When it comes to racing, classic American muscle cars are usually associated with NASCAR and endurance events. And there’s this misconception that big American cars with big V8 engines aren’t suitable for rallying and hillclimbing.
Granted, they’re not as nimble as the European race cars of the era, but muscle cars were often fielded in such events back in the day. The Ford Galaxie is one of them.
Introduced in 1958, the Galaxie was the range-topping trim of the company’s full-size line, sitting atop the Fairlane 500. It boasted a lot of chrome and looked like a land-yacht. Ford went with a less busy design with the second-gen model, launched in 1960, and started adding increasingly larger V8s to the lineup.
In 1963, Ford developed a lower, fastback roofline for the Galaxie to make it more competitive for NASCAR racing. At the same time, the company replaced the 406-cubic-inch (6.6-liter) V8 with the 427-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) FE-series for racing applications. Granted, it’s one the meanest Fords built in the early-to-mid 1960s, second only to the Fairlane Thunderbolt, a limited-edition, factory experimental dragster.
The 427-powered Ford Galaxie is mostly known for its successful NASCAR campaign, but these full-size beasts were also popular rally and hill climb cars in the 1960s. And the video below, which shows not one, but two Galaxie 500s roaring up a Swiss mountain pass, is proof that large muscle cars can handle twisty roads.
These big coupes were spotted at the 2021 Bernina Gran Turismo, an event that pays tribute to the Bernina Pass Hillclimb race of the late 1920s. The event gathered all sorts of cool classics from the 1960s, including Aston Martins, Ferraris, and Shelby Cobras, but it’s the Galaxies that stand out.
Not only they’re significantly larger than the average 1960s sports car, but they also sound unlike anything else while tackling tight turns between high-speed straights. Hit the play button below to see them roar their big V8s and don’t forget to crank up the volume.