Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
May 17, 2012
Photos By: Bill Erdman

We all have that one friend. That person that goes through cars like you and I go through socks. Every couple of months, they show up at the big car guy hangout/cruise night with yet another ride they just had to have. Maybe it was a deal too good to pass up, or perhaps they found their dream ride and felt they just had to have it in their driveway at any cost (once again). Frank Laidlaw of Saddlebrook, New Jersey, is not that guy. However, he has a good friend, Nick Mollica, who is. Nick held the keys to the Galaxie you see here, and sold it to Frank to finance his next conquest.

Nick found this '66 Galaxie in Iowa. A shop there restored it in the late 2000s with the plan to race it in the quarter-mile. The Galaxie started life as a fairly basic 289 two-barrel–powered 500 in Wimbledon White with aqua vinyl interior. While the paint and interior got the restorer's touch, it was the drivetrain that got the heave-ho for some serious drag duty parts. Out went the 289 and a fresh 429 big-block was shoehorned between the shock towers. The 429 was put together with your typical go-fast parts like a Cobra-Jet–spec cam, a 750-cfm carb, and more. Backing the big-block is the venerable Top Loader four-speed and Lakewood scattershield in place of the original C4 autobox. The four-speed sends power back to a 9-inch rear rolling 3.08 gears. The front suspension was rebuilt to big-block specs and disc brakes were added with a dual-reservoir master cylinder. When the car was completed, it was determined the build was too nice to beat up as a race car. Thus the shop decided to sell it and build something else.

It was early 2010 when Frank's friend, Nick, purchased the Galaxie. It was a clean car and the price was right. However, by July of that year, Nick had the itch for something else. Unfortunately, his finances were tied up and before his next dream ride had a chance to slip away, Frank decided to buy the Galaxie as a favor to his pal Nick, giving him the money to buy said car. As the new caretaker of the Galaxie, Frank hasn't changed a thing (except the oil at the beginning of each driving season) and is extremely happy with his decision to help out his longtime friend. After all, what are friends for?

The Details

Frank Laidlaw's '66 Galaxie 500

Engine

  • 429ci big-block
  • 4.390-inch bore (0.030-inch overbore)
  • 3.590-inch stroke
  • Ported iron heads
  • 2.24-inch intake, 1.72-inch exhaust valves
  • Cobra Jet spec cam
  • Stock crankshaft machined 0.010/0.010 under and balanced
  • 750-cfm Edelbrock carburetor
  • HD radiator

Transmission

  • Ford Top Loader four-speed
  • Stock flywheel
  • Hays clutch disc
  • Ford pressure plate
  • Lakewood scattershield
  • Hurst shifter

Rearend

  • Ford 9-inch housing
  • 3.08 gears

Exhaust

  • Stock iron manifolds
  • Aluminized dual exhaust

Suspension

  • Front: Stock big-block spec, rebuilt, KYB adjustable shocks
  • Rear: Stock leaf springs, air shocks

Brakes

  • Front: Aftermarket disc conversion, single-piston calipers
  • Rear: Stock drum
  • Dual-reservoir master cylinder

Wheels

  • Front: Wimbledon White reverse steel rim, dog dish cap, 15x7
  • Rear: Wimbledon White reverse steel rim, dog dish cap, 15x7

Tires

  • Front: Sigma Regent, P225/70R15
  • Rear: Sigma Regent, P225/70R15

Interior

  • Aqua vinyl and cloth interior, Auto Meter Sport Comp II gauges in underdash panel, chrome Hurst shifter with white shift ball

Exterior

  • Wimbledon White base/clear paint, modified 428 badges (to state 429)

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