For Sale: Bonneville Race Car

CONTACT me at – ONLY serious inquiries will be responded to. Thank you for your interest. And may God bless…John 3:16 .

I’m 68. . A heart condition forces me to sell my 1959 Ford Galaxie (the Bonneville land speed race car/hot rod I dreamed of building since the 1960’s – and finally did it about 8 years ago). If you can give my dream-car a good home and you enjoy driving a true “Old School”, 1960’s-style hot rod that’s also a Bonneville-legal race car (3 years – 2010, 2011, and 2012…so far)…then let’s talk!

Bonneville race car for sale - october 25

October 25, 2014, car show. Note 3″ exhaust pipes and 28″ Bonneville race tires.


  • The only thing better than more horsepower…is more horsepower! 
  • Horsepower is like sex…way too much…is just about right.
  • You can’t drive “Daytona“. You can’t drive “Indianapolis“. BUT…with the right car YOU CAN drive the same Land Speed course on the Bonneville Salt Flats that the greats, the legends of Land Speed Racing drove. You will look out your windshield at exactly the same things Campbell, Arfons, Breedlove, Thompson, The Summers Brothers (with their awesome streamliner Goldenrod that they built in their vegetable stand in Ontario, California and test-fired on the highway in front of that stand) and all the rest saw the moment they dropped the hammer and let ‘er rip. On the starting line, waiting for the Starter to shout those magic 3 words over the roar of your engine’s exhaust… “The course is yours!”…the loudest sound will be your heart pounding in your chest. Then your foot is on the floor and the engine’s picking up revs as you cycle through the gears. The mile markers start flying past…faster…and faster…and faster…and it’s just you and the salt and all that glorious history. That, my friend, is what it’s like to “drive Bonneville”. Buy this car and you, too, can join that very small, very elite group known as…”Land Speed Racers”. That’s one of the reasons I built this car…so I could get into that “club”.
  • A word of WARNING though…“Salt Fever” is a bitch…’n there ain’t no cure. You’ve been warned. Compared to drag racing…the Bonneville Salt Flats Land Speed course seems to go on forever. In fact, standing on the starting line you can actually see the curvature of the earth on the surface of the salt. It’s that long, and that open and flat. Buy this car and go back in time as you thunder over the salt the way they did it back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. This isn’t just a hot rod…It’s a “time machine”.

Found a dyno test article in “Super Chevy” from June 26, 2007, in which they tested virtually the same Chevy 406 with dual quads as the one I’m building for my 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod project (covered in this blog post). They got…

  • 406 hp
  • 470 lb-ft of torque (over 450 all the way from 2,500 to 4,600 rpm – that’s more than most 200 mph+ Ferraris and Lamborghinis)

1959 Ford Bonneville race car


The picture above and the one below were taken August 30, 2014. Engine swap 95% complete and the car is back on the road.

Yes…the engine compartment is that neat and “clean”. That’s the only way I do things.

1959 Ford Bonneville race car - side


Bonneville race cars for sale


  • The engine swap is complete and the car is back on the road…$14,500.00
  • Location…Northern Los Angeles area
  • NOTE...Ready to drive a street rod that turns heads, sounds really cool (3″ straight through Cherry Bomb glass packs on a dual 3″ exhaust system), and you can drive it to Bonneville and race it? – THIS is your car!

Trades…I will consider a trade for a 1974, or earlier, Chevelle or Nova. I’m not interested in anything else, so please don’t waste both of our time by telling me you have a such-and-such and would I be interested in a trade. Your Chevelle or Nova doesn’t have to be a “hot rod”. It could be a stock plain-Jane car. I’ll consider any Chevelle or Nova from 1974, or earlier… 2 door, 4 door, station wagon. 6 cylinder or big block. I’m open. The only Chevelle or Nova I’m NOT interested in…is a “project car”. Been there. Done that. Don’t have the health or time to do another one of those.

