Thank you for all your wonderful personal stories about last week’s vehicle, a 1960 Ford. (That’s all the information we sought, but for the record, it was a Galaxie four-door hardtop.)
Chosen randomly from the correct entries was the name of Ronnie Tullis, of Evans, who wrote: “I had just turned 16 when my uncle bought a car just like this one and he let me borrow it to go on a date.
“I took my date to the Varsity Drive-In and ran over a pack of ketchup on the ground and it sprayed up onto the front fender and the acid in the ketchup took the paint off. It was the same color as the one in the paper, white. So here was my uncle’s brand-new car with the paint removed where the ketchup hit it, my name was mud.
“Also, my uncle had to put I think it was about eight sets of mufflers on his car in the few years he owned it. There was a moisture problem with the exhaust system and they kelp rusting out. Back then I would work on cars, so I felt obligated to replace the mufflers because of the ketchup issue.
“I also rushed my cousin’s daughter to the hospital when she stopped breathing in this car; it was so fast that the police could not keep up with me while going to the hospital.”
Tullis wins a prize from The Augusta Chronicle. Here are other readers identifying the vehicle (we had to trim entries down to fit the page, but they run in full online):
AUGUSTA: Dr. Dalton E. Brannen wrote: “The automobile is a 1960 Ford. My parents bought a used one in my senior year of high school. They could never afford a new car. To me, this was great in that this was the newest and best car we ever had and it came at a perfect time for me as a high school senior. It was the first car with automatic transmission for the family and it had a front bench seat which tilted back and was great for drive-in movie dates. I will say no more about that.
“The styling was really attractive especially in the two-door hardtop and convertible models. Unfortunately, ours was a four-door sedan but still a good car with an indestructible two-speed automatic that survived the driving habits of a 17-year-old.”
Walker Mobley Jr. wrote that is is probably a Galaxie: “I had a ’60 Thunderbird for a number of years, and the gunsight ornament on the front corner of the front fender was a reminder. Among other changes was the elimination of the wraparound, ‘dogleg’ of the edges of the windshield (much easier on the knees, spoken from experience).”
Barry Dickson wrote: “To me, the 1960 is the most attractive of the early Galaxie body styles.”
Lowell Fritsche said: “It was the fancy one, had the bullet sites on the fenders. It was a sharp-looking car.”
Gerald Byrd said: “That’s a 1960 Ford, the full size. Ford had some beautiful old cars in the 1960s, especially the larger cars.”
Jeff Elkins said it took a team effort from his co-workers at Maner Building Supply, and he also credited “Chad, Eddie, Parcel, Dewey and David.”
Dave Brinkman has worked on cars since 1950, so he recognized the Ford. He is a “GM man” and owns several vintage cars.
Also from Augusta, Sammy Whitfield, Willie Thomas, Richard Ashworth, Ronnie Knox and Erich Prahl.
CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: “The 1960 full-size Fords would have to be labeled one of the forgotten Fords, along with the 1961 lineup. These are simply two model years of the Fords that are almost never seen at car shows and Cruise Nights.
“It is interesting to note that Lee A. Iacocca, the man who blessed us with the Mustang and much later, the turn-around of a nearly bankrupt Chrysler, came to Ford in 1960 as its general manager. That’s not to say that he had anything to do with the 1960-61 model years, because as any car guy/gal knows, the current year offerings of any manufacturer were finalized months, if not years, earlier.
“Ford’s styling was all new for 1960, cutting down those magnificent fins of the 1959 lineup (my personal favorites), to diminutive bat wings very similar to those introduced on the 1959 Chevrolets. Ford chose half-moon taillights to complement those wings, with matching reflected indentations in the rear bumper below them. I believe that on some models those indentations were actually the backup lights.
“I checked my two supposedly comprehensive automotive encyclopedia sources, one with a publish date of 1984 and the other 1985, and neither of them rate even a mention of the 1960-61 full-size Fords. The 1960-61 Falcon and Thunderbird are mentioned, but not the full-size lineup. How is that for ‘forgotten’ when you’re not even mentioned in the history books? Such is the fickleness of the car collector as to why one model year is beloved and another is cast off. I cannot explain them because I am certainly confused and befuddled over why the Camaro collectors chose the 1969 model to adore and have practically kicked the original 1967-68 models to the curb.
“In thinking back to my childhood; the grandfather of my friend next door might have had a 1960 four-door Galaxie, but the grandfather did not live in Augusta so I did not see the car more than a few times. Today, if you come across one of these, it will definitely catch your attention with its one-year only space age design. I mean, how can you ignore that name with references to the stars and the galaxy?”
EVANS: Larry Heath wrote: “The other cars available from Ford in 1960 were the Thunderbird and the Falcon (new for 1960) compact car.
“The full-size Ford as shown was available in various trim levels and body configurations. A two-door business coupe with no back seat was the beginning. The range included sedans, hardtops with no side window pillar, convertibles and station wagons. Engines ranged from the standard six-cylinder up to the optional 352-cubic-inch V-8.
“At my high school, a young teacher owned a four-door sedan with the six-cylinder engine and ‘three on the tree’ transmission. It was a simple basic car, but the addition of fender skirts and whitewall tires made it into a ‘cool’ car. Today a ‘simple’ new car would likely be one without a navigation system and Bluetooth.
“Recognizing these cars without doing any research betrays my age. More good memories.”
Wayne Wilke wrote: “The front fender ‘bull's-eye’ ornament let me identify it immediately. The 1960 Ford that was a main character in an embarrassing moment was a two-door sedan, base model with a 223-cubic-inch six-cylinder, 145-horsepower engine, three-speed manual shift on the column and ‘dog-dish’ hub caps. It was as base as a base model could be.
