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Next Stop, Chinese Steel Factory!

Illustration for article titled Next Stop, Chinese Steel Factory!

This '68 Galaxie sedan was pretty well trashed when it showed up at this Northern California self-service wrecking yard, but sharp-eyed Midwesterners might notice the lack of serious rust.

Illustration for article titled Next Stop, Chinese Steel Factory!

Ford made vast quantities of full-sized four-doors in 1968, so it's not like we're looking at a super-rare '69 Mercury Marauder X-100 about to get crushed. Still, it seems a shame.

Illustration for article titled Next Stop, Chinese Steel Factory!

How many engines did this car go through during its life? This 302— or at least one valve cover— comes from a 1978 vehicle, if we are to believe the emissions decal here.

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My first car was a '68 Galaxie 500 Fastback with a 390, the C-6, bucket seats, the console, and the killer awesome consoler shifter they had. When I got it, it was absolutely cherry.. but it had The Cancers lurking down below.

I got it about two weeks before I turned 17. after two years of trying to find a car that my old man thought worthy. It was between that and a '81 Turbo Trans Am.. he didn't like Ponchos, and the big Ford was cherry so we went with that.

Man oh man that car was fun. It was OK when I first got it with the highway gears and single glasspack, but shortly after I put dual turbo mufflers and 3.55's in the pumpkin.. unf. That and big fat BFG's out back, that car was far too much fun.

I finally sold it 3 years ago after 14 years of ownership. When I was 21 it got The Cancer bad - I didn't realize it until it was too late, but the frame had rotted through at the "torque boxes" - a common problem with them. 10 more years of sitting int he garage and I finally gave up, because at that point I knew it'd never be back to it's former glory.

That car is still the thing of legend, though. With everyone in high school driving '80s F-Bodies, that thing reigned supreme. The 390 could put the spank on just about everything, except the plastic surgeon's kid who got a brand new '94 Mustang GT with a 5-speed. The 5.7 IROCs would come close, but not enough.

Long in my memory will live the last day of school. Everyone - even the Hondas and Geos - were doing the senior chirps on the way out of the parking lot onto the street - which ran right in front of the school. The next day the car was going in to get my graduation present - the new Radial T/A's - so when it came my turn to turn left... well. I looked over at the Vice principal and smiled as he started walking towards me waving his hand. Brake torqued her up to 2500, looked both ways, and laid into her as I turned left.

There's a picture in our high school yearbook of that moment - the car sideways with the old Radial G/T's completely on fire with a trail of smoke behind me the length of the school.

Never since have I had a vehicle that could do ridiculously long burnouts like that car.