CONTACT me at – ONLY serious inquiries will be responded to. Thank you for your interest. And may God bless. 1959 Ford Galaxie Hot Rod


NOTE…To my knowledge, this is the ONLY 1959 Ford Galaxie in the country that is BOTH

  • Street legal in California as a daily-driver, and…
  • Legal to race on the Bonneville Salt Flats Land Speed Course in a sanctioned event (and has done so 3 years straight)

In other words…THIS car is literally “One of a Kind” ***None of the pictures in this blog have been PhotoShopped. They’re all real. 1959 Ford hot rod at Bonneville salt flats land speed racing

Updates On the Engine Swap Project

Doing all the work myself in my spare time…

Ford Bonneville Race Car for sale

Test Fit – “Low Mount” A/C compressor and alternator. Requires electric fuel pump, which I installed before running Bonneville with the original motor. No oil pan or crankshaft in this photo. – April 6, 2014

June through August 2014…BIG PUSH…Finished engine swap (well, 95% complete) and got the car back on the road! Few minor issues to take care of and those will be done in the next few weeks.

May, 2014

  • Shortened 4″ diameter aluminum drive shaft (by professional drive shaft shop in Van Nuys).
  • Changed pinion shaft yoke to match the high capacity 1330 u-joints on the new drive shaft (stock u-joints were 1310 passenger car joints). Drive shaft has 1330 u-joints on both the transmission and differential ends now.
  • This Bonneville race car for sale will be ready to send the 470 pounds of torque from the Chevy 406 to the salt without worrying about drive line failures!

March & April, 2014

  • Mounted A/C compressor (Sanden 508) in the “low” position (see photo above).
  • Moved sway bar forward about 1″ in order to clear the A/C compressor pulley (this does not show in the picture above).
  • The transmission lines are directly above the compressor in the picture above. These will be cut above the compressor and short, flexible stainless steel braided lines custom made to connect the steel lines to the cooler built into the radiator.
  • Note…All of the wiring in the photo will “disappear” when I rewire the car through the fuse junction box located high on the passenger side fender liner (the fuse box came from a mid-1990s Ford LTD). The engine compartment will be very clean when the engine swap is done.

February, 2014

  • Exhaust System…finalized. Dual exhaust system with exhaust pipes welded to mufflers. 12″ stub tail pipes welded to muffler outlets to allow mid-point hangers to support the system from the floor pan. Additional hangers will be installed at the rocker panels where the exhaust pipes exit in front of the rear wheels. Tail pipes will clamp to the stub pipes at the mufflers so each side of the system can be easily removed in just 2 pieces, and without dropping the transmission mount cross member. This system is solid. There should be no leaks or rattles for the life of the system, yet plenty of give flex in the hangars to allow for expansion/contraction. Can’t wait to fire this baby up ‘n hear the pipes roar! It’ll sound like a hot muscle car/hot rod from the 1950’s/1960’s.
  • Hedman headers with 3″ collectors and their new “ball and socket” gasket-less joints (not old fashioned flat flanges)
  • 3″ exhaust pipes
  • 3″ straight-through 36″ long Cherry Bomb glasspack mufflers
  • 3″ tail pipes
  • Oxygen “O2” sensor located in left side exhaust pipe about one foot from the end of the collector
  • Exhaust gas temperature sensor located close to the cylinder head flange on the #7 cylinder pipe
  • A/C compressor (Sanden 508) will mount low (below water pump) on the right side of the engine to keep the top of the engine very clean (alternator is low-mounted on the left side of the engine)

November, December (2013), January (2014)…

  • Bare block w/trans back in car to allow all the details of the engine swap to the Chevy 406 to be worked out (throttle linkage, exhaust system, fuel system, etc., etc.)
  • Hedman headers with 3″ collectors into 3″ exhaust pipes into 3″ by 36″ long straight-through Cherry Bomb glass packs. Tail pipes will be done by muffler shop when car is back on the road.
  • Fuel system…Filter (with replaceable element) is direct coupled to the pressure regulator (set at 5 psi) and a “dash 6 AN” stainless steel braided hose from regulator to fuel log at the carbs. Pressure gage on the fuel log. Electric fuel pump located at the fuel tank outlet.
  • Radiator hoses sized.
  • Rear water ports on the Edelbrock AirGap dual-quad manifold are plumbed to the front ports on the manifold for proper cooling of the 400 block.
  • Throttle linkage fabricated and adjusted.
  • “Low mount” alternator bracket and alternator installed on driver’s side and checked for clearance. Both the alternator and A/C compressor (passenger side) will be “low mount” to keep the top of the engine and engine compartment very clean and uncluttered.
  • And a dozen or so little things done.

