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Karl R. Josker | all galleries >> Galleries >> Fender Emblems > Ford 406
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Ford 406

This seems to be a forgotten engine. Can't say that I ever rode or drove one; it was replaced by the 427. I do remember that it came in either a four barrel or three deuces version. I don't remember if it ever came with dual quads like the 427 did.

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Dave Fowler 27-Jul-2009 17:20
Wow, I owned a 62 Galaxie 500 with 406 and 4speed with a bench seat and pretty mundane looking. The weekend before I went to Viet Nam I raced her at Eldora Dragway in Fairmont, WV and beat the likes of GTO's and 442's but missed a shift in the last race and lost. When I first pulled in everyone sort of laughed but they wern't laughing when I left the strip. My father drove this car while I was in Nam and when I got home I had to have a new car so I traded her in for a MoPar. If I only had this car taday. Oh, Well.
Lee Bowe 09-Jul-2009 04:30
I remember those engines. They were something of a mystery in their day because the 409 Chevy's were getting all the press. But I distinctly remember how peoples jaws dropped when one would show up at the local dragstrips and proceed to outrun just about everything else! Kinda like the 302 Chevys of a later era, you heard about them but hardly ever saw one.
Frank Sullivan 08-Aug-2008 18:06
I currently own a 63 1/2 Galaxie 500XL. My father left it to my brother and I when he passed in 2000. It has a 406 tri-power with a 4-speed. It is red on red and has been garaged for it's entire life. It also has the factory reverb stereo which works perfect. The motor was rebuilt but to fact. specs and a new clutch. That is the extent of this car being touched. My brother and I never drive the car ,it just sits in the garage and we dust it every so often when called for. We have alot of muscle car projects and litlle room so we have decided to put the car up for sale. It's been in our family since 1973. If interested my email is Thank you!
Frank 05-Apr-2008 21:20
I had a 63,Galaxie XL.,405H.P. The best I could do at Atco was 13.9@ 109MPH. Had 4.57 gear and open pipes. There was a 63 409 station wagon called " Piggie" always got me by a car.I still have dreams about driving the car.
Kevin T 04-Dec-2007 03:40
My first Galaxie ended up being a 63XL Convertible that I bought in 1977 from a retired VP of Ford Motor Co. I lived in Dearborn and was in love with the early Galaxies, so I jumped on this one when it came up for sale. It happened to be a Canadian built car and had a unique VIN tag. The engine code was separate from the VIN like on the USA made cars. It said GC. G-code cars in the USA were of course 406 tripowers. This car actually was a 352 auto. I ended up buying a 406 engine and much searching (no internet back then!). It was already bored out .040" and I had to go .060". Ended up putting in a 428 crank too. Put a C-6 trans with stall converter. Still had the 14" wheels and spoke wheel covers. Needless to say, the car didn't hook up well, just torch the tires. But, once moving it surprised many a hotrods cruising Telegraph Rd. I sold the car after many years. Bought another 10 or so Galaxies since and now I'm restoring a factory G-code 62XL-406. The car came out of California and had a 427 in it at one time. Still has an old racing decal on the vent window. I had the engine rebuilt by a retired guru from Ford's Experimental Garage. I can't wait to take it out on the Woodward Dream cruise and open up the cutouts and 3" exhaust!
H.J.Prevot 13-Aug-2007 00:37
In 1963 & 64 I ran a 1963 Galaxie 2 DR sedan with a 406 385 HP single quad 4-speed in the Chicago area. My class was A/S which included certain 409s and Mopar wedges (not max of course). Consistant winner with 16 trophies. Best E.T. was 13.28 and best speed was 109 mph at U.S.30 dragstrip. Car had headers, 4.57 gearing, slicks, HD clutch and a lot of body set-up. Otherwise stock.
Gary Williams 08-Aug-2007 23:16
My father-in-law, a retired CHP said he remembers clearly the first time he ever encountered a 406. It was in Petaluma (American Graffiti fame) one night. He was parked and this black '62 Galaxy cruised by and the guy blipped the throttle. He made a u turn two blocks down and as he drove by blipped the throttle a second time. Harry told his partner "if he does it again, I'm going to reel his butt in." He said the guy went two blocks down, hung his u-turn and came back. This time he chirped the tires right in front of Harry and his 383 Dodge high performance police cruiser. Harry hits the lights and siren and the guy buries the throttle and boils the hides and heads out of town. He cleared a small rise outside of town and when Harry got to the rise, the Ford had vanished. He said in his 32 years on the patrol he never had a car disappear so fast on him. He never saw the '62 Galaxy again, but it still bugs him that one got away.
