Restored,Rebuilt and Re-LIVED!
Don’t let someone else’s yesterday hinder your enthusiasm today.
Andy Bolig - June 21, 2012 10:00 AM
Safety is more than seatbelts and preparing for the worst, it also means preventing it. That’s exactly what he does by adding additional gauges to the dash of his dashing Galaxie.
Woods Allen was brought up right. He KNEW that when your best friend's mom told you to do something, you'd better do it.
In June of 2001, when his high school buddy's mom told him to purchase her son's car to get it out of her garage, he wasn't about stop listening!
Turns out that the car she wanted removed was the 1964 Galaxie 500 “P-Code” that you see on these pages. And, it was in pretty good condition too! Woods had admired the car for some time and when she got adamant that her much-needed garage space was hiding in his wallet, it didn’t take long to make it happen.
Over the next few years, Woods was mindful to only make “careful and calculated improvements and repairs” to the car. As the car’s main purpose was to be a prized driver, Woods didn't want to make any drastic efforts that might take it off of the road for more than a day. He enjoyed the car in this fashion but then, in his own words, he “became frustrated with only honorable mentions” when showing the car. That's when the hammer dropped and he decided to go deep.
He parked the car and embarked on a three-and-a-half year endeavor to rebuild the car, not as a restoration, but more as a preservation with the idea that it will always be a driver. All the gaskets and rubber were replaced during the rebuild and along the way, Woods decided to make a few deviations from the original build.
When you look inside the engine compartment, there is a tasteful twist of factory and aftermarket components. Some items you can see if you look hard enough, while others are obscure to all but the most keen-eyed enthusiasts. The first thing that grabs your eyes are the dual Quick Fuel 4160 carbs residing between that distinctive oval air cleaner and a Blue Thunder aluminum intake.
If you look, you might be able to see a little hint of red from the MSD ignition poking around from behind them or the mechanical advance MSD distributor flanking it on the other side. In keeping with the P-Code, Woods installed an Isky solid-lifter cam to make sure that tell-tale tap stays consistent with the performance of the engine. To help keep it safe in today's world, he's installed a nine-quart Canton pan and pick-up so that oil is never in demand.
One of the things that Woods enjoys about the FE engine is that you can make significant upgrades without significantly changing its outward appearance. Sure, with the intake, the cast shorty exhaust manifolds and those 'Bird valve covers, you'd expect some performance, but you wouldn't expect to have a stroker engine displacing 445 cubic inches, thanks to a .030-inch overbore and a 4.25-inch crankshaft. Survival Motorsports supplied the go-fast goodies that now brought the engine up to an estimated 425hp and 470 lbs-ft of torque. Plenty to get this Galaxie going.
Woods' Galaxie contains the heavy-duty suspension including front and rear sway bars and the bigger three-inch wide drum brakes. To help improve the handling even further, he added radial tires wrapped around a set of Stockton Wheels (15x7 front, 15x8 rear) that have the original-style centers to give the factory caps something to hold onto. 215s up front and 270s in the rear help to give the car a sinister stance.
Woods is well aware of the history of these cars in both NASCAR and drag racing and with one look in the interior, you can tell that he's not only an admirer of that history, but he likes to make a little of his own. Sure, it might not be on the high-banked ovals or the quarter mile, but rowing through the gears on that floor-shifted four-speed, air gushing through that FE engine with a fury and the seat backs giving your chiropractor a run for his money, it's easy to see how these cars secured a place in the hearts and minds of enthusiasts. The legend wasn't created with museum pieces and Woods intends to keep that legend going, on the streets, albeit in a safe manner.
Safety is more than seatbelts and preparing for the worst, it also means preventing it. That's exactly what he does by adding additional gauges to the dash of his dashing Galaxie. Sure, there's the necessary tachometer, along with the oil pressure, water temp and voltage, but what you might not see, is the air/fuel ratio gauge that hides under the dash on a magnetic base until Woods decides to bring it out into view. He confesses that it was a big help in tuning in those eight barrels of fun atop the engine. With this mounting technique, Woods was able to have the convenience of a permanent installation without all of the commitment.
With only 44,000 southern miles on the odometer when he purchased the car, you can rightfully assume that the body was in pretty good shape when he started. But, you would be wrong to consider the restoration as “easy”. Taking a car down to that level is a commitment in time, effort and money. The only way to lower any one of those three items is to increase at least one of the other two. Woods did his best to balance all three by giving of his time, including friends and reaching out to the professionals when necessary. A friend of his, Walt Grant, did what bodywork was needful and then covered the body in a basecoat of Wimbledon White before evening out a flawless shroud of the shiny stuff. The unassuming color stands out in its perfection and even though most of the trim is still original to the car, everything was in good enough shape that it still looks great.
Woods decided to replace some of the interior in the car since some of the shimmering pieces were starting to show their age. He also replaced the headliner, door panels and carpet but retained the original paint on the dash. Greg Donahue helped by supplying some of the parts necessary for the restoration.
If it is truly possible for the sum to be greater than the parts, then this particular P-Code surely exemplifies it. The history of these cars is significant, their performance is legendary and the work that Woods has fostered upon his car is surely an investment. But, what clearly sends it over the top and clicks the “Jackpot” is the fact that in spite of it all, Woods is determined to not let the value, history and heritage of yesterday impede upon the fun and enjoyment of driving his car today.
Rather than bank on the backs of those who have twisted many a four-speed shifter before him, he'd rather build up his own accounts of fun and fast times at the helm of his own legendary ride. We couldn't agree more.