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My 1963 Ford Galaxie


Racing driver Marc Ducquet and his sons Bret and Trent own three of the mighty beasts sharing an unusual family passion.  Marc's pride and joy is his 1963 (1963 and a half  for the diehards) Galaxie fastback lightweight racing car.

The 7-litre engined monster was one of only 212 made in the US for the intention of drag racing though some did become road cars.  As racing cars they were built to be as light as possible. They had fibreglass mudguards, bonnet, boot and doors, aluminium bumper bars, no radio and few interior comforts.

"They were probably the first of the supercars," he says.  "They came in one colour white with red trim."

The most famous version to reach Australia was driven by Lex Davison (grandfather of current V8 Supercars racers Will and Alex) in the 1964 Sandown Six Hour race in Melbourne.

It romped into the lead ahead of a pack of Minis and Cortinas only to run out of brakes and crash through a timber fence where it stayed precariously perched over a waterway for hours as the race continued.

Ducquet says he built his car up over three years from 1991, debuting at Bathurst in 1994 when it finished fourth in an historic touring car race competing against cars of its own era. He says it has been clocked at 278km/h down Bathurst's Conrod straight.

Since then he has continued to compete in historic racing but the car has been forced to compete against more modern machinery.  "You do it for the love of the sport," he says.

After the race car project was completed Ducquet says his sons wanted to continue and obtain road-going Galaxies.  Out of America they obtained a turquoise 1963 XL500, a luxury version complete with a 6.5-litre V8 engine.

"It reeks of 1960s American bad taste," laughs Ducquet.  They also bought a light green 1963 four-door with a 5.8-litre V8 engine.  "It is totally unmolested and original," he says.

He says there are several other Galaxies of this era in Australia but few of the racecars. He says many of the original 212 still exist in the US and England where they enjoyed racing careers as both drag racers and saloon car racers.

Ducquet says he has heard of a mint condition version going for $US200,000 - not bad considering they sold for a then expensive $US3200 new.  The three Galaxies will make a rare public appearance in Sydney on Sunday (July 25) at the All Ford Family Day at Eastern Creek raceway.

Hundreds of Fords from all eras, ranging from cars to buses and drag cars, will be on display. The annual event draws thousands of fans.  This year is particularly special for Ford fans as they celebrate the 50th annive