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How do they compare? Long post.

August 8 2017 at 10:01 AM

Bill  (Login bbogue)

My first car was a 62 Galaxie PI with about 70K miles in 1966. I drove it 40K miles and still have dreams about it. My impression was always that was better at higher rpms than down low, although it wasn't difficult to peel out and the first-to-2nd shift would bark at times (teenage stuff). What it was best at was getting where I wanted to go in a hurry.

After I had the engine rebuilt in my 61 TBird a couple of years ago I wondered how the theoretical performance of the 2 cars would compare. I'm happy with the performance and have no intention of putting my 'Bird on a dyno or pushing it as hard as my old Galaxie but I'd be interested in the educated guesses of a few of the experts on this forum. If anyone has the time and cares to take a stab at it, here is what I know/think I know/remember about the 2 cars.

1962 Galaxie 4-door Police Interceptor.
Weight approx. 4000 lbs.
390 ci engine.
330 hp @ 5000 rpms and 427 ft-lbs @ 3200 rpms (1962 PI brochure).
Solid lifters.
Headers (probably cast iron) with dual exhaust and stock mufflers.
Holley (I think) 4-barrel carburetor, specs unknown.
Single points distributor.
Round (about 14") diameter high flow air cleaner.
Intake manifold specs unknown. Iron? Aluminum?
Cruiseomatic 3-speed transmission.
3:1 differential ratio (I think).
15" wheels with 7.10-15 bias ply tires (from a brochure), 27.7" diameter.
Heavy duty suspension.

Please don't beat me up too bad on the specs for the 61 engine rebuild. I requested high quality with a little better torque at lower rpms than OE. When the builder made suggestions I usually went along with them, some foolishly, I expect, in my ignorance.

1961 Thunderbird hardtop.
Weight approx. 4000 lbs.
390 ci engine.
300 hp 427 ft-lbs when new (1961 TBird brochure).
0.030" overbore.
Hydraulic lifters with Comp Cams 255DEH camshaft.
PRW roller rockers.
OE C1AE iron heads and intake.
Oversized 2.19" intake and 1.75" exhaust stainless steel valves. Valves were turned down an unknown amount (from reading here, probably only the exhaust).
Cast, dished pistons.
FPA headers with 2 1/4" dual exhaust with crossover, "open" type Vibrant resonators and Magnaflow mufflers.
Autolite 4100 1.12 (about 550 cfm I think) carburetor with 0.057" primary (upsized 0.003" from OE) and 0.062" secondary jets.
Pertronix Ignitor in rebuilt Ford distributor with Pertronix coil.
Timing 16 initial, 20 centrifugal, all in by 2500 rpms, plus 10 from vacuum advance.
21" X 10" oval open air cleaner.
Cruiseomatic 3-speed transmission.
3:1 differential ratio.
15" wheels with 225-70 radial tires, 27.4" diameter.
Many suspension upgrades.

Toying with the Camquest software, I got 346hp @ 4500 rpm and 451 ft-lb @ 3500 rpms. My assumption is that this is in error on the high side. The question is, by how much.

Thanks for any comments offered.


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(Login chilly460)

Re: How do they compare? Long post.

August 8 2017, 12:01 PM 

Any port work done to the heads?

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(Login bbogue)


August 8 2017, 12:19 PM 

Not that I am aware of.


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(Login werbyford)

390pi faster

August 8 2017, 3:04 PM 

I don't have the Gonkulator up right now but from past files:
The 390pi auto cars Gonkulate to about 310-320hp depending on the year, and run 15.70 at 86mph or so.

The Bird engine I would also GUESS at about 320hp, those valves seem really big though for a 390 with almost stock cam. Probably not helping much.

The Bird is usually 300 lb or more heavier than the Gal so I'd bet on it being a couple tenths and a couple MPH slower.

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(Login bbogue)

Thanks Werby

August 8 2017, 3:40 PM 

Your best guess is good enough for me. Mashing the gas (briefly) in my 'Bird is plenty exciting for me.

Thanks again.


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