I’m the proud owner of a 1961 Ford Galaxie Town Sedan. In 2011 I got the chance to drive my car in a major motion film shoot on the streets on Manhattan. Sounds exciting, right? Well it was, but also nerve-wracking
My Galaxie is an all original, full-size 1961 base model: four doors, 6-cylinder, manual steering, manual brakes, no air. The one and only option is the two speed Fordomatic transmission.
The paint is faded, but there is no rust or dents. The speedometer/odometer cable broke at 53,000 miles which must have been at least the second time around.
A semi successful conversion from generator to alternator by a previous owner left not one gauge or warning light working on the unilluminated dash.
In all, a fun driver that I have been taking to local shows on Long Island since 2006 with my local club Empire Galaxies.
When I do go, I never go on highways. Driving from my home in the New York City Borough of Queens, I would stick to local secondary streets. It doubles or triples the drive time, but the car is a handful to maneuver and stop so high speeds and heavy traffic need to be avoided.
A notice from a film production company was sent out through my Galaxie club for anyone with a late fifties to mid-1960s car that would like to be in a film.
The production company specified they wanted “average used” cars not modifieds or concours winners.
Since mine is definitely an average used car from that era, I sent in a photo of my Galaxie and was accepted.
The film turned out to be “Not Fade Away” written and directed by David Chase who had recently completed his HBO series “The Sopranos”.
The new filmed stared James Gandolfini, John Magaro, Jack Huston, and Bella Heathcote. It was a coming-of-age story set in suburban New Jersey in the 1960s a group of friends form a rock band and try to make it big.