WTF Friday: The Tobacco King’s Ford Galaxie 500

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As I’m sure you all know I’ve had a mild obsession with Turbonique rocket pods ever since I first spotted two strapped to a vintage Fox go-kart in 2010.

It would also be fair to say that ever since I first laid eyes on the Latham ‘Axial Flow’ Supercharger going into Blair’s dodge I’ve had a similar obsession. I guess when it comes down to it I have a bit of a thing for rare, unique, unpredictable, and possibly troublesome power adders. However I never imagined my research about the two would ever intertwine.

However one night googling Latham I soon found a photo with of a Ford with a very familiar rocket pod strapped to the rear axle.

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The owner of the car was Zach “Tobacco King” Reynolds, who was an heir to R.j. Reynolds tobacco money which made him wealthier beyond most of our dreams.

Like most playboys he liked to go fast, and the Turbonique method of going fast was seemingly right up his alley so he replaced the standard Galaxie differential with the 850 horsepower Rocket Drag differential from the 1967 Turbonique catalog.

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To double down on ridiculous he pulled the original 390 V8 and replaced it with a 425 horse power 427 big block with a Latham supercharger on top. Rumors are this motor was good for roughly 750 horse power but there are no dyno sheets to prove these claims.

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Zach died in 1967 in a plane crash (a true playboy’s death perhaps) and only about 3,700 miles were put on the car before it went into storage for quite some time.

Bouncing around the auction circuit for a brief spell as far as I can tell the car has still never been dynoed or run down the strip using the Turbonique set up so we will never quite know its full potential.

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But it does look very mid sixties drag car era correct and the unique components used to build it make it one of a kind even if the rocket pod has never fired up.

More info on the car can be found here on mecumauctions.com and here on turbonique.com. There’s also this short video below:


If you want to join me down the Latham Supercharger rabbit hole the h.a.m.b is a great place to start.

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