“As a 15-year-old in the summer of ’61, a girl invited me to be her date at a dinner-dance where her father was the guest of honor. In my best suit and tie, with a wrist corsage for the girl (that my mother insisted was only proper and necessary), and my best manners (table and otherwise), the girl and her parents picked me up in the 1960 Ford.
“We all were leaving at the end of the night and I thought that I had survived without embarrassing myself. As we approached the Ford, I stumbled on some gravel and in reaching out to break my fall, my right hand struck the bulls-eye ornament on the Ford’s left front fender. The bull's-eye broke off cleanly. My hand was only slightly hurt, but my clumsiness had crushed my ego. Super glue had not yet been invented, so the Ford seemed unfixable and probably lived out its existence with only one bull's-eye ornament.
“So, this week’s car reminded me of a moment that would be better forgotten.”
Jerry Paul wrote: “This week is definitely a Ford, but I will guess it is a 1960 Ford Starliner.”
Bill Harding wrote: “When Ford dropped the expensive trouble-prone Skyliner retractable hardtop after 1959, the 1960 Galaxie Starliner convertible replaced it. The convertible and its companion Sunliner hardtop could be had with a 223-cubic-inch inline six, a 292-cubic-inch ‘Y-block’ V-8, or the new 352-cubic-inch FE-series V-8. Transmission choices included a three-speed manual transmission (with overdrive optional) and 2-speed Ford-O-Matic or 3-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatics, depending upon engine choice.”
Tommy Price said: “I had a 61 Plymouth but when I saw the 1960 Ford I thought it was the prettiest car on the road, espescially the four-door hardtop.”
PJ Rodgers said: “My dad had one of these, a 1960 Ford Galaxie Sunliner.”
Also: Sam Roney, Pete Schiffbauer, Adam Logemann and Jim Williamson.
GRANITEVILLE: Kyle Corley recognizes old cars and owns a 1974 AMC AMX.
HEPHZIBAH: David Hagen wrote: “I owned a ’64 Ford Fairlane 500 with the bull's-eyes on top of the front quarter panels. Thanks for the memories. I use to drive it to (Savannah River Plant) when they first put the seat-belt laws into effect and it didn’t have any belts, but my car was ‘grandfathered’ in.”
Charlie Byrd said the engines for 1960 included a “292-cubic-inch V-8 with a Y-block, but buyers could get a 352 with horsepower options all the way up to 427; they also had police models, that sort of thing.”
Edward Brooks said he had one just like it and drives a Mustang now.
Also, Leo Bennett.
JOHNSON CITY, TENN.: John P. Fry wrote: “I am in Augusta on a business trip from Johnson City, Tenn., and my wife showed me the picture of the mystery car. It is a 1960 Ford Galaxie. I am a real car buff and love the old cars. My first car was a 1962 Chevrolet Impala. Loved that car, but had to sell it to continue my college education until I could afford another car. That one was a 1965 Impala SS.”
KEYSVILLE, GA.: Glenn Widner wrote: “I had a red 1960 Ford Galaxie convertible in high school. Sold it and bought a 1957 Chevrolet two-door hardtop.”
LOUISVILLE, GA.: Robert L. Holbert wrote: “The car is a 1960 Ford. It had a sculpted hood and dual headlights … . The sculpted hood disappeared the next year, however. The car was designed with a futuristic look, more sleek than the ’50s models, including dropping the tailfins to a more modest height. To emphasize its space age look, the main model was the Galaxie. The two-door model was the NASCAR entry from Ford.”
MARTINEZ: Jim Muraski wrote: “My Uncle Joe owned one of these when I was a kid. I remember many rides in the back seat staring out at the world through that giant bubble rear window and across those horizontal fins.”
Lloyd B. Schnuck wrote that he’s a car enthusiast, especially Ford since the early ’50s and family owned Fords beginning with Model A’s, then V-8’s.”
Joe Bert said the Galaxie was a “very nice car, very stylish.”
Karen Hayes wrote: “That was the year Ford made significant changes to the Galaxie model.”
Also, Perry Austin.
NORTH AUGUSTA: Don Fryer wrote: “ ‘Longer, lower, wider’ was the advertising tag line in the early ’60s. On Tuesday evenings back then, my dad – a car guy – would stroll down the street with me to Louisville Motors, a long-ago Ford dealership on South Third Street in Louisville, Ky. I was 9 years old. ‘Sit on hard chairs and save hard cash’ was the advertising slogan of that dealership.”
Ted Wasserlein wrote: “I know a 1960 Ford when I see one.”
Joel Reese said: “My sister had a red one. I was a little kid, about 10, for some reason I remember that car; first time I ever tried to drive a car.”
PATRICK, S.C.: Paul White had a 1961 Ford convertible and three Starliner coupes.
THOMSON: Shannon Saxon knew it was a Ford but thought it might be the 1961.
Also, Al Lamar.
WADLEY, GA.: Thomas Turner said his grandfather kept his 1960 Ford to the end.
WARRENVILLE: James Covar said: “When I was 16 I took my driving test in a 1960 Ford. I remember it had no power steering. It was a straight-drive model. It was like a tank, especially trying to parallel-park it.”
WATKINSVILLE, GA.: Joe Arp said it was “the beautiful 1960 Ford Galaxie.”
WAYNESBORO, GA.: Russell Jones said: “My first cousin had one in 1960 as a graduation present.”
Also, Ken Huff.
WILKES COUNTY, GA.: Gene Wilson said, “My brother-in-law and sister had one just like it. It was the ugliest Ford they ever made. Just like they say the 1959 Chevy was the ugliest Chevrolet.”
NO CITY LISTED: Sam Marshall.