Touring Car Racing

Updated 6th Oct 05

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Welcome to the Galaxie racing page. I would like to sincerely thank all who have contacted me to pass on updates and news about the Ford Galaxie cars that are campaigned around the world in touring / saloon classes. More updates are planned in due course as there is enough information on most cars to now have individual pages for each. Please stand by for these changes. Also, I am now able to prove to my partner Anna that I am not alone in my obsession for these remarkable cars, as the many emails and messages from passionate owners and enthusiasts attests to! Darren Will.

Goodwood 2005 Revival
Goodwood Revival 2005 - Jackie Oliver in Shaun Lynn's Galaxie ALC 543A ahead of Bobby Rahal (Falcon), Narain Karthikeyan (Lotus Cortina) and John Fitzpatrick in Jim Woodley's Galaxie.
Image © Michael Oliver, with thanks

Most Galaxie enthusiasts would know of the enviable racing heritage of the Ford Galaxie in NASCAR, Stock Car and Drag Racing competition during the early to mid 1960's. Unfortunately it is not so widely known that Galaxie's made an indelible mark in the Touring Car, Saloon or Appendix J racing classes of this period, as part of Ford's "Total Performace" plans outside of the USA.

From the 1963 British Touring car season onwards, a small number of Galaxies were a regular feature in Europe at tracks such as Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Nurburgring and many others. A lone Galaxie appeared in South Africa at Kyalami, East London, and in Australia a 4 door sedan first appeared late in 1962 and raced at Sandown and Calder Park. Thereafter Galaxies appeared upon international race tracks for touring car events.
Quite often historical notes of the races in the Galaxie era fail to note the achievements of these cars. It's often by chance that a piece of information is found, sometimes just a by-line in a story about BMC "race" teams and the like. Occasionally a great story is published, such as that by Tony Dron which detailed the story of Jack Sears ex-Wilment Galaxie.
Below are some famous names and photo's of the cars they have raced, both in the 60's and recently. The 1963 model features predominantly.
Wherever, whenever Galaxie's were raced they have made a huge and lasting impression on spectators and drivers alike. Today in Australia, England and New Zealand there are Galaxie touring cars racing around such famous racetracks as Goodwood, Phillip Island, Pukehoe, and the challenging Targa Tasmania rally, and they are still passionately campaigned by owners following the 1960's doctrine of "Total Performance".
The legend continues!
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The Alan Brown 1963 Ford Galaxie 500. Driven mainly in endurance races by Dan Gurney, Sir Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Denny Hulme during the 1963 and 1964 British and European Touring car championships. All set fastest laps at one or more events in this car, and the races were not incident free- Sir Jack apparently rolling the car in practice at Brands Hatch in 1963. Jim Clark, took the wheel of the Alan Brown Galaxie, interestingly enough in his only stint behind the wheel of a Galaxie, and showing great form to win ahead of the great Jack Sears and re-iterate that he was fast no matter what type of car he raced.
Contrary to information intitally posted here, it is also believed to be the car Henri Greder raced in the 1963 Tour de France. Henri and Maurice Foulgoc ran strongly at the front of the field when the car was unfortunately crashed into a sand bank at LeMans, resulting in 17th place overall, and 3rd in class.
The present whereabouts of this car are unknown.
Perhaps the most successful and well known 1963 Galaxie 500, BML-9A, was that campaigned by Wilment Racing, regularly driven by Jack Sears. It is largely credited as the car that broke the stranglehold the Mk II Jaguars of the day had on the British Touring Car Championship. Jack Sears campaigned this car and a Mk II Cortina to win the 1963 British Racing Drivers Championship. Other famous drivers to race this car for Wilment include Bobby Olthoff, and Frank Gardiner, the late Paul Hawkins. Also, Graham Hill is credited with driving this car once to a second place finish at Brands Hatch.
This car also saw track time in South Africa during 1963, then returned to the UK for the 64 season. After another successful year, it returned once more to South Africa, where it was driven by Bobby Olthoff, Frank Gardner and the late Paul Hawkins.
Bobby Olthoff purchased the car in 1966 and promptly won the South African Touring Car Championship for that year. It remained in South Africa until approx 1989 when it was sold by Bobby to Jack Sears. Jack brought it back to England and had ex-Wilment mechanic Tony Brown co-ordinate a restoration to its original white and 3 red stripe Wilment livery. Jack and BML-9A had made regular appearances at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but he now does not race the car competitively.
One of the most consistently-raced 1963 Galaxie 500 tourers was that of Sir Gawaine Baillie, GB - 448. Regularly partnering with Peter Jopp for the enduroes, the car was campaigned in the BTCC, ETC and Tour de France in 1963 and 1964. Sir Gawaine reportedly achieved a fastest lap at Nurburgring in the 1964 Grosser Pries der Tourenwagon 6 hour enduro in this car.
There was a famous dual between Sir Gawaine in GB448 and Jim Clark in his 1964 Lotus Cortina during a rain soaked Brands Hatch 6 hour enduro in 1964, where Sir Gawaine brought the car from the rear of the field to take the lead. Unfortunately the car later suffered with grip due to the torrential rain which fell from halfway through the race, allowing Jim Clark to win, and the demoralised Mk II Jaguars of Salmon and Salvadori a reprise amisdt the 1963/4 Touring Car onlsaught of the big American Fords.
The car was brought to Australia in 1964 for the ATC, and famously crashed into the barricades at Peters Corner at the Sandown 500 endurance race, after passing the entire field within 5 laps of the start. It sustained some major damage with hardly a straight panel after coming to a sudden rest from a reported 80MPH. It went on to campaign throughout 1964, and 1965 in Australia, driven by Lex Davison and John Raeburn. At the 1965 Sandown event, the car finished 5th overall, after showing some good speed and endurance.
John Raeburn - Sandown 1965
Returning to England after the Australian races, Sir Gawaine believes the car was eventually written off. It is believed to have been campaigned in Wilment colours by Australian Brian Muir. Lord Snowden captured some quite sad photgraphs of the car after Brian had challenged some concrete walls in the 1966 championship.
American Lucia and Brit John Sprinzel raced a 1963 Galaxie 500XL in the "1963 Motor 6 Hour" enduro at Brands Hatch. The car qualified 4th on the grid, but finished back in 23rd place overall, 5th in Class.
The history of this car is unknown, and the fact it is an XL does not reconcile with the original cars sent from Holman Moody to the UK in 1963. It is possible that it was a privately prepared car, however as with all historical records, what actually happened is most likely known well by the race team and car owners, and otherwise unkown by historians and record keepers.
Present whereabouts are unknown.
