Die-cast: Automodello’s 1966 Ford Galaxie 500
As a kid I saw a lot of Ford Galaxies around the neighborhood and some of my northern Indiana relatives who farmed had them and weren’t afraid to run them out in a cornfield if necessary.
But rarer was the Galaxie 500 7-Liter Hardtop, a luxury model that wasn’t afraid to lay a little rubber at a stoplight. That’s the cast resin model Automodello reproduces in popular 1/24 scale and paints up in a variety of historically accurate colors.
While the Galaxie 500 debuted in 1965 it was the 1966 model that boasted a new 7-liter V8. This was Ford’s already powerful 390 V8 but enlarged to 428 cu.in. to create a real torque monster. Unlike the earlier 390 model this one could accommodate all the luxury options Ford packed onto its Galaxie 500 models to push them from standard family cars to luxury models.
So in addition to performance type power, the 1966 models had power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning. The 7-liter also could be coupled with an automatic transmission, something the earlier Ford 427 V8 designed for NASCAR use, could not.
The new 7-liter model came only in hardtop and convertible models and sold well, about 11,000 units being made that year. By comparison, just 38 models were equipped with the horsier 427 V8 that year.
Automodello’s cars are sealed body models, so you won’t see that smooth 7-liter engine since the hood does not open. But Jim Cowen, Automodello’s head honcho says he wanted to make this car because of its special badging and the amount of luxury appointments you can see in its interior. He thinks 1/24 scale also highlights the Galaxie’s wide stance and long lines.
First, the dark metallic (Nightmist) blue finish is stellar and the car’s dimensions are dead-on. Without any opening doors or hood the seams are crisp and neat too, probably better than on the real cars of the day.
Automodello delivers fine photo-etched chrome trim with two super thin strikes along the body sides, plus all the window edges and a central hood accent. In addition, all the Ford and Galaxie 500 markings on the nose, tail and rear quarter panels are PE, while the thicker trim over the wheel wells is painted.
The Galaxie has a beautiful chrome grille along with bumpers and taillight trim, plus the delicate mirror and antenna along with door handles are chrome. Then, as Cowan said, there are sharp 7 Liter logos on the grille, front fender sides and trunk to sharpen the overall look of the Ford.
Headlights and taillights feature realistic lenses and the chrome windshield wipers are absolutely stunning. When did you ever hear anyone tout wiper? Well, I showed this one around the office and folks were blown away by the detail here.
The Galaxie rides on treaded, but not branded, tires and feature handsome 5-spoke custom wheels that create a sporty look. Underneath are dual exhausts. Wish I could hear this 7-liter beauty growl!
Inside, the Ford ‘s cool light blue interior is gorgeous, with dark blue insets that look like racing stripes down the middle of the cushions. There are bucket seats up front and highly styled chrome trimmed door panels plus cranks for the vent (remember those?) and side windows.
I like the wood-look wheel with chrome 3-spoked hub, again delivering a sporty look that made the 7-liter hardtop stand out. There’s also a bit of wood look trim on the dash and a thin wide main gauge display. Shifting is handled by a big chrome T-handled shifter on the floor console.
Overall another beautiful car from Automodello and it comes in five colors, all in limited builds. The Nightmist Blue will be the most common, with 299 models made, while the Tribute Edition comes in Candy Apple Red with just 66 made. An Homage Edition comes in Raven Black with 24 being made. More limited is the Enthusiasts edition, just 19 each in Antique Gold or Wimbledon White.
Vital Stats: 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 7-liter hardtop
Stock No.: AM24-FOR-G7L-NB