Three years later my brother came home with a light green 427 R code '63 1/2 Galaxy fastback. A year later he went to Viet Nam and I got to take care of it. My third ticket for "exhibition of speed" got it parked by my Dad. I finished my senior year driving a slant 6 Dodge Dart. Ahh, the Wonder Years!
garyv 30-Jan-2007 17:07
I had a 1967 mustang fastback S code the 390 was replaced with a built up 406 race motor. 4 spd 4:11 detroit locker ran 12's on street tires. too bad it sold it in '83... a strong runner up to about 6400 RPM.
Guest 14-Nov-2006 21:14
The Good Old Days. I had a black 62 Galaxy that was very well know in the Los Angeles areas. I had some almost legendary races and I still get asked about the car today. I blew through several transmissions and finally scattered the motor on a burnout gone awry. Never thought much about a 5800 RPM redline, but pushing past 8000 RPM was little more than she could bear. I put in a 428 Cobrajet. I experimented with tri power, headers, etc but it just never had the same juice. I got drafted and sold the car. I heard someone wrapped it around a telephone pole. I was recently out out the Los Angeles fairgrounds and they had a 406 in the museum there. Looked kind of plain with small tires, etc. but it still brought back good memories. I think the reason those old 60's muscle cars were so revered is that most cars were so crappy through the 70's and 80's. I wanted something fast so I got a Porsche. It's nice to know there are now a lot of very fast cars available and they sure do better than 12 GPM.
mike siemion 22-Sep-2006 20:21
Hi, my first car was a 63 1/2 black 406 with tripower-- i was sold on it when i took it for a ride hands down. what a rush i was 18 and paid $850 for it , the 406 came with a 4 barrel or 3- 2 barrels(405 hp), it had the engine " dress up kit " crome air cleaner crome valve covers, crome fan, crome fuel filter, crome radiator reservor, and crome fan shroud.
to this day i've never seen another one with the dress up kit , the engine looked cool& hauled ass
I later bought a 427 galaxie( 425 hp) and got rubber in all 4 gears
mike siemion
Tom Tucker 01-Sep-2006 22:24
I had the first 406/405 in Southern Oregon. I added headers, dump tubes and slicks, plus an Isky cam and ran 12.12 and was still street legal (no mean trick at that time). I easily beat the only 413 to hit the area. The Ford's final race was against the first 426 ramcharger Dodge to hit town. I beat it out of the hole by about 4 lengths and beat it at the end of the quarter by about 4 feet, blowing everything up in the process, but it was worth it. Great car. Wish I still had it. Never got beat by a 409 Chevy. In fact the only thing to beat it was a highly modified Corvette that turned in the 11's.
Nick DiPinto 26-Jun-2006 20:38
Nice article ! I had a brand new 62 Ford Galaxie 500 with the 406 tri-power and 4-speed. It was a a great car. Un-blueprinted and street driven , I ran mid to high 13's and never lost a street race. Won a couple trophies while running at Cecil County, Vineland, and Atco . The national record at that time was high 12's and not too many machines could run under low 14's in street trim although many claimed that they did.The 413 max wedges were brutal, but weighed easily 300-400 pounds less than a Galaxie.rated about the same , they still all had to run super stock when new ,as the top horsepower motors of each manufacturer were lumped in that class based on horsepower to weight.
Ol Chevy Guy 01-May-2006 02:06
My best friend (who could afford the price) bought a brand new 63 Galaxie with the 406 tri-power engine, and was the undisputed terror of our southern New Jersey town until he joined the navy and his father sold the car. In heads up 1/4 mile drags he went undefeated by the much vaunted 409 chevy's, and even came within 6/10ths of running down the legendary Mopar "Ramcharger" in the summer of 63 at Vineland NJ. It's all in the record books. Although these cars were advertised as 405 HP, they were often sent to the Holmon Moody shop down in North Carolina (as this one was) and came back with something closer to 600. Anyone who has any doubts about these very underrated powerplants need only to check out how many Nascar races they won in their short career. They never had the fanfare of the chevy's because so many of them were installed as low output versions in "family type" sedans, and then they, (along with everything else) were obsoleted by the monsterslayer 426 Mopars. To be fair it must be added that ford came back against the Chrysler boys with a hemi of their own, an overhead cam screamer referred to as a "hemi-cammer" that was never equalled as a street legal groundpounder. But it produced more moxy than the traction technology of the day could realistically handle, and after several people were killed trying to master the thing it was discontinued. I understand that if one were to luck up on one of them today, Jackson Barrett auctioneers would expect it to bring somewhere in the range of two million dollars restored!
Guest 10-Jul-2005 06:44
The 405HP 406 engine used the same bull-strong, side-oiler, 4-bolt/cross-bolt mains block that would be used in the 427 Thunderbolts. You can still find a surprising number of these engines under the hoods of those early-60s Ford Galaxies. Even if the car isn't salvageable, buy the engine!