October 2013…

  • Designed (I’m an aerospace engineer by profession) and fabricated an adapter to mount the TH350 tailshaft housing to the stock Ford frame cross member
  • TH350 trans being professionally rebuilt by my good friend Bonneville and drag racer Dan Sallia, B&M “race” rebuild kit with TCI band and B&M “Trick Shift” trans fluid.

September 2013…

  • Installed – B&M Star Shifter for TH350 auto trans
  • Installed – Fuse box from mid-1990’s Ford LTD, rewiring some of the major circuits in the car to run through the modern fuse box located in the engine compartment (replaces many of the original inline fuses)

August 2013…

  • Installed – Jegs aluminum cross-flow radiator, big block-rated
  • Installed – Motor mounts for the Chevy 406

July 2013…

  • Engine block – hot tanked and crack checked (OK)
  • Cylinder heads – Hot tanked, crack checked (OK), ported, lightly polished passages and combustion chambers, valve job, heads assembled with Lunati dual valve springs (heads are finished now)

About This Unique Car…

1959 Ford hot rod and bonneville race car - pit passes Bonneville race car for sale - 1959 ford galaxie The picture above was taken in the staging lane at the 2012 USFRA “World of Speed” land speed event on the Bonneville Salt Flats land speed course. Aero drag-reducing hood is ONLY for Bonneville racing, not for the street. The USFRA (Utah Salt Flats Racing Association) liked the car so much, it was one of the cars they featured in the promo flyer for the 2012 Bonneville land speed meet… 1959 Ford Hot Rod - Bonneville race program Days after the 2010 USFRA Bonneville meet, the car was voted “Best Race Car” at a large LA area monthly car show where they typically get 80-100 cars in each show. We’re particularly proud of this award because voting for all awards in all categories at this show is always done by popular vote of the spectators…not show judges. Show attendees always love this car. It draws crowds wherever we’ve been… 1959 Ford Hot rod - Voted best race car Here are links to the USFRA 2010, 2011, and 2012 “World of Speed” meets that show photographic proof this car raced at each of these events…

Ford Bonneville race car for sale Here are some photos of the car in street trim1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod front view 3-car-side 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod - rear view 1959 Ford Bonneville Race Cars for Sale Here is a shot of the custom interior1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod - custom interior The doors, deck lid, and hood were removed for the rebuild. The entire car was sanded down to bare metal, primed, and then painted red, white, and yellow automotive enamel, with 2 coats of clear-coat over the entire car. The dash and door jams were also stripped and painted. 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod - white under coat 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod - red paint The white padded dash is the original padded dash…no cracks or splits (they really knew how to make top quality padded dashes back then!). The dash pad was just cleaned and re-color coated white. 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod - red painted dash Flames were custom hand-drawn and painted. 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod - flames on hood No trace of the original color is visible any where on the car. Before… 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod - before - right side 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod - before - front view 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod - before - left side When the inner door panel was removed from the front passenger door, the original factory build sheet was found still tucked neatly behind the edge of the vinyl at the top of panel ! This car was made on May 29, 1959, at the Los Angeles assembly plant. Since we bought the car in San Diego and it still has what appears to be the original license plates, this was probably a “California car” all of it’s life. Since the Galaxie was a mid-year introduction in 1959, in 1959 it was officially a “Fairlane 500 Galaxie” and that nameplate is still on the glove box door from the factory. The Galaxie was so well received that Ford made it a separate model line in 1960. Since it was a mid-year introduction in 1959 and this car was made in May of 1959…that means this car was one of the first Galaxies every produced… 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod - factory build sheet The engine and transmission were removed and completely rebuilt… 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod - pulling motorAfter rebuild, ready to re-install… 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod - motor after rebuild NEW Engine and transmission details… I am presently swapping a 1972 Chevy 400 small block (bored to 406 cubic inches) into the car, along with a GM TH350 automatic trans. Here is why… The original motor was a 292 cubic inch Y-block. The original transmission was a 3-speed Ford Cruise-O-Matic. These were rebuilt and re-installed, driven on the street and raced at Bonneville in 2010, 2011, and 2012. We built the car as a basically period-correct 1960’s style hot rod. And true to that time, I didn’t trailer the car to Bonneville…I stripped all of the seats out, except the driver’s seat, loaded all my Bonneville tires, tools and spare parts in the car…and drove it the 760 miles from my home to Bonneville. Then I raced it, loaded everything back into the car, and drove it back home…real “Old School” style. Driving the car home to the Los Angeles area after the 2012 meet, the motor threw a rod on Interstate 80 about 30 miles east of Wendover, Utah. ThrownRodRather than get another block and spend the money to rebuild this motor, I already had the Chevy 400 (I had planned to use it in another project) and decided to swap it into the Ford instead. And, of course, now it will be a “real hot rod”…an old Ford…with a Chevy motor! I have not pulled the original motor apart at all. It is just as you see it in the picture here.


