Resto-Tips by Greg Donahue

by Greg Donahue

A little about Greg: He is the Restoration Editor of the Number One muscle car magazine in the country, Muscle Car Review, and has co-authored the book, "How to Restore Your Muscle Car", which is considered the muscle car bible of restoration. He has written how-to articles for five different magazines and won over 200 National Awards. (This book is one of the most informative books I have ever seen on the subject of restoration. ED)

Greg has recently been awarded a spot in the

as one of the top 10 people who have shaped our hobby. Quoting from the January 2000 issue of Muscle Car Review:

Greg Donahue - Category: Restorer
We could talk about Greg Donahue the Chevrolet dealer, NASCAR racer, or parts supplier ('63-'64 Ford Galaxie), but it's Greg Donahue the restorer we'll focus on here. Since Donahue's Restoration Clinic column first appeared in the August '86 issue, Greg has freely shared his diverse, innovative, and accompished automobile restoration skills in writing this highly technical and specialized column. Mopar, GM, Ford, or AMC, Greg has the answer to what color a part should be, who sells a specific part, what to do if no one makes the part you need, whether to repaint a non-original color, etc. In addition to his many columns, Greg has produced more how-to tech articles than anyone in this industry and has co-authored a major book on musclecar restoration. His writing, always well researched and accurate, never fails to consider the job from the reader's perspective, warning of potential problems and suggesting the right remedies that come only from having actually done the job. Further, Donahue's restoration writing consistently finds that balance between dogmatic perfectionism and real world practicality. Greg also developed the Platinum Challenge, an uncompromising judging standard that gave top restorers a goal to shoot for. No one has done more to inspire, guide, and help enthusiasts over the hurdles they face in their own restorations.

Here are three samples of the 130+ Resto-Tips you will have access to as a member of our club:

Question #18: I have a 1964 Galaxie 500 Fastback equipped with a 427 and a 4-speed. I would like to know what is the correct tire size and wheel size for this car.

Answer: In 1963 and 1964 all the full size Fords equipped with 427, except the convertible, came equipped with a 6.70 x 15 black sidewall tire. The 6.70x15 white sidewall tire was also available at an additional cost. The optional tire size for the 63 and 64 427 equipped cars was a 7.10 x 15 black or white sidewall. The 63 and 64 Convertibles equipped with 427 only had one tire size available. It was a 7.10 x 15 black sidewall. A white sidewall 6.70 x 15 was available at an additional cost. The only wheel that was available for any 427 car in 1963 or 64 was a 15" x 51/2" Kelsey Hayes steel wheel with the flame cut center. These wheels had the centers welded to the wheel rim instead of riveted as done with the standard cars and the centers were flame cut instead of being pressed.

That was in our May-June Issue of 1999

Question #38: I have a 63 Galaxie and the interior trim code is 87. I know this is Turquoise but can you tell me the correct color for the headliner? Is it white or is it medium turquoise? Also, I have carpet for trim code 27 which is a medium turquoise cloth and light turquoise crushed vinyl interior. Is the carpet the same color as code 87?

Answer: 1963 Galaxie Trim Code 87 was a Light Turquoise crush all vinyl interior. The headliner color was off-white. In 1963 and in 1964 they did not use color keyed headliners. They were only available in off-white and a few were available in black but no colored headliners, such as turquoise, red, blue etc., were available in either 63 or 64. The carpet color for Trim Code 27 is a Medium Turquoise and this is the same color carpet that was used in Trim Code 87 which is the Light Turquoise.

This question was answered in our March-April issue of 2001. Whether you are restoring or upkeeping a Galaxie, these answer become invaluable so that you don't make a costly error.

Question 101: I have slowly been restoring my 1965 Ford Galaxie 500-XL Convertible. The transmission, engine and rear end have all been rebuilt. My next move is the interior and the first problem I see is that on the bottom of the dash there is a strip of moulding with woodgrain material on it. Needless-to-say after 40 years it is discolored. How do I take the woodgrain off safely and where can I buy the material to replace it? Secondly, in an attempt to shine the Galaxie 500-XL emblem on the glove box door I broke one of the two pins that holds it on the door. Do you have any idea how I can put the badge on and keep it straight?

Answer: There are two ways to re-do the woodgrain material on the lower section of your dash. First you could contact Grain-It Technologies, 528 Avenue C Southeast, Winter Haven, FL 33880 (863) 299-4494 or They are one of the top woodgrain companies in the country and they could re-grain that to look like new. If you would like to do it yourself there are books on the market on woodgraining. You could also find some 3M grain decals which may be close to what you have and then cut it to fit. This may work but it will not look as good as if you had it grained correctly.
For your 500-XL badge, you can try to glue it back onto the glove box door. First you will need to clean the back of the ornament and also the area on the glove box door where this emblem is positioned. You can use denatured alcohol or Windex with ammonia. Clean it two or three times, let it dry, and then do not touch it with your fingers. You can purchase some hobby store super glue. It is actually called Cyanoacrylate Adhesive (CA). Get the thin liquid that has a fast cure speed. Put a couple drops on the back of the emblem where it will sit against the glove box door. Align the one pin and position the emblem on the door where it needs to go. Push the emblem against the glove box door, then hold it for about 30 seconds. It should stick if you have cleaned everything properly. If this doesn't work, then you are going to have to find another 500-XL glove box door emblem. This should not be real hard to find. You should be able to find it used. I do not know anyone who is reproducing this item as of yet. Check with some of the suppliers who handle used parts listed in the Ford Galaxie Club Magazine.

This was answered in our May-June issue of 2005. Having ALL these questions and answers in one space is INVALUABLE!