Bo Ljungfeldt also raced a 1963 Galaxie in the Tour de France of 1963. Minimal information is available on the results achieved by this car, however it is believed to be the car delivered to Ford of France.
Contrary to previous information listed here, it's also believed to be the 63 Galaxie which later passed through the hands of Alan Mann following the successful 1964 Ford Falcon campaign in the Monte Carlo Rallye. Present whereabouts are unknown but it may have been shipped back to the USA in 1964.
A genuine 1963 XL fastback owned by Michael Steele. This car was prepared and raced by Paul Trevethan of Melbourne, Australia, then shipped to the UK in 2004. It is believed the car will now be campaigned in the "Top Hat"series which is gaining remarkable following and participation.
Beautifully presented, and when last seen, still with the XL interior it could well pass as a replica of the Lucia car raced at Brands Hatch in 1963.
Marc Ducquet of Sydney, Australia, campaigns a very well prepared replica of the 1963 Wilment and Baillie Galaxie's, complete with FE engine and replica fibreglass panels.
Marc Ducquet's 1963 Galaxie 500
Marc campaigns the car in the Biante Series, which sees the Galaxie racing at most V8 Supercar events each year. At its first trip to Philip Island in Victoria, it made quite a sensation powering onto the main straight with notable oversteer (throttle induced!) and out-powering a few highly competitive Mustangs on the day.
Marc Ducquet's 1963 Galaxie 500
Back in 1962 a race-prepared 1963 fordoor Galaxie 500 sedan (body 54A) was raced at touring car events around Australia. The car was delivered to Holman and Moody in Charlotte NC, and modified suitable for road racing using parts homologated for touring. It was then invoiced and shipped (pre-paid) to Len Lukey, via Melford Motors with a scheduled delivery date of 19th September 1962.
The car was often raced by the late Lex Davison, John Raeburn, and on occasion by Norm Beechey, and has a colourful history. It apparently required ongoing development work to prepare it for reliable racing, much like the Beechy Impala of the same period. It infortunately was not allowed to race here in Australia in the same trim as the cars raced in the UK, due to requirements of CAMS of the day. It had to retain the drum brakes, and was prevented from using the fibreglass panels and bumpers it was supplied with. It was however a genuine R code, and came factory fitted with the now legendary 427 lo-riser centre-oiler engine.
After a period of being driven as a road registered car, and after much effort Gary Smith tracked the car down and purchased it from the outer north eastern suburbs of Melbourne. After moving to Perth, the car was sold to Wayne Holland, who sent it to Marc Ducquet in NSW for sorting and an engine rebuild. This was at approximately the same time Marc was preparing his fastback. The fordoor then returned to Gary in Perth and was raced in (historic) Appendix J class for several years.
David Bowden of QLD currently owns this car. Soon after purchasing the car from Wayne, the car was given a full mechanical restoration, and is now on display in QLD. It is now part of the fabulous racing car collection David has on display in QLD Australia. The car is complete and awaiting restoration. I was lucky enough to view the car in March 2005 and Chris, Dan and David were perfect hosts, explaining their passion for the Australian race cars in their collection.
Dennis O'Brien from NSW campaigned a 1964 Galaxie 500XL fastback in the appendix J racing category during the 1980's.
Wayne Reid, of Reid Brothers Marine helped Dennis with the 427 FE engine setup in the car. It was fantastically fast, and is well remembered for screaming away from the pack coming out of any corner on the racetrack.
Mick Moylan of Perth, Western Australia, has been a regular entrant in the Targa Tasmania with his 1964 Galaxie 500 sedan, powered by a 427 FE engine. Mick is currently preparing a 1963 Galaxie fastback replica to also race at the Targa. What a ride that would be!
A white 1964 Galaxie 500 sedan seen here racing at Lakeside in QLD, Australia, approximately 1997.
With thanks from many who have seen the picture here, it has been identified as the car run by "Captain Cusso".
New Zealand has some exotic old Ford racecars, not the least of which is the 1963 Galaxie 500XL built by the late Bruce Drinkrow.
It has an alloy-head 427 side oiler FE engine, highly modified and tuned. Much work has been done to the suspension and braking systems. The car is apparently so highly modified it is ineligible for competition in the pre-65 historic touring class.
Another solid NZ campaigner is this 1962 Galaxie 500 tudor, owned and raced by Tony Jeffs in the pre-65 class.
It is powered by a 406 FE engine, and as seen in this picture has 1961 Galaxie front panels fitted to it.
No recent news on the car but is believed to still be in New Zealand and still owned by Tony.
Lord March, who has created the amazing Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival Meetings, has a beautifully prepared 1963 Galaxie fastback. It is similar in appearance to the Galaxie now owned by Jack Sears, and was built for the 1998 Revival event as no other Galaxie's were able to compete at the time, and Lord March had apparently longed to see a Galaxie at the event. This car has since made several outings at recent Festival of Speed events, with some famous drivers steering the car around the famous Goodwood circuit. In 1998 and 1999 it was raced by Rob Wilson. In 2001 the famous Lyn St James took the wheel. It did not race in 2002, as the regulations changed to cater for 1950s cars.
In 2000, Australian formula one champion Alan Jones is reported to have raced the Galaxie in the historic saloon races (he said he just wished he had more time available to fine tune the car!).
Bob Sherring has been assisting with sorting the car, as it predominantly appears at the Goodwood events. We hope to see as a regular entrant at the front of the grid!
Shaun Lynn is the proud owner of the ex-Lord Maxwell Beaverbrook, and Paul Pappalardo 1963 Galaxie 500 fastback. Noted as quite well prepared and remarkably quick, Shaun and the car are proving a successful, competive pairing, winning the rounds of the St Mary's cup at the 2005 Goodwood Revival.
Previously, the car competed at historic events, and was initially prepared for the 1995 Tour de France.
It is strikingly prepared in the colours used by Wilment / Olthoff racing - red with three white stripes!
Another highly competitive Galaxie is that owned by Jim Woodley.
The car still sports its white livery with three blue stripes over the bonnet, roof and bootlid. Jim is a regular competitor in the Top Hat series and historic meetings all over the UK. No doubt a very big nuisance to his competitors! The car was previously owned and prepared by Belgian Mike van Thiel
A very handsome and fast car is the 1964 Galaxie 500 fastback owned and raced by Bob Sherring in the UK. Bob has owned this car for some years, and has had it clocked at a very impressive 154MPH travelling under the bridge at Silverstone on the Club circuit!
A consistant place getter with many race wins, the 1964 is a likely precursor, along with Bob's 1965 sedan, to the current crop of nostalgic Galaxies raced in Appendix K in Europe today.
Complete with Holman and Moody prepared engine, 16" alloy wheels, and nostalgic white paint with twin racing stripes over the bonnet and boot, this is certainly an impressive car, and a credit to it's owner.


