1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner 'Z-Code'

Sold For $88,000

Arizona - Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection

Chassis No.
  • Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection
  • Amazing original and unrestored condition
  • Desirable 401 horsepower “tri-power” V-8 and three-on-the-tree
  • Fewer than 19,300 believed actual miles
401 bhp, 390 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine with three two-barrel carburetors, three-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with A-arms and coil springs, Equalock rear differential, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 119 in.

The hot-footed buyer looking for a new quarter-mile competitor in the early 1960s could look to Ford and its “390 4V HI PERFM ENGINE,” an option priced at $195.40. According to a Ford Management Service Letter, issued on 28 September 1960, the 390 High Performance V-8 had a 10.6:1 compression ratio and developed 375 horsepower and 427 foot-pounds of torque in its standard form, with a single four-barrel carburetor. The addition of three two-barrel carburetors—what General Motors would have dubbed “Tri-Power”—on an aluminum intake manifold boosted the horsepower even further, to 401, an almost unheard-of figure for the early 1960s.

Combined with the column-shifted three-speed transmission (“four on the floor” would not be offered until 1962), Equalock rear differential, heavy-duty suspension, and fade-resistant brakes, the result was a potent drivetrain that could keep up with just about anything else built in Detroit at the time. It was most often offered in “strippers,” low-optioned two-door post sedans and coupes, but a few men and women actually had that drivetrain combination installed into the Galaxie Sunliner convertible.

The car shown here is one such Sunliner, identified as having been built with the 390 “Z-Code” engine by the fifth digit of its chassis number. Aside from the powerful engine, transmission, and rear axle, its only notable option is an AM radio. If it was ever drag-raced, it did so lightly, as at the time of cataloguing it had ticked fewer than 19,300 actual miles, and it remains in utterly splendid original condition. Its factory Aquamarine paint remains in virtually like-new condition, down to the factory stamps inside the door jambs, as does the wonderful original interior, which has a good patina but is thoroughly enjoyable. Even the original finishes of the trunk are preserved; it contains what appears to be the original BF Goodrich spare tire, as well as the original and correct jack. Underneath is clean and attractive.

Reportedly very well-known in the muscle car community for many years, the Sunliner was added to the Mohrschladt Family Collection several years later and has remained a favorite for its wonderful preservation and charming honesty. A rare Ford “drop-top” with considerable grunt under the hood, it would be a wonderful addition to any Blue Oval Performance collection and would be as welcomed at modern concours as on the quarter-mile.


Please note that this car is not equipped with overdrive.

Lot Number

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