Clean, simple, and refreshingly gimmick-free, Ford’s big ones — like the 1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner — were among the most pleasing of 1961 cars. They took a while to be fully appreciated, however — even the sun-loving ragtop.
Still part of the top-line Galaxie series, the ’61 Sunliner started at $2849. As in earlier years it had a standard V-8, now a 175-horsepower 292. Options included the veteran 352 with 220 bhp (shown here), plus a new 390 big-block with 300 bhp
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. Ford also sold a few triple two-barrel 390s with 375 or an amazing 401 bhp to leadfoots with big wallets and racing licenses. A dealer-installed four-on-the-floor manual trans-mission was new, too, but most big Fords had either two-speed Fordomatic or three-speed Cruise-O-Matic self-shifters.
Though total Ford sales fell slightly for ’61, the Sunliner virtually repeated its 1960 performance, attracting 44,614 orders
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