Volume VII, Number 11

The Faces of Ford and Chevy in the 1960's
by Doug Breithaupt

The big Ford and Chevy models from 1960 - 1967 and much better represented in small-scale today. Chevy had the full-size Impala and more basic Bel-Air while Ford had the big Galaxie and smaller Fairlane. The 'chrome fence' school of design was the dominant force and helped make cars look lower and wider. I have found seven of the eight years to be represented for each company, missing only the 1962 Ford and 1966 Chevy from my collection. I actually owned a '63 Chevy Bel Air Wagon as my first car so it is interesting for me to compare the looks of these automotive rivals.

1960 Chevrolet Impala - Racing Champions
The first Chevy of the 1960's owed more to the previous decade in styling. However, the 'chrome fence' look for the grill was a look that would span the next 10 years.

1960 Ford Galaxie Starliner - Ertl
The face of Ford still offered some distinctive features in 1960. While It was not considered as handsome as other years, the '60 Ford does have it's fans. Yes, the plate reads "UFO".

1961 Chevrolet Impala - Ertl
Both Ford and Chevy went to flat hoods and straight bumpers in '61. neither one is very distinctive. The fins were gone in '61 for Chevy but Ford still had theirs.

1961 Ford Galaxie Police Cruiser - Johnny Lightning
This is a Ford you did not want to see in your rear-view mirror. JL did this one in order to represent the patrol car from Mayberry, used in the Andy Griffith TV show. A stock version would be welcome.

1962 Chevrolet Bel Air - Hot Wheels
The intermediate Bel Air for '62 has been one of the missing Chevy models for many years. Now, Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightning have both offered this model.

1963 Ford Galaxie - Ertl
The big Fords for '62 are still missing but the Galaxie did not change much by '63. Ford and Chevy still look much the same from the front with strong horizontal themes.

1963 Chevrolet Impala SS - Ertl
The side view of this model looks much better than the front view. Once again, Ford and Chevy chose much the same design for the headlights, grill and bumper.

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt - Ertl
The Thunderbolt was a high-performance option for the Fairlane. The modest grill is offset by a large reverse hood-scoop. Most Thunderbolts were for the track, not the street..

1964 Chevrolet Impala - Racing Champions
Chevy improved on the design of the front for 1964, perhaps in response to comments about the '63 model. The bumper has more character as well.

1965 Ford Galaxie 500XL - Racing Champions
Ford made a major change to stacked headlights in '65, a design used by Pontiac, Plymouth and others. This resulted in a taller look. The offset badge had been used by Chrysler as well.

1965 Chevrolet Impala - Hot Wheels
This simple casting is in low-rider form but does represent the big Chevy for '65. The split grill helped lower the nose for the new body style. Chevy was not tempted to stack the headlights.

1966 Ford Galaxie 500XL - Yat Ming
Minor changes from the '65 grill can be seen in this well-known Yat Ming model. The grill now includes stacked parking lights as well. The bumper is a straight bar.

1967 Chevrolet Impala SS - Jada
This low-rider by Jada is a good-looking model with a nice grill. More vertical fenders and bumper cut-outs add style to the Chevy line of '67. The 'SS' on the grill represented serious power.

1967 Ford Fairlane - Johnny Lightning
The parking lights are in the bumper for this '67 Fairlane. This would be the last year for the stacked headlights in the Fairlane as '68 brought the Torino and horizontal lights.