  • 1972 Chevy 400 small block, block was cast in 1971, 4-bolt mains
  • Heads – original stock, but ported to the intake manifold and headers, lightly polished runners and combustion chambers
  • Cam – Lunati VooDoo, #10120702, with Lunati lifters, pushrods, valve springs and retainers, pushrod guide plates, screw-in rocker studs, new Lunati rocker arms
  • Bore – .030″ over, 406 cubic inches displacement
  • Pistons – Keith Black, 10:1 compression, chrome-moly rings, Keith Black wrist pinss
  • Main and Rod Bearings – Clevite 77
  • Ignition – Stock distributor, original, with Crane Cams “XR-i” electronic ignition module replacing the breaker points assembly, MSD HEI-style distributor cap
  • Intake System – Edelbrock Dual Quads on an Edelbrock manifold “air gap” manifold
  • Hedman Exhaust Headers – 3″ collectors
  • Oil Pan – Custom modified Moroso pan with one-piece molded gasket, Moroso extended oil pick-up assembly


  • Transmission – GM TH350 3 speed automatic
  • Shifter – B&M Star Shifter, floor mounted


  • New gas tank
  • SunPro electric fuel gauge
  • New fuel lines
  • Jegs electric fuel pump
  • Auto-shut off switch for the electric fuel pump in case of impact to the car (stock Ford inertia switch from a late-model Mustang)
  • New fuel lines
  • Fuel pressure regulator


  • All new steel brake lines
  • New flexible brake lines at front wheels
  • New wheel cylinders
  • New master cylinder
  • Power assisted (original)


  • Stock 3.10 gears were professionally replaced by a race shop with 3.50 gears for Bonneville. The 3.50 gears are still in the car. The stock 3.10 gear set is perfectly usable (only 92,000 miles on the odometer when we bought the car) and could be re-installed if desired.
  • Other than the new gears, the differential is the stock Ford 9″ that the car was built with in 1959.

Exhaust System…

  • 3″ collectors into full dual exhaust system exiting in front of rear wheels, NASCAR-style
  • Mufflers – 3″ straight-through Cherry Bomb glaspacks, 36″ long

Electrical System…

  • Converted from original generator to 60 amp Delco alternator with built-in regulator
  • Some fuses need to be added to various accessory electrical circuits


  • Electric speedometer (directly in front of steering wheel)
  • Electric fuel gauge (top row, center)
  • Electric water temperature gauge (top row, left)
  • Voltmeter (top row, right)
  • Mechanical oil pressure gauge (2nd row, left), oriented to show normal pressure when needle is in the 12:00 o’clock position
  • Exhaust gas temperature gauge (EGT) (2nd row, center)
  • Air/Fuel Ratio gauge (2nd row, right), oriented to show needle in the 12 o-clock position when ratio is optimum
  • Vacuum gauge (large gauge at bottom)
  • Tachometer (on top of dash), SunPro (classic 1960’s style)
  • GPS (far right) – NOT included with the car
  • Green light (top left on panel) indicates the electric radiator fan is “ON”
  • Amber light (top row) indicates low fuel pressure (electric fuel pump)
  • Toggle switch (bottom left on panel) is for an external accessory (if used)

