From a Jack to a King
An Overlooked Ford Gets It's Due
Sheriff Andy Taylor drove what may be the most famous Ford Galaxie in the world. When I think of a ’62 Galaxie, I see the black and white bouncing along the quiet streets of Mayberry with that huge antenna tied to the roof; that’s my fullsize Ford spotters guide.
Outside of later Andy Griffith episodes and Hot Rod Magazine’s Drag Week (yeah, there’s a brutal Galaxie in the mix), you just don’t see 1965 Galaxies. They typically aren’t raced, nor customized, nor restored. They’re just nowhere. Until now, that is. Kindig-It Designs in Salt Lake wanted to put this forgotten flavor back on the menu.
For starters, you’re not going to dress up a barge like this with the stance of a tool shed. It’s long, wide and taller than is excusable. You gotta get low. A topless subject helps (always helps, every time), but the whole works needs to be in jeopardy of death by speed bump. Tossing aside the archaic Ford underpinnings, the Kindig-It evil geniuses set the boxy Ford over a custom Art Morrison chassis. Sheriff Taylor tippy-toed around on 5.60x14 skinnies; Kindig rides right on 335/30-20 steamrollers from Michelin. Taking up residence in the hoops is a quartet of Billet Specialties Heritage G wheels, giving a vintage salt-flats vibe while moving smartly into the present.
As we’ve come to expect from the Kindig-It shop, the stance is perfect. I’ve always said that the rest of the car, as far as fit and finish, paint, interior, is less important as long as the silhouette looks good. Apparently Dave Kindig doesn’t agree, because everything I’ve seen him get near has perfect paint, the attention to detail is superb, and the interior is second to none. Starting with a nice clean car, the crew got busy with the nip/tuck program. After shaving nearly everything, filling irregularities in the bumper and hours of block sanding, we’re greeted with less of the nerdy girl wearing braces and thick glasses and more of the beauty queen melting hearts and dropping jaws. This is definitely one of those cars where, the more you stare, the more you find that’s been tweaked (much like the beauty queen). Adding to the anonymity is the fact that almost no one is an expert in ’65 Galaxies, so a lot of the tricks go unnoticed.
Lest you think all this beauty has no brains, pop the hood and say hello to a well-proportioned pair of valve covers. Is that a Cammer from the muscle car heyday? That would make sense in a ‘60’s ride, but no, you would be wrong. We’ll give you half credit, because those are the covers from a SOHC Ford, hiding the coil packs on a brand new Ford Racing Coyote crate engine. But what’s all that happening on top there? Edelbrock’s E-Force supercharger system, puffing pounds into the willing and able mod motor. This elaborate power plant is backed up with an AODE transmission. I don’t think ol’ Barney Fife would be allowed the keys to this Galaxie; not even in his shirt pocket with his single bullet.
With no lid to hinder the view, Dave knew the insides had to be fresh, and he can take the credit for designing such a comfortable cockpit. Justin Stephens at J.S. Custom Interiors brought the renderings to life with Rosso Red leather and square weave carpet from Germany. Vintage Air keeps everything cool, and a JVC headunit commands a bumpin’ system from Kicker. Typical of sixties cars, the dash features lots of horizontal lines and houses a large, sweeping speedometer. While the long sweep of the gauge adds suspense to increasing vehicle speed, it doesn’t give the driver much information as to what is happening ahead of the firewall. Luckily, Dakota Digital’s new VHX lineup of analog instrumentation systems transcends history without trampling it; Dave made the right choice when he sent us the original speedometer and wished us luck. We took what we learned with the 1950-51 Merc project and made a special one-off instrument system to fit the Galaxie like a glove. Red LED backlighting and a custom black alloy face are right at home in this world class Ford.
You may have noticed that we give Kindig-It Designs a lot of ink on these pages, and the truth is, we can’t help ourselves! These folks are turning out show-stopping rides of all kinds at a ferocious pace, and as long as they’re sporting the coolest gauges around, we’ll keep showin’ ‘em love!