A 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 B Code 406 began life in the first half of the production year as Ford was participating in the horsepower wars of the early 1960’s. The 406 ci V8 was the top engine in the Ford High Performance line from 1962 through the first half of 1963. By mid-1963 it was being replaced by the Ford 427 ci V8. So for a very short time span the 406 was the racer’s choice. Today they are very rare and popular among Ford collectors.
The Ford High Performance 406, available in two horsepower flavors, 385 horsepower with a single four-barrel intake, or 405 horses with triple two-barrel carburetion, were the top performers at Ford for 1962 and the first half of 1963. They were intended to help make Ford a contender during the early muscle car era.
The 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 B Code 406 2-Door Hardtop you see posted here is being offered for sale by Midwest Car Exchange of Alsip, Illinois. (Follow this link to see over forty high resolution photos of this very rare muscle car.) The 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 with B Code 406 ci big block engine brought extra power to the Ford muscle car lineup. Although Ford called it the Thunderbird 406 High Performance V8, this engine was only made available for the Ford Galaxie. It was never offered as a power plant for Ford’s popular Thunderbird. Breathing through a single Holley four-barrel carburetor, it came with the Ford aluminum intake. The B Code 406 was rated at 385 horsepower at 5800 rpm and pulled 440 foot-pounds of torque at 3800 rpm. This was a solid lifter engine.
Of the 648,010 Ford Galaxies produced in 1963, 440,526 units were Galaxie 500’s, and about 100,500 were Galaxie 500 2-d00r hardtops. Unfortunately, Ford history does not break it down into 500’s and 500XL’s.
There was nothing like it in the Ford muscle car inventory until the R Code 427 was introduced at midyear in 1963. It had 11.4:1 compression and cast-in headers. That lead to the use of low-restriction dual exhaust. Ford’s Borg-Warner 4-speed manual transmission was mandatory for the B Code cars. It could be ordered with rear axle ratios as high as 4.11:1.
If you pulled up alongside a 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 and did not notice the “406” emblem on the side you were in for a surprise. Motor Tend magazine said the 406 brought “something like Ferrari performance at a fifth of the price.” This particular 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 with the 406 B Code engine was built and delivered in Dallas, Texas.
Here are some of the car’s features noted by Midwest Car Exchange:
406 ci V8 Engine “B” Code
4-Bbl Holley Carb on Ford Aluminum Intake
Holman And Moody Aluminum Air Cleaner
Smooth Shifting 4-Speed Manual Transmission
Heater / Defroster
Factory AM Push Button Radio
Very Nice Rangoon Red Paint Over A Solid Rust Free Texas Body
New Correct Red Interior
Blackwall Bias-Ply Tires With Galaxie 500 Wheel Covers With Spinners
Much of the 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 B Code 406 history remains unknown. If anyone knows a source for production numbers to sort out how many 500 B Code and 500 G Code hardtops were produced in 1963 we would appreciate your sharing that with our readers using the “Comments Box” below. The best our research could uncover is that this B Code is not appreciated as much as the more powerful G Code 406/405 motors. Those cars will go for over $100,000 at a Barrett-Jackson Auction. So this B Code car at only $36,900 looks like a great buy for the money. Ford muscle car enthusiasts may want to take note.