1959 Ford hot rod - instrument panel Below…cardboard on windshield is to block the glare for the picture. 5 lb fire extinguisher mounted on transmission tunnel for racing. Chrome horn ring removed for clarity. NOTE…Original padded dash. No splits or cracks. We just cleaned and resprayed it. (They knew how to make stuff that lasts back then – How many 2013 cars will look this good and be this solid when they’re 54 years old? People complained about “planned obsolecense” back in the 1960’s – cars designed only to last a few years – but those cars are still around, and today’s cars are in the wrecking yards by the hundreds of thousands every year) .NewDash-Feb-2012 Cooling System…

  • Aluminum, cross-flow high capacity radiator with built-in transmission oil cooler
  • 17″ electric cooling fan


  • Cragar S/S, 14″
  • Moon Eyes Bonneville-style full-wheel covers, screw-on type, for both the 14″ and 15″ Bonneville racing wheels

Tires…Street Use only…

  • M+S P215/75R14 mounted on 14″ Cragar S/S chrome wheels, about 10,000 miles of all street driving on these tire, radial equivalent of stock tire size, nominal 25″ Outside Diameter

Tires… Racing (and street use)… Racing Use, all are also DOT approved for street use, but they were specifically purchased for racing at Bonneville. Different tire diameters allow switching tires on the rear axle to change the effective differential gear ratio (the smaller the tire, the faster the car accelerates but the slower it’s top speed will be because top speed is limited by red line engine rpm). The trick is to get the effective rear gear such as you go through the timing lights at the end of the course, the engine is just coming up on red line rpm. That will give you the best top speed. Remember…at Bonneville the ONLY thing that counts is your top speed at the end of the run. Your time down the course means absolutely nothing. 1959 Ford hot rod - Bonneville tires

  • 2 Tires, mounted on 14″ steel wheels, Speed Rated = 130 mph, 23″ nominal Outside Diameter, Bridgestone Potenza RE950 P195/65R14 – bought new for Bonnevile and used for about 10 runs – CAUTION: While these tires are DOT street legal, do not run these on the front of the car on the street due to the already low ground clearance with the stock 25″ diameter tires.
  • 2 Tires, mounted on 14″ steel wheels, Speed Rated = 130 mph, 25″ nominal Outside Diameter, Sumitomo HTR200 205/70R14 – bought new for Bonneville and used for about 10 runs, also maybe 2,000 miles of street driving on these tires
  • 2 Tires, mounted on 15″ steel wheels, Speed Rated = 150 mph (these are the special tires made by Goodyear for highway patrol LTD and Caprice “pursuit” cars), 28″ nominal Outside Diameter, Goodyear Eagle RS-A P235/70R15, bought new for Bonneville and used for about 5 runs, also maybe 5,000 miles of street driving on these tires (these on the rear – increase gas mileage and accentuate the nose-down stance of the car)

Trim… All original Galaxie trim that came on the car when we bought it, is still available and goes with the car, including original wheel covers. Some of the trim needs to be straightened or replaced due to age. Hood Scoop…

  • Fibeglass reproduction of the original Ford factory hood scoop on the 1969/1970 Boss 429 Mustang, functional – sends cold air directly to the air cleaner


  • Bucket seats are from a 1990 Ford Escort, manual adjust, custom re-upholstered
  • Original front bench seat available and goes with the car.
  • Rear seat is original, but re-upholstered – no seat belts in the rear seat


  • Windshield – New at time of rebuild (2007)
  • Side and back windows – Good
  • Front door vent windows – Slight safety glass delamination

ADDED Safety Features…

  • Roll bar, allows full travel of the front seats and full use of the rear seat, bolted directly to frame rails, easily removed if desired
  • 5-lb fire extinguisher
  • Both front seats – Street Use – 2″ combination lap belt and dual shoulder harness straps
  • Driver’s seat – Racing – This seat also has a second harness installed – 3″ G-Force, SFI approved, 4-point safety harness (dual 2″ shoulder straps, 3″ lap belt, 2″ crotch strap). Whichever harness (street or racing) that is not being used is simply tucked out of the way behind the seat. You don’t have to remove the street harness to use the racing harness…the switch is done in seconds.

