Tucked away in the small mountain lake town of Hayesville, North Carolina, are two new car dealerships, one Ford and one Mopar. Both share the namesake of avid classic Ford collector Jacky Jones. Oddly enough, it was the Mopar dealership, co-owned by another avid car collector in his own right Ed Ashe, at which we found ourselves last Saturday night for its annual customer appreciation cruise-in. With Jacky and Ed heading things up, this cruise-in never disappoints, with plenty of cool and rare machines on display. You never know what you will see or what the highlight of the night will be. As we walked the rows of cars under the setting western North Carolina sun, we quickly noticed a trend with several of the Fords in attendance: big-block Ford power and lots of it! There were 390s, 406s, 427s and more! Everywhere we turned, we saw another big-block Ford - so many, in fact, that we decided to dedicate our coverage to them. Check it out!
Perhaps the most stunning body lines of all the big Ford muscle cars of the early '60s came on the Starliner. Its chrome covered rear roof line accents the beautiful swooping body line that defined the late '50s and early '60s. James Rogers's 1961 Starliner is not only a beautiful example of the model, it is also equipped with a stunning dual carburetor big-block Ford 390 engine. Add a column shifted manual transmission and you've got one cool and classy car on your hands. It may not be as fast and powerful as the 427 Galaxies to come a few years down the road, but this beauty still demands respect.
No matter how the logo is drawn, the names Jones and Ford go hand and hand around western North Carolina and northeastern Georgia. Dealership owner Jacky Jones is one of the most well-known collectors of Ford muscle cars in the country. Not only that, but Jacky, his father, and now his children are responsible for selling thousands of classic and modern Ford muscle cars. In fact, it was a Jones Ford where my own Ford muscle car history began years ago in 1969. Long before this writer's time, my dad purchased a brand new 1969 Mach 1 Mustang 428 Cobra Jet with a 4-speed from Jacky's dad on New Years Day 1969. It kicked off a family love affair for the Mustang that has lasted just over 50 years so far.
Of all the big-block Fords in attendance, Ron Strikland’s 1963-1/2 Galaxie had to be our favorite. The wide whites, big spinner hubcaps, and top of the line interior scream luxury, but that legendary 427 and 4-speed manual transmission scream power and everything that is Ford muscle. We would guess that back in the day, this car was just as comfortable at the drive-in movies as it was at the local drag strip. Personally, we would rather try it at that drag strip!
As stock as Ron's Galaxie appears, there is more here than meets the eye. That legendary 427 wears a set of Edelbrock aluminum heads powdercoated to appear stock. With the help of a stroker kit, the 427 actually weighs in at 482 cubic inches. Inside the car, a set of tasteful aftermarket gauges sit in the factory dash to help keep a better eye on the big-block monster out front.
Be sure to check out our gallery for a dozen more cool big-block Fords, along with some small-block Ford muscle!