Tom & Dona Fretter's
1964 Galaxie 500

I work as an outside sales representative, and so I am constantly traveling. This gives me a lot of time to look around for cars. One day, while driving along, I got behind a school bus that was in the process of stopping to let some kids off. While sitting there, I looked up a driveway, and saw a 1964 Galaxie for sale. I didn't think much of it at first, but as the bus and I pulled away, I thought: That car sure has nice lines, I should go back and look at it. After a few miles, I decided to do just that.

After pulling in the drive and looking the car over, I realized the car was in beautiful shape, a few door dings, but otherwise, very straight. A lady came out and said it was her sons car and he was asking $1800. I gave her my phone number and went on my way, thinking about owning and restoring the car. Later that night, he called and asked if I wanted to come back and look at the car and make an offer. Since it was close to 11:00 pm , I told him I would be out the next day. He tried a few times to get me to come right out. Bad move, it sounded like he was desperate. Saturday came and I went back out to see the Galaxie. As I got out of my car, the first thing he said to me was "How about $1600. " I said , I wanted to look over it first, then make a decision. As I checked it out, I found that the original 390 had been replaced with a small block. The seats had also been changed and were not original but the car did look nice. He said the car was from Charlotte, North Carolina. By this time I had made it just about all the way around the car and he said to me, " How about $1500. I said I didn't know and kept looking at the car. The underneath was very clean, no holes and only minor surface rust. All the way around again and he said "How about $ 1400." This time I thought I would go around again just to see what he would say. same thing, " How about $ 1300." Now I'm starting to wonder, Is this car hot? No, He had the title. Why are you selling it ? He said " I need the money, How about $ 1200." I kept looking. The odometer showed 62 thousand and from the looks of it, it hadn't turned over. He blurted out $ 1100? As I made another round, this went on for about another half hour. The final price was $600. He did all the price lowering himself, and all I did was go around and around. Well I gave him the money and he threw me the title and jumped in his truck and was gone. I came back later and took the car home. On further inspection I found a pair of stainless fender skirts still wrapped up, in the trunk.

In the next few weeks I found out why he sold so cheap. He was into drugs, what a waste. In the next 7 months, I totally stripped the car and restored it. Wanting to put a big block back in the car, I came across a 62 390 H.P. for sale, pretty cheap. I had it rebuilt, bored .30 over, balanced, blue printed and the heads were ported and polished, and fitted with 427 valves that were turned down to fit enlarged seats. I don't think you could fit a hair between the exhaust and intake valves, but it sure does breathe. It is also running a solid lift cam for that factory washing machine sound. ( that's how some people have described a solid lift sound to me.) The car also has factory tri-power and shorty headers. I came up with a neat idea for custom valve covers: I found a set of finned aluminum valve covers at a swap meet, for $20.00 and the purchased 390 fender badges. I milled the valve covers out to fit the badges, then painted and polished the valve covers and glued in the 390 badges.

Many people ask , where I bought such cool valve covers or are they factory. Any way , the motor puts out, some where between 450 - 500 H.P. A lot of people tease me with the old saying " Found on road dead" This car shows them that fords are very much alive. The body didn't need much straightening other than some small dings here and there. When it was ready, and with the help from a friend, the car was painted with black base coat and then clear.

Since then, I'm constantly looking for better trim and so on. The search for better parts never ends, but that's part of the fun of owning an older car. Since joining the Galaxie club, it's been much easier finding parts, with the help of the corner store and also advertisements from dealers. I enjoy reading the Gazette and learning how other people have acquired and finished their cars. My wife and I go to a lot of cruises and shows, and have won quite a few trophies. The ones I'm most proud of though, have come from ALL ford shows or shows where you think you don't have a chance. The trophy I'd really like to have would be , a picture of my car in the book you are working on, but I think I'd need some luck, There is an awful lot of nice cars in the club including friends we've made with other Galaxie owners. You have got your work cut out for you, picking those cars. Keep up the good work with the club, Mark. I think everything you are doing, is for a better organization and that the Galaxie club should stay a club for all Galaxies, not just certain years. By the way, it might be interesting to find out some of the names people call their cars. Mine is named "Otis" named after the character on the Andy Griffith show, just an idea.

Thanks for your time,
Tom & Donna Fretter

P.S. I've also enclosed a few pictures of a very special Galaxie. This one, was born as a Chevy and Mopar eater. I couldn't believe it when I saw it, but, this car is not a clone. A gentleman I met at a car show owned it and told me, He had found it in a field behind a barn, stripped of most of it's parts. He restored it to how it looked in 64 when, Tiny Lund, drove it, and won many races with it. It was facinating to see and hear. It was Indescribable how cool this car sounded. He never said how much this car cost to restore,---- but he did say the air cleaner assembly alone was $ 1000.00. Hope you can print the picture of it for other members to see.

Thanks again.

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