To European eyes the Ford Galaxie Sunliner was an amazing sight when enthusiasts began to import the car during the 1960s.  The sheer length of the vehicle was staggering to the eyes of people used to the more compact cars produced by the UK and European manufacturers.

1960 Ford Galaxie custom

In the United States of course the Sunliner hardly raised an eyebrow for its size but it certainly attracted envious glances because of its vibrant colours along with sleek and graceful lines.  This car was certainly a head turner but when you marry good looks to an enormous 5766cc V8 engine you suddenly get one of the best vintage performance cars ever.

The Ford Galaxie Sunliner quite simply looked sensation and performed even better with its power assisted steering allowing the driver to be in complete control of the 17 feet long vehicle.

1960 Ford Galaxie Starliner – photo by Morven used with permission under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Let’s Get Technical

Even with its huge power the Ford Galaxie Sunliner wasn’t an out an out speedster taking over 13 seconds to accelerate from 0-60mph.  This however was due to its massive weight and once the Sunliner got going it could reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour and would leave equivalent European models trailing in its wake.

As can be seen from the photos on this page the Sunliner was a seriously good looking car and, of course, the huge trunk could take an enormous amount of luggage.  To be fair you could probably store the contents of a small house in there.

The body of the convertible coupe is a two door which seats either 4 or 6 and was a perfect vehicle for long journeys across the highways of America.  Contemporary reviewers waxed lyrical about the smoothness of the Sunliner and it could comfortably cruise all day at around 80mph without putting any sort of strain on that massive engine.

Away from the engine this gem amongst vintage performance cars featured a top which could be raised or lowered very quickly which was very handy if the driver got caught in a storm!

Vintage Performance Cars Specifications – Ford Galaxie Sunliner

Costs – two door drophead coupe $4660 (£2877)

Engine – eight cylinders 101.6×88.9mm 5786cc.  Pushrod operated overhead valves with hydraulic tappets.  Compression ratio 8.9 to 1.  205bhp at 4400rpm.  Double choke downdraught carburetter.  Coil and distributor ignition.

Transmission – hydraulic torque converter and dual range, three speed automatic gearbox.  Open propeller shaft.  Hypoid rear axle, ratio 3.1 to 1.

Chassis – Box section frame.  Independent front suspension by wishbones and helical springs with anti-roll bar.  Recirculating ball steering with power assistance.  Hypoid rear axle on semi-elliptic springs.  Telescopic dampers all round.  Power assisted drum brakes.  Bolt on disc wheels fitted with 7.50 – 14 inch tyres.

Equipment – 12 volt lighting and starting.  Speedometer, clock, fuel and temperature gauges.  Vacuum operated windscreen wipers and washers.  Heating and demisting.  Flashing indicators.  Reversing lights.  Radio.

Dimensions – Wheelbase 9’11”.  Length 17’6”.  Width 6’8”.  Weight 1 ton 13cwt.

Performance – Maximum speed 104mph.  Standing quarter mile 18.7 seconds.  Acceleration; 0-30mph 4.7 seconds, 0-50mph 9.5 seconds, 0-60mph 13.6 seconds, 0-80mph 23.6 seconds.

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