Junkyard Find: 1962 Ford Galaxie Coupe

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1962 ford galaxie coupe

Today’s Junkyard Find isn’t the first ’62 Galaxie we’ve seen in the series. Yes, we had this ’62 Galaxie with the very rare Harlequin paint option more than three years ago. The second-gen Galaxie sometimes gets overlooked these days, because the Chevy Impala of the same era has become so iconic, but it’s a very good-looking car. Unfortunately, even a fairly straight two-door hardtop Galaxie with big-block isn’t worth restoring these days, so this example ended up in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard late last year.

Some dealership, or maybe the junkyard, tried and failed to sell this car for $1,999. Look, “engine runs good.”

Typical of California cars of this age, there’s no cancer in the wheelwells or fenders, but the areas where rainwater builds up under trim pieces have rotted.

The last year that car radios were required to have the CONELRAD atomic-attack-alert radio stations (640 kHz and 1240 kHz) was 1963, though I owned a ’69 Toyota that still had the CONELRAD marks.

So, the driver of this brand-new Galaxie would know when he or she had to duck and cover.

Of course, some later owner installed this Field Expedient Engineering cassette deck under the dash.

The interior is pretty much toast, which is the main reason this car wasn’t worth fixing up.

The engine is some member of the Ford FE family, which in most cases isn’t worth rescuing from the wrecking yard.

The Thunderbird valve cover should indicate that it’s a somewhat desirable 340-horse 390 instead of the scrap-metal-value 352. Heck, maybe it’s even the 385-horsepower 406!

But then the regular FORD valve cover on the other side argues for the 352 or low-performance 390. These cars had so many engine swaps over the years that the only way to tell what you’ve got here is to scrape off the mung and look at block and head casting numbers.

By the time you read this, today’s Junkyard Find has already been crushed, shredded, and put in a container at the nearby Port of Oakland.

I couldn’t find a ’62 Galaxie ad, but this one for the ’61 gives you the sense of class Ford was shooting for with these cars.

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2 of 15 comments
  • -Nate -Nate on Mar 11, 2014

    What a shame ; These were such lovely understated design cars . In 1973 I had a '62 Ranch Wagon with the 292 Y-Block and automatic , only other option was the AM radio . Ran great , cost $150 , G.F. ran a red light and sent some poor shmuck's new Renault to the promised land , we hung a used fender on it and traded it in on a Mustang a few years later . lickily the poor schmuck wasn't hurt . In the late 1970's I was given a cherry clean '62 Galaxie Coupe from Arizona , 223 I6 three on the tree and over drive plus aftermarket (IIRC) AC ~ I got it running well but before I sorted out the paperwork (free because of no title) it tossed a rod as I was showing the 15 Y.O. kid from down the hill how easily it breezed along @ 85 MPH thanx to the over drive in it . I shoulda yanked the oil pan and replaced that slightly knocking rod but yanked the O.D. tranny instead , gave that to the 15 Y.O. kid who put it in his Dad's brush painted '59 F-100 and gave the car to the scrapper , back then a heavy full steel beast like a '62 full size Ford brought maybe $35 in scrap . Oops ~ it had perfect paint , body and upholstery , looking back I wished I'da saved it but I had a dozen old cars so..... BTW : when I bought my second house in 1988 I bought the kid's dad's old '59 F-100 and ran it for a year or three as I up fixed the old 1923 house . -Nate

  • Bugo Bugo on Mar 29, 2023

    There is some incorrect information here. First of all, the Z code 300 horsepower 390 4bbl had the Thunderbird valve covers. Source: I have owned a Z code 1962 Galaxie 500 2 door hardtop for almost 35 years. Also, the 340 horsepower 390 was a Police Interceptor engine and was quite rare. Confusingly, it was also given the Z code. The vast majority of 390 engines in 1962 were 300 horsepower engines. And the 352 is a fine engine, not "scrap metal". The 1962 352 only put out 220 horsepower, but in 1960, there was a 360 horsepower 352 that was Ford's first high performance engine since the 1957 supercharged 312 Fairlanes and Customs. That engine was anything but "scrap metal".

  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...
  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that
  • John Williams Sounds like a Burnout Special you can put together on any 5.0 F150. Whoever said this was Cars and Coffee bait is right on the money.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 (  Bronze or  Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the  Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??