Gene Souer / 1961 Galaxie Convertible
Gene Sauer set out one day in June 1961 to purchase himself a new car. He currently owned a 1958 Corvette that he decided he didn’t care much for it’s lack of seating, being a 2 seater, and the closed in feeling of the car in general. He had in mind the purchase of a new 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne powered by the then new 409 engine. They wouldn’t sell him one, because of limited production so he decided he would just go to the competition, namely Ford, and order himself a new car.
Gene ordered a rangoon red 1961 Ford Galaxie convertible with a 390 tri-power under the hood and boasting 401 horsepower. Hurst 3 speed transmission, 4:11 detroit locker rearend with traction master bars dealer installed. He received it with only the small dog dish type hubcaps since he was going to be replacing them with the then latest fad of putting the Dodge Lancer hubcaps with the spinners on your cars.
In 1965 the 390 literally blew apart on the freeway after approximately 10,000 miles. Pistons went out the top, pieces went out the bottom
and there he sat, with a big puddle of oil under the car. Gene then had a 427 dual quad engine installed to replace the 390.
When talking to Gene and asking him if he remembers his age when he purchased the car he replied “somewhere in my 30s.”
Then added, with a smile, “I know I was still young enough to want to hotrod.” The Galaxie has always been “the toy” and he had
other cars to use for the day to day routine.
Later Gene changed to chrome wheels and had to get new tires to fit them. These are only the second set of tires the car has had on it in the
40,000 miles it’s been on the road. Gene’s Galaxie has never been driven in the rain, although it has sat in the driveway in the rain
occasionally, since he has owned it. The top, tires and engine are the only things ever replace on Gene’s Galaxie, even the ashtray has
never been used. He told me of some ripples on the rear quarter panel but told me he would never get that repaired for sentimental
reasons. When the car was new, it was just a hotrod and nothing extra special. His wife used to stand on that quarter to be able
to reach things. Now it’s not “just a car” it’s a “box” of memories on wheels and an old companion in my opinion. Who could ask for more!
Gene commented that if he had any idea that he would still own the same car after all these years he
might have opted to replace the engine with another 390. Not many ever, if at all, think they will own a car for such a
long time when they purchase it. Personally I think the 427 was a great choice and was keeping with the era.
Thank you to the GM dealer for turning Gene down which enabled him to purchase this great car, a 1961 Ford Galaxie convertible.