This was a time before many of us were born and the international political scene was quite different. World War II was still a fresh memory for many, while the cold war between the USSR (Russia et al)plus its satellites and the USA was in full swing.
Another international flare-up was very much a possiblity and there was huge interest in developing rocket technology for space exploration. In fact, the whole ‘space race’ between Russia and the USA became something of an international obsession, with the former taking the initial lead. Ford cashed in on the idea by introducing the name Galaxie, which was to take over the luxury leader role from Fairlane.
It was introduced in late 1958 for the 1959 model year, when much was made of the Thunderbird heritage of both the body and engine choices. The range brochure proudly declared about the two-door hardtop version (called the Galaxie Club Victoria): ‘Thunderbird in looks...Thunderbird in Luxury’.
There was a dizzying number of variants. We counted 17 in the 1959 brochure, including two-doors, four-doors, six wagons (two of them designed to seat nine people) and even a Skyliner with the powered drop-top.
There were six engine choices – one six and five V8s – and it was the three Y-block V8 options that dominated the order books. Incredibly, that first generation (over 700,000 made!) was superceded as soon as the 1960 model year. The nameplate lasted until 1974.
Australia had a connection with the Galaxie series, as they were assembled locally from 1965 to 1972.