Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chilean Presidential 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 XL

This Ford Galaxie convertible has had quite a history, and continues to make history.

It all started in 1970. The frugal, democratically elected, and Socialist president, Salvador Allende, needed a nice car for Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Chile. So he picked out a used, four-year old convertible.

It was used at parades and ceremonies welcoming VIPs, including comrade Fidel Castro.

This act, obviously, pissed off the Americans and reactionaries within Chile. Pinochet took over in a bloody coup and changed everything-- economic policy, democratic ideals, etc. But the general did not change the official presidential ride.

Pinochet right after he came into power

Pinochet in the later years

Even after Pinochet gave up power, his democratically elected successors all kept the Galaxie. Although a Peugeot is current President Bachelet's official daily ride, the old Galaxie is still brought out for special occasions.


Anonymous said...

Hurray for reactionaries. Hurray for cheap gas!

Anonymous said...

There is a mistake in this post. That Car was a gift from the Queen Elizabeth II, when she visted Chile on late 60's to President Eduardo Frei. And from then on was used as the presidential car, however in the formal ceremonies the tradition dictates that the presidential carriage shall be used. But Allende says that the carriage represented the rich, hence he uses the Galaxy. Pinochet used it for security reasons it was easier and faster to escape in a galaxy that in a carriage, later on it was dropped for an armored Mercedes w126 500SEL.After Pinochet the carriage was used and then all socialist presidents used the Galaxy and not the carriage, PiƱera uses both.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if Chile will ever sell this 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 XL? I assume it has been well care for over the years and decades. As far as I know it was last used in 2010. The front fenders do not show the 3 stripe engine size of 352 (275 or 300 HP), 390 (300, 325, 335, or 365 HP), or 428 (375, 400 or 425 HP), so I assume it must have the base engine for the XL, the 289 2V engine (195 HP), or the optional 289 4V engine (220 or 240 HP).
If it is available for sale, I would like to buy it and import it into the US.

Ripituc said...

As a Chilean, I see no reason nor chance that the Presidential Galaxie will ever be sold. It is used at least every May 21st to carry the President to Congress. This is it with Bachelet in 2015:

Cistanthe said...

The original post reflects ideological historical revisionism. Not appreciated is that the Queen's donation might have been an insult. She did not donate a fine civilized English car, not even a cheap one. She donated a (gasp!) AMERICAN car. And not a Cadillac or Lincoln or even a Dodge or Oldsmobile. A FORD. The most proletariat of all. Henry Ford invented the assembly line to mass produce autos for the unwashed masses. Which possibly is what the Queen thought of Chileans

Unknown said...

The queen didn't have donate anything.