Ford Galaxie 500 Lightweight pochodzi z epoki, gdy wyścigi na ćwierć mili przekształcały się z rywalizacji amatorów w sport profesjonalistów, wspierany przez producentów. Ten egzemplarz trafił w ręce Dick’a Brannana, lidera grupy zwanej „Ford Drag Council”. Wyposażony w najmocniejszy dopuszczony do rywalizacji silnik o pojemności 427 cali sześciennych (7 litrów), służył mu w sezonie 1963. Sprzedany po półtora roku za marne 750 USD, na 40 lat skrywał swoją historię pod warstwą białego lakieru. Dopiero w 2005 roku trzeci właściciel ponownie odkrył jego tożsamość, przywracając mu oryginalne, wyścigowe barwy i pełną specyfikację wyczynową. Teraz ten wyjątkowy wóz, z przebiegiem jedynie 7783 mil, stał się jedną z gwiazd aukcji. Jego wycena opiewa na 225-275 tys. USD, czyli ok. 795 – 970 tys. PLN.
LOT F189 KISSIMMEE 2018 JAN 5-14
1963 FORD GALAXIE 500 LIGHTWEIGHT
Campaigned by Dick Brannan, 7,783 Miles
THE KAYO ERWIN COLLECTION
Engine 427 CI
$225,000 – $275,000
The no. 824 Galaxie 500 Lightweight campaigned by Dick Brannan
7,783 original miles
Documented with notarized letters of authenticity signed by Dick Brannan and Jerry Hammes
Sponsored by Romy Hammes Ford
Sold by Brannan in 1965 for $750
Discovered largely intact 40 years later at a 2005 event in Carlisle
Part of the Kayo Erwin Collection since 2005
1 of 212 1963 1/2 Galaxie 500 Lightweights produced
Original body, interior, bumpers, hood, moldings and panels
Stripped to bare metal and finished in correct Wimbledon White
Hand-painted Romy Hammes-Brannan 824 livery, not vinyl
Extensive restoration completed in 2007 to as-raced configuration
Correct 427 CI side-oiler engine
High rise aluminum intake
Dual 4-barrel carburetors
Aluminum-case Borg Warner 4-speed transmission
Special Brannan-developed clutch mechanism
Lightweight bucket seats
Radio and heater delete
Column-mounted Sun tachometer
Detailed chassis and engine bay
Period correct tires and steel wheels
Dash autographed by Brannan and Jerry Hammes
Dick Brannan autographed die cast car
In the early 1960s, performance was still evolutionary. For fans of the Ford Motor Company—which was constantly developing pieces for competition—drag racers looked to a select group of gentlemen called the Ford Drag Council. These racers’ men worked under contract and were led by Dick Brannan, a fierce competitor who become one of the sport’s first stocker professionals. Offered here is a car with an incredible history and story, the 1963 ½ No. 824 Galaxie 500 Super Stock Lightweight that was campaigned by Brannan during a truly pivotal moment in racing history.
With 7,783 original miles showing on the odometer, the car offered here is documented with notarized letters of authenticity signed by Dick Brannan and Jerry Hammes. In 1963, the Romy-Hammes Ford franchise of South Bend, Indiana, was the sponsor on Brannan’s car when it was new. After it was retired following that season, it remained in the Brannan stables for several years until it was sold for the tidy sum of $750. Many cars of this nature, no longer legal in sanctioned class racing, were subsequently modified for street use or greater power. That was not the case here.
In 1963, major changes had occurred in motorsports; the international organization ACCUS had limited competition displacement to 7 liters (427 CI) and most manufacturers stepped up to that limit for the new season. However, upper management at GM had a change of heart at the year’s beginning, canceling racing involvement of both Chevrolet and Pontiac. Chrysler, though reeling from its own internal struggles, released the first of the 426 CI Max Wedges, using its unibody mid-size cars. The year 1963 found Ford adapting to these real-time changes. One was a NASCAR-oriented fastback rear-glass design whose release created what are termed as 1963 ½ models of the Galaxie 500. As the sport design, 212 of these “fastback” cars were modified for drag racing as well. Brannan, as the Ford Drag Council team leader, often got the best stuff first, and No. 824 was given to him to replace his first 1963 lightweight Galaxie, which wore No. 823. However, these big machines were still challenged by the Mopar onslaught, and therefore work on the Fairlane-based Thunderbolts for 1964 took precedence over further developing this package.
After leaving its original owner, Brannan’s car was hidden from the limelight for 40 years before it was brought to a lightweight Ford reunion at Carlisle by its believed-third owner. Largely intact and featuring its original body, interior, bumpers, hood, moldings and panels, its heritage was hidden under layers of white paint. Soon after, collector Kayo Erwin bought it to add to his stellar collection in Tennessee. Erwin, noted for liking cars that are redone to a precise level, was intent on restoring it and had already removed the body from the chassis for chemical stripping when his wife Brenda suggested that the paint looked old enough that it might reveal secrets if it was carefully sanded down. The words “South Bend, Ind.” on a rear quarter panel soon emerged, so Kayo contacted collector Jacky Jones, who in turn called Brannan.
Ford racing expert Charlie Morris, who had organized the reunion and had seen the car when it first appeared, was then personally called by Brannan to meet at Erwin’s location with Jerry Hammes to verify it. Upon arriving, Brannan then began telling the shop crew where certain very specific body and chassis modifications were located. These modifications were still present, leaving no question that this was indeed the long-missing No. 824.
The body was stripped to bare metal and refinished in correct Wimbledon White with hand-painted Romy Hammes-Brannan 824 livery. The lightweight components are intact and refinished as well. Next, a period-exact 427 CI side-oiler drag engine was built, with details like the high-rise aluminum intake and dual 4-barrel carburetors included. This is backed by the rare aluminum-case Borg Warner 4-speed transmission and the special Brannan-developed clutch mechanism used on this car. A 4.11 differential completes it.
Inside are the lightweight bucket seats, radio and heater delete, a column-mounted Sun tachometer and Hurst shifter. The detailed chassis and engine bay coupled with period-correct tires and steel wheels finish it off. Autographed by Brannan and Jerry Hammes upon its completion, in 2007 the car had ended its journey to refreshed excellence and has been shown rarely since then. Mecum is proud to offer the Ford Drag Council’s team leader’s own trendsetter, the Dick Brannan/Romy-Hammes 427 CI 1963 ½ Galaxie 500 No. 824 Lightweight for the very first time since its rediscovery.