A 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Country Squire Wagon Rescued & Well Renovated


At the Fabulous Fords Forever car show, held at Knotts Berry Farm, in Buena Park, CA, some 15 years ago, Craig Leszkiewicz saw a fully restored 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Country Squire wagon at the event. He decided at that moment that he would one-day own one. The search was on...


1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Country Squire Well Bought

He found a '63 Country Squire survivor baking and freezing away in the California high desert around five years ago. Apart from a dented in rear quarter panel, bent and rusty bumpers, a rusty tailgate and drip rail over the driver's side door, and surface rust on much of the exterior, the wagon was pretty straight and solid. Given the temperature extremes that the Galaxie 500 endured, all of the rubber seals and vinyl parts had cracked, hardened, or disintegrated, so Craig replaced them.


The owner also completely rebuilt the front and rear suspension with new tie rod ends, ball joints, bushings, shocks, etc. He restored the hydraulic power steering system with a pump, a hydraulic valve, a hydraulic ram, and hoses. He replaced the original single circuit front drum/rear drum brake system with a dual circuit front disc/rear drum system from Performance Online.


The Galaxie had its matching number Ford 390-cubic inch big block V8 engine and its Ford Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission. Craig removed the drivetrain and had the automatic transmission rebuilt, while he renewed the Ford FE390 mill to stock specs, with its from the Ford factory, standard bore, and stroke. He reinstalled the engine and trans, after updating relays and breakers for many of the electrical circuits for safety and reliability, including the ignition, headlights, and cooling fan. A Petronix electronic ignition was likewise installed. 


To keep the refurbished engine cool and running optimally at all times, Craig replaced the wagon's original radiator with a Cold Case aluminum one. He also installed a cooling pusher fan and an aftermarket fan shroud. 


Within the cavernous surf wagon interior, Craig handmade a headliner. He removed the seats and installed ACC carpet. The seat covers are New Old Stock (NOS) Ford items, which is way cool. 


For the exterior, the owner found all used Ford OEM items that were needed, including: front and rear bumpers, front and rear bumperettes, the center hood ornament, the front grille trim, a remote-control driver mirror, the rocker panel trim, fender skirts, roof rack, and a bunch of assorted trim pieces and sundry bits to replace missing or worn-out items.

1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Country Squire Well Wrought


Above: The Galaxie now is shod with BFGoodrich Silverton redline radial tires on 15-inch American Racing Salt Flat wheels, which Craig found on Craigslist and Offer Up.


All of the fiberglass wood trim and woodgrain inserts were sourced from With the exception of the hood and driver's side front fender, the Country Squire has all of its original paint. These two panels were painted several decades ago. Craig used scotch brite pads, an enamel clear coat, and wax to restore the 61-year-old paint job. 


With the exception of rebuilding the Cruise-O-Matic transmission and mounting the BFGoodrich radial tires on the American Racing wheels, the owner performed all of the work on his Country Squire in his Santa Ana, CA garage or driveway. What's more, his 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Country Squire is his daily driver! How great is that?


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