Rod Short
May 13, 2010

Subsequent efforts to further improve the 427 FE resulted in a number of changes, including side oiler, medium, and high rise intake versions of this engine. In 19631/2, a High Riser version of the 427 FE was also available with a cylinder head and matching intake that used a taller port for higher rpm operation. The Medium Riser version of this engine wasn't available until 1965. The exotic SOHC 427, however, was an altogether different engine which supposedly never made its way into a production street vehicle. These engines were never run in NASCAR either, but they did find their way into a number of Ford A/FX and B/FX drag cars which won at the 1965 Winternationals.

Of course, all of this development was in an effort to keep pace with Mopar's 426 Hemi, which breathed much better than Ford's 427 wedge head design due to larger valves and the semi-hemispherical combustion chamber. Insiders at the time admitted that the Hemi made more horsepower, but that was negated somewhat by the fact that the engine was so much heavier than Ford's 427 FE.

In the case of the '64 lightweight replica pictured here, this car has all the most visible things that differentiated the lightweights from other Galaxies. The Corinthian white paint and red vinyl interior all go well with the fiberglass tear top hood, which was originally designed to provide clearance for the high riser 427. A closer look, however, shows the original radio, console, and heater, which were not found on the factory race cars.

This particular Galaxie, which was originally born with a 390 FE and a Top Loader four-speed, is still plenty potent as it pulled nearly 500 hp on the chassis dyno, thanks in part to a few engine tweaks and the 920 cfm worth of tri-power carburetion from Powerhouse Machine in Taunton, Massachusetts. With front disc brakes and a big car ride, this Galaxie provides plenty of comfort, looks, and power that's unequaled by most other street machines.

To illustrate just how much all this meant, Ames and his significant other exchanged their wedding vows with this car in the background and then celebrated by going to a car show to kick off their honeymoon. Despite all the hours he has invested, Ames still gives a nod to the car's former owner for getting the project started and to his wife for her part as well. As many classic restomods are, it was a collective effort that's done its job by marking a place in time.

The Details
Stace Ames' '64 Galaxie two-door
Engine

  • Ford Hi-Riser 427 C4AE casting
  • 4.23-inch bore
  • 3.78-inch stroke
  • Hi-Riser 427 heads with 2.195-inch intake and 1.733-inch exhaust valves
  • Aftermarket tri-power intake manifold with three two-barrel Holley carburetors
  • Solid lifter cam
  • Mallory Unilite ignition with MSD wires
  • 490 hp/475 lb-ft torque

Transmission

  • Top Loader four-speed
  • Close ratio gear set
  • 31-spline output shaft

Rearend

  • 9-inch housing
  • Detroit Locker differential
  • 3.88 gears

Exhaust

  • Crites long-tube headers
  • 2 1/2-inch diameter dual exhaust
  • Flowmaster mufflers

Suspension

  • Front: Independent front A-arm, heavy-duty stock coil spring, rubber-bushed rollbar with OE-style shocks, power steering
  • Rear: Heavy-duty leaf spring suspension, OE-style shocks

Brakes

  • Front: Stainless Steel Brakes disc, 11.25-inch rotor, two-piston caliper
  • Rear: 11-inch OE-style rear drum

Wheels

  • Front: American Racing 200S with Gun Metal center, 15x7
  • Rear: American Racing 200S with Gun Metal center, 15x7

Tires

  • Front: BFGoodrich Radial T/A, P225/70R15
  • Rear: BFGoodrich Radial T/A, P275/60R15

Interior

  • Stock red vinyl interior with bucket seats, deep loop pile carpeting, stock console, 120-mph speedometer, deluxe AM radio and aftermarket gauges

Exterior

  • Stock '64 Galaxie semi-fastback body with 119-inch wheelbase, Corinthian white with Crites fiberglass A/FX hood