Homeless in Vancouver: A classic car in one of the many autumns of its life
On Monday (October 23) I spotted a Ford Galaxie 500 Sunliner convertible parked on a residential side street on the eastern edge of the Fairview neighbourhood.
This classic 1960s car has apparently been a stationary fixture in its block for a good, long time—or so I was told by neighbour out walking their dog.
Galaxie 500s are few and far between on the streets of Vancouver.
My last sighting of one was in April of 2016 on West Broadway Avenue. I determined that one was a 1963 model, using the distinctive body styling around the taillight.
In the same way, I believe I can say with certainty that the Galaxie 500 I saw on Monday is a 1962 model.
Not what I meant when I said I wanted to date a model
In relying on body styling for dating I was forgetting the 2016 advice of a commenter, who explained that the last two numbers of the code moulded into the bottom edge of tail light lenses indicate the model year of most U.S. cars manufactured from the 1950s through the 1970s.
All I can add to the datum here is that the paint colour of Monday’s 1962 Galaxie 500—if original—is probably Ford Rangoon Red (hex: #d2211c), which is said to be a little lighter than Ford Candy Apple Red (hex: #981815), which debuted in 1966.
As for my personal impression, the 1962 Ford Galaxie 500 Sunliner convertible, it’s certainly eye-catching. How could it not be, with that wide, grinning mouthful of chrome and the long, glossy red slash of body?
It would stands out just for being such an anachronism.
Styling-wise though, I think this big slab of Detroit iron looks half-baked and awkward.
I find the side profile especially unsatisfying. I can’t argue with the long, chrome mid-line but there is no unity between the front and back wheel wells. And the chrome skirt over the back wheel just seems to drag down the whole back end.
Overall, I prefer the styling of the 1963 model. And I’ll take the stronger, more confident, horizontal styling of late 1960s cars, such as the Pontiac GTO and the Dodge Charger, any day.