galaxie received the 427 motor, with hot rod bits like aluminum heads and solid lifters. Although a meaty powertrain, the Galaxie (as you might expect) was still a big heavy car. Less than 200 “Sport Special Tudor Fastbacks”, aka the Galaxie lightweight, were made. At double the base price, buyers got fiberglass body panels, aluminum driveline components but no AC, heater, spare wheel or even ashtrays. With the big 427 poking up under that signature teardrop hood, ripping through a t-10 4 speed and spinning that 4.11 rear axle, the Galaxie was the fastest it would ever be.

The Autoworld 1:64 Galaxie is a bit of a unicorn. None of the lightweight’s were ever produced with this color combo, but when you look at it, the only question you can think of is “Why not?” Autoworld has done a fantastic job, and black really seems to be the natural color for this car. It accentuates the Galaxie’s at once brutal and refined nature.

One of my favorite things about these Autoworld cars, compared to some other 1:64 cars, are how natural they look. You could be forgiven for thinking this is a larger scale in photographs, the tire size and proportions are all just right. The subtle rearward rake is present, and details like the chrome accents, interior and even frame rails and suspension underneath look convincing. It’s an all-around great representation, and we’re happy to have it inducted as 1/64 Scale Model Car of the Year.