Being a fairly big drag racing fan, when I bought my '63 Galaxie a few years back, I never imagined doing much more with it than driving and the regular upkeep/maintenance. But once I came on board at Primedia as the Street Rod & Performance Group's Web Manager, I began to see a whole new world of possibilities for the old Ford. Through Popular Hot Rodding, I could see the car--especially since it was a factory four-speed--with a really upgraded performance aspect... but I wasn't too sure about sacrificing any of the car's good drivability characteristics. In one of my regular production meetings with the CUSTOM RODDER group, I was approached with the idea of giving the '63 more of a contemporary makeover, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that was right down my alley.

If you recall, we started things out a couple issues back with a front disc brake upgrade from Master Power, and in the process, threw on a set of Billet Specialties 18-inch Talladegas with Bridgestone Potenza radials. While the car stopped a whole hell of a lot better, it still sat with an awkward stance. (Editor Fortier even ran it over to the muffler shop for a little coil-heating session to get the nose down a bit for the photos!) The option of airbags arose, but I wanted something a little more "fixed." That left just one avenue of dropping--new coils for the front, leafs for the rear, and shocks all the way around. It was also mentioned that since we were going to have the frontend apart, why not replace any "loose ends" with brand- new rebuild parts. Who was I to say no?

So here's what they came up with: For starters, dropped coils and lowered leafs were ordered from Eaton Detroit Spring, followed by a complete rebuild kit from Rare Parts. Concerning the shocks, QA1 was called to find out what information they would require in order to get the right length shocks once the Galaxie was back on the ground. Fortunately (I assumed that), the rest was out of my hands. From this point on, I left the hard part to Fortier (photos, captions, and wise cracks) and the competent folks in the Primedia Tech Center. I wasn't there for the actual wrench turning, but what I can tell you is, when they came in and told me to get my Ford the hell out, I was behind the wheel of a totally new car! It handled 100-percent better, including the steering responsiveness, plus it sat just right.