Randy Bolig Editor
September 1, 2001

It's a sight seen all too often. We've all heard about a car sitting somewhere in a field, neglected and forgotten. For this '63 1/2 Galaxie lightweight, sitting in a field was the generous portion of the story. When Dave Woodrig of Hughesville, Pennsylvania, first found the car, it was sitting in a field, every body panel ventilated by some unknowing soul with a high-powered rifle. Fortunately, the owner of the car had enough forethought to place the ultra-rare fiberglass fenders inside the car.

After finally tracking down the Galaxie's owner, Dave convinced him to sell the car. With this new acquisition home in his garage, Dave began the arduous task of fixing the bullet-hole-riddled body. With the help of Cranmer's Auto Repair, the body of this over-powered factory flyer was returned to its former glory.

When these cars were built, road driving was never the intention; they were built to win the factory wars on the quarter-mile. Since this car has never seen highway duty, one can understand the low odometer reading-believe it or not, it has only 363 miles showing. Hard to believe? Remember, every tick of the odometer was made one quarter-mile at a time.

With a twist of the ignition, the 427ci engine comes to life and it's easy to feel the 425 horses pounding on the ground beneath your feet. Standing on the accelerator pedal and opening all eight barrels of carburetion creates the sensation of your hand slipping off the steering wheel. Each time you grab one of the four gears, it gives another sensation of your heart and everything else relocating along your spinal cord. Launching a car with this kind of horsepower requires a certain kind of finesse with the loud pedal; remember, it's 1963 and those General Jet Aire II slicks can take only so much.

Even though the body of the car had been riddled with bullets, the interior was in very good condition. The only thing required was a good cleaning; even the rubber mat up front and the carpet in back are original. This particular car still retains the original aluminum bumpers.

Since the car was originally built to race, Dave felt it was necessary to return the Galaxie to its roots, so off to the racetrack they went.

With Dave's untimely passing, his wife Barbara tried to care for this piece of heritage, but realized it would be better off with someone who could better care for it. Enter Mark Stitzer, a collector of all things automotive. He was pleased to find out he would be able to consider the car one of his own and place it alongside other vintage automobiles of a similar caliber.

The future of the Galaxie is now crystal clear. Mark plans to open an automotive museum so future generations may also enjoy the cars that seasoned veterans already have. They say that lightning never strikes twice... how about thunder?