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1962 Ford Galaxie - Got Cams?

The Chrysler Contingent Has Nothing On Bill Cotter's '62 Galaxie.

By Eric English, Photography by Eric English

Tech Notes
Who: Bill Cotter
What: '62 Ford Galaxie
Where: Seattle, WA

Engine: Builder Mike Jackson used an original Cammer block, which can be identified by oil drain holes at the back of the block deck-a detail absent on other cross-bolted 427 side oilers. The bore on this one is unknown, but it's likely 0.015 to 0.030 over a standard 427's 4.23 inches. Whatever the number, we do know the internals consist of Arias pistons, Crower rods, and a 4.00-inch billet crank that would yield just north of 450 cubes.

Heads: One word comes to mind when considering 427 SOHC heads: awesome. Tom Cantrell explains that most were iron, such as the ones on this car, however, a few sets of aluminum jobs were built by Ford as well. Featuring fully hemispherical chambers, Cammer heads were left- and right-side specific and used a 2.22/1.87 valve package. In this case, the heads were prepped by Performance Machine in SoCal, while Crane ground some billet cam blanks that Mike provided featuring 0.728-inch lift and 250 degrees at 0.050. Cammers use a traditional-style timing gear and chain set with a stub shaft in place of the normal cam. The stub mounts a secondary gear that spins the overhead cams via a separate 6-foot timing chain.

Induction: We called the Hogan's sheetmetal intake a one-off in the main text, which is slightly incorrect. Tom tells us Mike actually had Hogan's work up two identical SOHC intakes according to his design and ended up selling the second unit. This one mounts a pair of Holley Dominators, while the custom oval air cleaner is Mike's own work.

Exhaust: Custom headers are required when dealing with an engine that was never factory installed in a vehicle; the SOHC was over the counter only. We know Mike had someone in the SoCal area bend up the 2 1/4-inch primary pipes but unfortunately don't know the name. The remainder of the system consists of 3-inch tubing with a crossover and Flowmaster muffs.

Transmission: While few things could be cooler than a shift-for-yourself Cammer, you can't knock a guy for staying with an automatic in an original auto trans car. Long gone is the original Cruise-O-Matic; in its place is a stout C6 with a high-stall converter.

Rearend: What would you expect besides a Ford 9-inch? This one has 3.50 gears, a Traction-Lok differential, and 31-spline axles.

Suspension: It's stock rebuilt with Traction Masters traction bars.

Brakes: The brakes were updated by an earlier owner with mid-'60s Ford four-piston front discs, but Bill wisely had a dual-reservoir master cylinder and adjustable prop valve added to the manual system. Paired with the Galaxie's large factory rear drums, it seems to work well.

Wheels/Tires: The wheels are American Torq-Thrusts shod with BFGoodrich Radial TAs. They measure 15x7 in the front with 215/70R15 tires and 15x8.5 in the rear with 275/60R15s.

Body/Interior: John Rotella at lovefords.org tells us the factory Peacock Blue was a late entry to the '62 color palette and is therefore quite unusual. We don't know whom to credit for the quality respray, but it's a beauty, with evidence of plenty of N.O.S. brightwork as well. John also explained how the XL package seen here was another mid-'62 intro to the Galaxie lineup consisting of bucket seats, console, interior courtesy lights, and appropriate badging. Fiberglass teardrop hoods debuted on '64 lightweights due to 427 High Riser induction, but one looks right here as well.

By Eric English
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