Black Beauty: Mark Stuchel’s 1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie

The 1963 and 1/2 Ford Galaxie may be one of the most well-known racing icons in history, having taken Ford’s NASCAR racing program to new levels with the introduction of the Sport Hardtop on the mid-year model, but no matter if you’re a racing junky or just a fan of classic American steel, there’s no denying the timeless looks and appeal of the famed fastback model. Now-a-days, there are quite a few 1963.5 Galaxies in the show circuit but nothing quite compares to those fully rebuilt and sporting the Slam’d stance that we all know and love. This Galaxie, owned by Mark Stuchel of Earlham, Iowa is the perfect example!

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Photos & Words: Lindsey Fisher

We first came across Mark’s Galaxie at the 2015 Goodguys Heartland Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa when we were out there covering the event. Finished just a matter of days before the July 4th weekend show, Mark’s Galaxie took the event by storm, stopping not only us in our tracks, but countless spectators who we saw spend an abundance of time drooling over the deep black paint, low-slung stance, and the timeless red leather interior. It’s safe to say that we weren’t the only ones that noticed the seamless mixture of classic styling with modern performance upgrades and for that reason, we just had to add this Galaxie to our Slam’d Mag feature car family!

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While Mark finished up the car just days before bringing it out to the Heartland Nationals, it was no quick build. In fact, Mark has had the car for over 30 years and spent the better part of the last seven years dialing in the build, including moving the car to and from a couple of different restoration shops and finally to his buddy Chris Brindley’s shop, where the car was completed (and completed right). The only thing Mark would change would be to entrust his prized car to Chris from the very beginning, as it wouldn’t have taken seven long years to have the car built to his standards.

Although the project ended up taking a few detours along the way, good things come to those who wait, and Mark’s Galaxie is certainly proof of that. Just like any high-quality custom build, the Ford underwent a complete frame-off restoration and modification process. For optimal handling, the chassis was fully dressed in Ridetech gear, including a ‘bagged suspension setup and Wilwood disc brakes. Under that, you’ll find American Racing Torque Thrust wheels wrapped in Hankook Ventus tires, all adding to the perfect lowered stance for both enhanced looks and performance.

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Under the hood, Mark opted to keep with the high-performance theme, having his ride equipped with none other than a 5.0L Coyote engine from Ford Racing topped off with a Ford Performance supercharger. That’s right ladies and gents, this sleek ’63 and 1/2 is sporting a modern Coyote powerplant, which offers not only great looks but a ton of reliable power.

While the high-performance mods certainly add to the appeal of the Galaxie, the car wouldn’t be complete without its bold yet classic look. Seamless body lines and smoothed body panels give the Galaxie a timeless essence that far exceeds the car’s construction from the factory. Eliminating the emblems from the front and rear of the car only adds to this “sleekening” of an already exemplary car design. Throw in a deep coat of PPG Black paint and a custom red leather interior, and you’ve got yourself pretty much a 10 out of 10 in our book.

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There’s certainly a lot to love about 1963.5 Galaxie models and this is one of the finest examples we’ve seen in a long time. But this won’t be the last slammed project that comes out of the Stuchel household, in fact, a little birdie told us that there’s now a classic COE in the works – can you say the ultimate husband and wife tow setup?! Only time will tell, stay tuned.

Slam’d Specs

Owner: Mark Stuchel
Vehicle: 1963.5 Ford Galaxie
Hometown: Earlham, Iowa

feature_61Wheels/Tires:
Front: 18×8-inch American Racing Torque Thrust wheels
Rear: 20×10-inch American Racing Torque Thrust wheels
Tires: 235/40/ZR18 (front) and 275/40/ZR20 (rear) Hankook Ventus tires
Brakes: Wilwood discs with hydroboost and Wilwood master cylinder

Suspension/Chassis:
Front: Ridetech kit for the Galaxie
Rear: Ridetech 4-link
Ridetech control arms, shocks and ‘bags
Ford 9-inch rearend

Body/Paint:
Shaved front and rear emblems
Trim restored by Iverson Automotive
Performed by: Chris Brindley
Painted PPG Black
Painted by: Lance Lynde

Interior/Stereo:
Modified Lexus SC300 seats wrapped in red leather
Modified ’63 Galaxie dash customized to fit Classic Instruments gauges; customized by Chris Brindley
JVC GPS Navigation system
JL Audio subwoofers and speakers
Kenwood amplifiers
Push-button “Start”
Full interior performed by: Sam’s Upholstery

Engine/Performance:
5.0L Ford Racing Coyote engine
Supercharger from Ford Performance
Custom headers
3-inch mandrel bent exhaust
Flowmaster mufflers
4R70W transmission

Special Thanks from the Owner:
“To my wife Suzan, Chris, Sue, Kaylie, Kamilla and Matthew Brindley, and Mike Wahl. Also, Ron Jarboe at Jarb’s, Tony Sposato, Lance Lynde, and Sam and Greg Mapes from Sam’s upholstery, and anyone that helped see this one through.”


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