Wayne Cook
May 1, 2008
Photos By: Wayne Jeffries

This great-looking Galaxie Sunliner convertible is the '61 model of the popular fullsize Ford. It has only 38,000 miles on the odometer and is owned by Steve and Deborah Marshall of Adairsville, Georgia. We love the convertible version of classic Galaxies, and after looking at this example, it's easy to understand why. This car's low tail fins and afterburner taillights place it firmly in the early '60s design period. By this time, the flamboyant styling excesses of the late '50s had given way to better proportions and some beautifully designed cars.

Steve spotted this example of the Galaxie Sunliner in the back row of a local used-car lot as he was driving by. His curiosity piqued, he turned around and went into the lot's office and began working out a deal for the cool convertible. Once the deal was struck, he took the car directly to his friend's body shop. He wanted to make the car look new again, and his buddy advised him that he could save a lot of money if he did the disassembly work himself.

Steve began what turned out to be a year-long project to completely refurbish the car and return it to original condition. In addition to the beautiful body and paintwork, the interior was lovingly restored by Steve himself, including the installa-tion of the new convertible top. The engine and powertrain components were completely rebuilt to stock specifications and then refinished in the original color.

The Marshalls are active members of the Empty Pockets Car Club of Calhoun, Georgia, and now that the Galaxie is back on the road, it sees a lot of service and provides lots of fun going to car shows and cruise nights. To us, the Galaxie Sunliner is the ultimate cruiser for a warm summer Georgia night, and we bet the Marshalls would agree.

All Things To All People
By 1961, the Galaxie was offered with a huge array of optional equipment. The buyer could create the car of his or her dreams by choosing exactly the combination of options wanted. There were five engine options from which to choose, ranging from the 223ci Mileage Maker Six to a 390ci FE V-8 equipped with triple carburetion. In the gearbox department, a three-speed manual transmission was standard. Optionally available were two automatic transmissions: the Ford-O-Matic two-speed and a three-speed version known as the Cruise-O-Matic. Air conditioning was available, as were power steering, power brakes, power seats, and power windows. There were 13 exterior colors and several body styles-sedans, hardtops, two-doors, four-doors, convertibles, and station wagons.

The Details
'61 Galaxie Sunliner
Owners: Steve and Deborah Marshall, Adairsville, GA

Engine
352ci FE V-8
4.00-inch bore, 3.500-inch stroke
2V induction
8.9:1 compression ratio
220 hp at 4,400 rpm
336 lb-ft of torque at 2,400 rpm

Transmission
Cruise-O-Matic three-speed

Rearend
9-inch rear axle
Open differential
3.00 gears

Exhaust
Factory cast manifolds
2 1/2-inch aluminized dual pipes
Flowmaster mufflers

Suspension
Front: Stock coil spring
Rear: Stock leaf spring

Brakes
Front: Factory drum
Rear: Factory drum

Wheels
Front: Ford steel wheels painted body color, 15x7
Rear: Ford steel wheels painted body color, 15x8

Tires
Front: Starfire radials, P235/70R15
Rear: Starfire radials, P255/70R15

Interior
Red vinyl upholstery redone at Cox Upholstery of Argon, Georgia; Auto Custom Carpets original-style loop carpeting; factory instrumentation; original steering wheel; Clarion remote CD/FM unit with 6x9 rear-mounted speakers

Exterior
Eddie Black's Body Shop of Adairsville, Georgia, repainted the car PPG Viper Red; owner-installed black convertible top; original factory ornamentation in superb condition bumper to bumper