19-20 January 2017

Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection

Previous Next

Lot 163

1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner 'Z-Code'

  • Chassis no. 1G55Z181371

Sold for $88,000

401 bhp, 390 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine with three two-barrel carburetors, three-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with A-arms and coil springs, Equalock rear differential, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 119 in.

  • Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection
  • Amazing original and unrestored condition
  • Desirable 401 horsepower “tri-power” V-8 and three-on-the-tree
  • Fewer than 19,300 believed actual miles

The hot-footed buyer looking for a new quarter-mile competitor in the early 1960s could look to Ford and its “390 4V HI PERFM ENGINE,” an option priced at $195.40. According to a Ford Management Service Letter, issued on 28 September 1960, the 390 High Performance V-8 had a 10.6:1 compression ratio and developed 375 horsepower and 427 foot-pounds of torque in its standard form, with a single four-barrel carburetor. The addition of three two-barrel carburetors—what General Motors would have dubbed “Tri-Power”—on an aluminum intake manifold boosted the horsepower even further, to 401, an almost unheard-of figure for the early 1960s.

Combined with the column-shifted three-speed transmission (“four on the floor” would not be offered until 1962), Equalock rear differential, heavy-duty suspension, and fade-resistant brakes, the result was a potent drivetrain that could keep up with just about anything else built in Detroit at the time. It was most often offered in “strippers,” low-optioned two-door post sedans and coupes, but a few men and women actually had that drivetrain combination installed into the Galaxie Sunliner convertible.

The car shown here is one such Sunliner, identified as having been built with the 390 “Z-Code” engine by the fifth digit of its chassis number. Aside from the powerful engine, transmission, and rear axle, its only notable option is an AM radio. If it was ever drag-raced, it did so lightly, as at the time of cataloguing it had ticked fewer than 19,300 actual miles, and it remains in utterly splendid original condition. Its factory Aquamarine paint remains in virtually like-new condition, down to the factory stamps inside the door jambs, as does the wonderful original interior, which has a good patina but is thoroughly enjoyable. Even the original finishes of the trunk are preserved; it contains what appears to be the original BF Goodrich spare tire, as well as the original and correct jack. Underneath is clean and attractive.

Reportedly very well-known in the muscle car community for many years, the Sunliner was added to the Mohrschladt Family Collection several years later and has remained a favorite for its wonderful preservation and charming honesty. A rare Ford “drop-top” with considerable grunt under the hood, it would be a wonderful addition to any Blue Oval Performance collection and would be as welcomed at modern concours as on the quarter-mile.


Please note that this car is not equipped with overdrive.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more