1961 FORD GALAXIE STARLINER "FIREBALL" ROBERTS TRIBUTE RACE CAR
- Location: Wesley Chapel, Florida, United States
- Make: Ford
- Model: Galaxie
- SubModel: Starliner
- Year: 1961
- Mileage: 100
- VIN: 1U53Z112533
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Vehicle Title: Clear
1961 Ford Galaxie description
My 5th 'tribute car' to my hero "Fireball" Roberts. The 'real' car is in MN. with the original owner...Ernie Tuff. Made this replica from a pretty solid '61 that had some floor, rockers (still has vent holes)and behind the rear wheels rust. Patched and filled all spots and painted POR-15 everywhere. Changed over to manual shift with pedals, 'Z' bar, etc. Left rear end 'as-is' but needs a higher ratio...like a 370 or 411:1 for better 'take-off'.
MECHANICAL: All new brakes and parking brake. Car was a 390/Auto. Original #99 car was a 427/482 c.i./Fuel-Injected in '64 (a 426 HEMI in '65-'67). I could not afford that engine combo so I installed a rebuilt 352-4v with an 'Air-Box' just like the original car had/has on it. Ran 3" exhaust out through the frame. Installed a T-10 4 speed...shifts great. Motor starts right up and carries good oil pressure. Re-cored radiator and it runs cool. Sounds GREAT!
INTERIOR: Radio/heater deletes, gauges and MOON Tach and MOON gas pedal as on original car. Roll bars/cage very similar to original. Doors still open and have extra set of '62 bucket seats (need recovered) with car so if you want to have a passenger. Has old style fire extinguisher, Coleman water jug and a 'Granny' bucket seat side bar. All glass is good and windows work. The car and interior look like it was found in the back of some garage and I am always asked "where I found HIS car?"
BODY: It is pretty straight and has the side trim removed and filled as the original, doors shut great, the rear bumper ends are cut off and blocked, has the small 'wing' on the deck and rear gas fill as most all '61s had, BUT the original #99 has it in the rear LH top fin. Does not have 'flared fenders' and if lowered any more (2-1/2" now), the front tires (4-NOS L-78 x 15 Firestones on 8" wheels) will rub. Has head light and taillight bezels and Starliner 'stars' as I think they look great. Even GM and MoPar people LOVE '61 Starliners. The maroon paint is called "Fireball" Red Metallic (REALLY!) and gold is 'Gold' but was/is Gold metalflake on original. ALL numbers and letters are freehand applied by 'THE BEST'...Joe Sanntuuni. Decals match the original car EXACTLY.
This car has only been to a few shows and is a BIG hit as most people never knew "Fireball" drove a '61 Starliner #99 in Modified-Sportsman class in '64 (the year he died). This car can EASILY be made to be 'street legal' for local shows as I have done with4 of the 7 replicas I've built (google Tom Kitchens HMN replica race cars). Lights can be added behind the grille and the magnet trailer taillights (have a set with complete wires) can be used just like they did 'in the day'. Or you can easily add tow bar brackets and flat tow it. Either way, it is SO COOL to DRIVE in an 'open pipes' authentic looking race car to any meet, people go crazy over them and everyone has stories of their favorite driver.
If interested call me to talk about this and the real car or some of Ernie Tuff's stories with a dozen of the 'old' race drivers. The last two pictures are of the ACTUAL car in MN. for comparison ONLY.It is NOT for sale at any price (probably worth $350-$500K).
Reason for selling: Health problems/medical bills/storage and transportation.
Tom/1957cobra/100%FB/1145 items. Eight one three, Eight three three, Nine eight five three
p.s. you don't have to worry about this car getting dirty or people touching it or knocking on it with their ring finger and saying "they put good metal in them back then" and it is sooooo great to put the helmet on kids and set them in it for pictures and even start it up! If you want I can add my 'signature RH tire rubs' like I did on my supercharged red/white '57 Ford or my '62 'Starlift'.