Here is the roll bar, showing 2″ shoulder harness anchor points for both front seats, as well as a shot of the passenger seat with the 2″ combination seat belt/full shoulder harness installed. On the street harness, the 2 shoulder straps are sewn to the seat belt straps so getting into and securing the harness is as easy as a production-car’s single shoulder strap. 1959 Ford Hot Rod race car - roll bar 1959 Ford hot rod - seat harness ***Route 66 We’ve toured almost every mile of Route 66 in this car, from Needles to Santa Monica Pier. This picture was taken in Amboy, CA, west of Needles… 1959 Ford hot rod - amboy california ***Blackbird Air Park These pictures were taken at Blackbird Air Park at Air Force Plant 42. These pictures were taken with the permission, and help, of the curator who was on duty at the time. These pictures are NOT Photoshopped. They’re real… 1959 ford hot rod - blackbird airpark - SR-71 1959 ford hot rod - blackbird airpark - F117 stealth fighter ***Bonneville Salt Flats – “World of Speed” land speed meet, 2011 – Gettin’ ready to race! 1959 ford hot rod - bonneville salt flats - tech inspection - race car 1959 ford hot rod - bonneville salt flats - pit In the picture below…note the salt caked on the fender well and (open) Lake pipe. It packs up just like wet snow. Also note the Moon Eyes screw-on full-wheel “Bonneville” discs to reduce drag. All race cars in the pits must be parked on tarps that extend about 2 feet all around the car. This is a National park and nothing can be dropped that would contaminate the salt. 1959 ford hot rod - bonneville salt flats - race car Timing Slip – My best speed for this meet… 105.693 mph The “130 Club” is the class that I race in. 1959 ford hot rod - bonneville time slip ***Bonneville 2012 Staging lane, 3 cars from the starting line. Heart pounding now! Almost time to pull up to the line, look at exactly the same scene that Craig Breedlove, Art Arfons, Mickey Thompson, Donald Campbell and all the rest looked at…just before they, too, dropped the hammer and let ‘er rip. The #1 reason every driver is at Bonneville, whether their car goes 60 mph or 600 mph, is the same…”To drive Bonneville“…because THIS is HISTORY. The #2 reason is to make every run a little faster than your last run. Those 2 reasons sum up why every driver is at Bonneville. You can’t drive at Daytona. You can’t drive at Indianapolis. But you can drive this street legal car on the historic salt flats land speed course at Bonneville.

Buy this car…and make your own history at Bonneville.

But I warn you, just as I was warned before I went my first time…

“Salt Fever” is a bitch.

And there ain’t no cure.

Note the salt caked on the side of the car, the wheel well, Lake pipe (exhaust pipe behind the front wheel), and on the rear wheel from 4 previous runs. Special “Bonneville” hood is on the car. Racing on the land speed course is like driving on a concrete road right next to a beach where the wind blows sand onto the road surface. Yes, it can be a little tricky. It is nothing like drag racing…or any other kind of racing. 1959 ford hot rod - Bonneville staging lane 2012 ***TERMS OF SALE (non-negotiable)*** CONTACT me at – ONLY serious inquiries will be responded to. Thank you for your interest. And may God bless.

  • 1) Cash ONLY – No personal checks. No certified checks. No cashier’s checks. No money orders. CASH ONLY, for the full amount of the sale at the time of the sale.
  • 2) Total amount payable in full at time of sale.
  • 3) Car is sold “as is” and “where is”.
  • 4) There are no guarantees of any kind, either expressed or implied. It is the Buyer’s responsibility to inspect the car before purchase. While I have driven the car 1,500+ miles to and from Bonneville for 3 years, plus driving it locally on the street, I do not warrant that the car  is suitable for trips (even though it has been rebuilt, the car was still built in 1959).
  • 5) The sale is final. No refunds.
  • 6) Buyer will receive a Bill of Sale along with signed title at the time of the sale.
  • 7) The car, and all items that go with the car, must be removed from the purchase location within 48 hours of the sale date. Any items left at the purchase location longer than 48 hours will be disposed of by Seller and Buyer will not get any credit for these items. When you come to pick up the car, be prepared to take everything with you. You will need a pickup truck or 4×6 UHaul trailer to carry everything.
  • 8) CASH ONLY



Thanks for visiting this blog about my 1959 Ford Galaxie hot rod and Bonneville race car for sale. CONTACT me at – ONLY serious inquiries will be responded to.  Thank you for your interest. And may God bless. John 3:16