1962 Ford Galaxie 500/XL

Ninteen sixty-two was the year of "The Lively Ones from Ford." Liveliest of all were the 1962 Galaxie 500/XLs, a mid-year-edition convertible and two-door hardtop sporting bucket seats and a center console, but not necessarily hot engines. (Standard motivation came from the 138-horsepower six.)

1962 Ford Galaxie 500/XL
Mylar trim accented the 1962 Ford Galaxie 500/XL.

For several years Ford had resisted putting buckets and a console in its top-line Galaxies, hoping to keep the Thunderbird distinctive. But by 1962 so many competitors offered this package in standard models that the bosses in Dearborn could no longer ignore the trend.

Standard 500/XL equipment included special wheel covers and exterior identification, chrome-trimmed console with fancy shifter, and deluxe front bucket and rear semi-bucket seats. Door and side trim panels were accented with chrome-like Mylar.

There were seven solid interior colors, and nearly all of Ford's exterior colors were eventally made available. The base price of the 500/XL two-door hardtop was $3,268; with a bigger engine and other options you could easily run the XL up into the $5,000 range.

Some new options for the 1962 Galaxies were two-speed electric windshield wipers, power windows with a safety lock, load-leveling shock absorbers, a remote-control trunk lid release, and seat belt anchors (though seat belts were still optional). Transistorized ignition was introduced in March.

Ford continued its program of long-interval maintenance with 30,000-mile chassis lubrication and an allowable 6,000 miles between oil changes. Radiator coolant was advertised as being good for two years. All single mufflers were fortified with aluminizing, and dual mufflers were fabricated from aluminized steel.

Special attention was given to body areas prone to rust. Nylon bushings were employed to reduce lubrication and wear, and many more parts were plated to stave off corrosion. The 12,000-mile or one-year warranty program entered its second year.

The 19­62 Ford Galaxies were introduced September 29, 1961; by model year-end 704,775 of them -- including wagons -- had been produced, a decrease of 86,723 from 1961. (However, total Ford production was up by more than 220,000 units.)

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