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Ford Galaxie 500 XL LPG - alive and kicking
Just a quick reminder to begin with: the 1970 Galaxie 500 XL was purchased by its current owner, Jason Amos of Los Angeles, back in 2012. He converted the car with a 1980s used autogas system by Impco and in 2016 drove the seemingly dilapidated Ford for over 1400 miles to the annual HOT ROD Power Tour event in Texas, garnering quite a bit of interest from visitors. That's where we lost trail of the car, but Jason himself contacted us to share more information. So here it comes.
After the Texas event, he drove the Galaxie back home to LA, which was another 1500 miles. During the trip, he used LPG and petrol interchangeably, depending on availability of autogas along the route. The journey didn't go without some incidents, fortunately all of them minor. For instance, the automatic transmission's shifter arm broke in New Mexico, forcing Jason to stop at a truck car park to disassemble the steering column and make the mechanism functional again. Then, already in California, the car tackled a desert at 120 degrees Fahrenheit (almost 49° Celsius!) with a failing thermostat. Still, the XL happily made it home.
And when it's home, it serves as Jason's daily driver and the owner does 80 percent of all mechanical work on the car himself. And although it may not look like it, the XL needs no urgent maintenance – underneath its weathered skin it's as sound as it needs to be. Restoration back to factory condition is something of an option, but not anytime soon, espacially since the car serves Jason on a daily basis, so there's just no time to put it aside and work on it.
Let's have a look under the bonnet and at the autogas system, shall we? Powering the Galaxie is a 429 cu (7-litre) V8 engine with a four-barrel carburetor. Regardless of the fuel it runs on, the unit does 9-11 miles to the gallon (21-26 l/100 km), which means in LPG mode it can run for approx. 250 miles (400 km) without refueling thanks to 22 gallon (83 l) tank capacity. Switching back to petrol gives Mr. Amos another 400 miles (640 km) of driving, but obviously LPG is prefered – it's cheaper, cleaner, the engine runs cooler on it and, thanks to the fuel's higher octane number, with less of a lope.
Now, remember the part of the original text that said the Ford was supposed to star in an indie film called Marathon? That's still ahead of it, apparently (did it get stagefright?), but meanwhile it flexed in front of a camera in a ten-minute documentary (MarathonCARfilm) submitted to the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas telling the story of the trip. As for the feature film, its production has been pushed to mid- to late-2017 due to funding limitations. Hopefully, this will not hamper the entire project. Jason promised to share the short film with us as it premieres, so stay tuned!
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