Bruce Ricks is an avid Oklahoma-based car collector and hot rodder who regularly debuts new builds. His long-running relationship with Steve Cook and the team at Steve Cook Creations in Oklahoma City always produces trendsetting cars that instantly garner attention. Expectations are high when the two of them team up and this stunning ’63½ Ford Galaxie is another great example of their partnership.
Like all of Bruce’s cars, this Galaxie was built to be driven reliably. We hear it time and time again, but the less-is-more theory fueled this build from the beginning – there are no major body modifications, 15-inch wheels, and a reworked stock interior.
The over-the-top part is under the hood, where there’s a massive 496c.i. all-aluminum Craft Performance FE Ford engine. Topped with a vintage Edelbrock intake with six deuces converted to EFI by Autotrend, the thumpin’ Ford cranks out 620 horsepower. Craft heads, NOS 427 Ford valve covers, cast iron Ford headers, and a stainless exhaust top the list of mods, while an MSD/Autotrend ignition fires the fuel and a dual-pass C&R Racing radiator keeps things cool. A Tremec T-56 Magnum transmission gets power to the rear wheels.
The Galaxie chassis was fitted with Fatman dropped spindles and a 9-inch Kugel rearend riding on Eaton springs. There was plenty of cleaning and smoothing done to the frame, with gussets and braces added to keep it square and true. Front disc brakes and rear drums were tucked behind OE-series 15-inch wheels with dog dish caps by US Wheel, all wrapped in Diamondback redline radials with smoothed sidewalls.
The Galaxie body was not customized, but the transmission tunnel was cut and raised to allow the car to sit lower. The body was also metal worked to perfection and sprayed with a custom-mixed green Axalta paint. All the chrome-plated trim (and there’s a lot on an early-’60s Galaxie) was handled by Jon Wright’s CustomChrome Plating.
The less-is-more theory carried over inside, where stock seats were reworked and wrapped with custom brown leather by Sculpt Garage, along with matching door panels, center console and headliner. The result has an OEM flavor, but more refinement and definition. Any stock plastic trim was remade with aluminum and chrome plated. A Mercury dash and custom gauge cluster from Dakota Digital were complemented with a cut-down stock steering wheel atop a Flaming River tilt column. Vintage Air blows cold above the center console, a Hurst shifter selects gears, and sound comes from a Kicker audio system.
Bruce and Judy Ricks get the most out of their cars by driving them – a lot. They’re regulars on our Hall of Fame Road Tours and we anticipate seeing the Galaxie on the highway once it’s finished on the show scene at the end of 2018. We can picture it now – Bruce at the controls, Judy riding shotgun, both grinning from ear to ear.
Photos by Mike Harrington