When Ford replaced the 406 with the 427 in the middle of the 1963 model year, the company was running on all cylinders. Take a look at any Ford from 1963 or 1964, from the Galaxie to the Falcon and Fairlane (and, of course, the Mustang), and it’s amazing how attractive they were across the board.
It’s believed that Ford built 4,895 cars with the 427 for 1963, from the lowly Galaxie to the Galaxie 500/XL. Another 3,104 are believed to have been built for 1964. But, starting in 1965, production dropped to 327, then dropping to 237 for 1966. In the final year for the 427 in Ford’s big cars, only 89 were built, and this one currently on eBay is more special than most.
When the 427 was introduced for the street, there were two versions: The Q-code was rated at 410 horsepower with one four-barrel carb, while the R-code had 2×4 carbs and was rated at 425 horsepower. The latter seems to have been more popular based on the number of surviving cars.
Ford redesigned its big cars for 1965, giving them crisp lines with futuristic stacked headlights. Introduced with the new body was a new model: The Galaxie 500 LTD. Ford claimed it had “luxury you’d expect only cars costing hundreds more,” and it spawned a host of imitators over the next few years such as the Chevrolet Caprice and Plymouth Fury VIP. I would be willing to bet most 427 cars were based on the XL trim level, but at least two 427 LTDs are known. Unlike previous years, all 1965 427 cars were R-codes.
The Fairlane GT debuted in 1966, which gave Ford a proper competitor to the GTO. However, its 390 wasn’t as fast as a 427 Galaxie. Ford also offered the 427 in the Fairlane 500 but only 57 were built and most went to racers. A new 7-Litre package showcasing Ford’s new 428 “Thunderbird 7-Litre” motor became available for the Galaxie XL. It was rated at 345 horsepower, so it was more of a cruiser than a monster on the dragway. However, it’s estimated that 36 hardtops and 2 convertibles were built with the 427.
The last year for the 427 in the big Fords was 1967. We know for sure how many were built compared to previous years because Marti Auto Works was licensed to computerize Ford’s old records, so the number 89 is accurate. A single four-barrel 427 was offered for the first time since 1964, but now it was a W-code. Chances are the Galaxie XL R-code hardtop was the most popular combination with 22 built (of which eight had the 7-Litre package), but what was the rarest?
This 427 LTD would most certainly be in the running; the Marti Report shows there were three R-codes built, although I haven’t seen a Marti Report if any W-codes were. The seller of this car claims to have bought it from the original owner, and the car comes with California black plates, the original like-new wheelcovers, the original 8-track player, and a ton of parts.
It’s interesting to note that no 427 Mustangs were ever built. However, in 1968, the 427 was available for the Cougar GT-E until it was replaced by the 428 Cobra Jet, thus continuing Ford’s FE performance tradition.