An interesting car is the 1966 Galaxie 500 MY saloon owned by Julius Thurgood of the "Top Hat" racing group. Julius has plans to return the car to its racing trim in 2005/06 after the car had been off the track for some years.

Originally built and raced by Bob Sherring in the 1980's, these non-fastback cars are a rarity on the racetracks, and only two sedans are known to be (semi) active worldwide - one each in the UK and Australia.
Credits - the information on this page has been compiled by Darren Will, from the following sources with genuine thanks:
Frank DeJong, Darren Galpin, Gavin Ritchie, Craig Hart, Howard Robinson, Mick Oosthuizen, HRC South Africa, The Mustang and Ford Club of South Africa, Trevor Chapman, Dennis O'Brien, Wayne Reid, The Bowdens, Rolf Juhlin, Johnny Carlisle, Vern Grove, Greg Moore, Richard Clingan, Travis Miller, Rob Titherly, Sir Gawaine Baillie, Don Behets, Lloyd McNeill, Bob Scherring, Mike van Thiel, Marc Ducquet, Julius Thurgood, Michael Oliver, and countless hours by the author thumbing through historic race brochures and news articles!
The history of Galaxie touring cars is a work in progress -
Contributions and clarifications are most welcomed

© 2003-2005 Darren Will

Reproduction with permission only