Derik Lattig 1962 NASCAR Galaxie 500 Starlift
(Model year changes for the 1962 full-size Fords went beyond fresh sheet metal, dimensional differences, and mechanical tweaks. One of the several notable changes was the elimination of the Starliner, and with its departure, the sleek roofline. All closed non-wagon models had the T-Bird inspired “box top” roof which soon created a problem for those who were racing Fords on the super-speedways. An unusual solution to the drag-inducing boxy roofline was developed for the racecar drivers, but it lasted for only a very brief time during the model year and resulted in what is said to be the only officially “illegal car” to win a Grand National event.
|The actual Starlift raced by Fred Lorenzen is shown here. (Author's collection)|
|The 385hp version of the 406 powered the '62 NASCAR Fords. This replica has a 390 rebuilt to 406 specs.|
|With the aid of Photoshop we can see how a regular Sunliner with the Starlift roof would have appeared. (Photo and artwork by the author)|
|Builder/restorer of the Galaxie 500 Starlift, Tom Kitchen, took his car to the "Historic Darlington 2010" show. (Photo by Tome Kitchen via Derik Lattig)|
|The interior very closely resembles the design used in NASCAR stock cars of the era.|
|This Starlift replica made its Texas debut at the Lone Star Roundup in Austin, Texas earlier this year. Note the simulated "wheel rubs" on the side of the car. "Tradin' Paint" goes way back!|
Tom took the car to “Historic Darlington 2010” and while it did not compete in class racing, Tom did open it up on track making numerous laps at well over 100mph.
Texan, Derik Lattig, bought the car and took the fuel cell out and had a gas tankinstalled so it could be driven to rallies and to car shows. Lattig also had glass packs installed as Tom sold the car “NASCAR ready” and it was loud. (The glass packs can easily be unhooked for that true NASCAR sound.) Additionally, Lattig had a prop maker for the movie “Star Wars” recreate the pushbutton, toggle switch starter control panel used by NASCAR at the time. To make his Starlift street legal, lights were installed on the inside of the grill.