Somehow a terrible driving stranger in a 7-Eleven parking lot totaled Long Beach, CA resident Ethan Gentile's daily driven Subaru by backing into the Subie. So, what did Mr. Gentile do really fast? He did what any American muscle car aficionado might do. He found a 1968 Ford XL sportsroof on a website called Offer Up. Ethan then proceeded to negotiate a sweetheart of a deal for the Ford and drove home in the car.
1968 Ford XL 429 Thunderjet Commuter Special
For the last nine weeks Ethan's commuting car from Long Beach to Huntington Beach, CA is his XL sportsroof. The former owner had already swapped a 429 Ford big block V8 into the XL and mated the huge mill to Ford's best and strongest C6 three-speed automatic transmission.
Above: The Ford 429ci V8 Thunderjet mill came out of a 1968 Thunderbird. Fuel delivery comes from a Holley 110 gallon per hour fuel pump, which feeds the Edelbrock 750 cfm four-barrel carburetor with manual choke that's bolted atop an Edelbrock Performer four-barrel aluminum intake manifold. An MSD electronic ignition and Blaster coil provides the spark, while stock cast iron exhaust manifolds from a Ford F-350 send the spent fumes on their merry way. The C6 auto trans has a TCI reverse pattern full manual valve body, which the owner installed/accomplished a week before driving the XL to the CI retail showroom to buy more Ford parts. A B&M Holeshot 2400 rpm stall torque converter and a 9-inch Traction Lok rear end with 3.5:1 gearing transfers all that power to the pavement with precision and abundant abandon.
Above: That appears to be the original XL steering wheel and dash pad. In the lower left-hand corner of the dash there's an aftermarket radiator water/coolant temperature gauge and likely to be an oil pressure gauge to the left of the temp gauge. What's with that box chock full of CDs? There looks to also be an aftermarket CD player installed in the dashboard. This ride's definitely a daily. There's also a child safety seat in the back bench seat.
Sure, the car's a bit rough around the edges. But it's a daily driven road cruising classic with a 429 big block Ford mill under the hood just a burnin' that fossil fuel like it's the '60s and high-test fuel is .34 cents a gallon! This man Ethan's a muscle car man among men with that sort of machine under the prowess of his right foot and his wallet. These cars are still meant to be driven, so long as you can afford to pay for the petrol.
Above: Though the formal name of the 1968 Ford Galaxie 500 XL sportsroof was quite long, Ford's sales and PR promotional literature typically just called the car the 1968 Ford XL sportsroof. The XL had these way cool hideaway headlights.
Above: Someone must have modified the emblem to read 429, as 1968 XLs weren't born with 429 cubic inch V8 engines.
Above: The outside door handles look to be original.
Above: The Cooper Cobra radial tires are 225/70R15".
Above and below: The sportsroof XL coupe has a racy profile and is also referred to as a fastback. Vehicle weight for the 1968 Ford XL sportsroof is 3,608 pounds, with an overall length of 213.3 inches, and a wheelbase of 119 inches. By way of comparison, the author's 2019 Mustang Ecoboost fastback weighs 3,542 pounds, has an overall length of 188.3 inches, and a wheelbase of 107.1 inches.
The owner is an engineer by training and profession. When DIY mechanical, electrical, or interior projects arise, he's well equipped to accomplish the tasks at hand. He is pleased with the items he has purchased from Classic Industries for his 1968 Ford XL so far. His only comment about what CI sells is the following, "Y'all need to carry more Ford stuff." Point taken, Ethan.
Classic Industries Sells Ford Galaxie 500 Parts
Full size Ford Galaxie 500 owners can shop starting on the Classic Industries Galaxie 500 page. Shop here, if you have some other sort of Ford vehicle. Otherwise, you can start from the Classic Industries home page.
Classic Industries Muscle Car Library
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