Retromotive

NOW READING:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

1964 Ford Galaxie

Clint Boughen has grown up with horsepower and fast cars as a constant companion.

High octane and the pursuit of speed has become a way of life for Clint and his siblings, growing up against a backdrop of grass roots motorsport.

His father Alan “Cusso” Boughen has been racing cars for most of his life, from speedway to circuit racing as well as drag racing. Cusso’s children, without exception have grown up with the desire to pit themselves against circuits, speedway tracks and the drag strips around the country.

“We did try ball sports as kids, but nothing stuck,” he says, grinning at the memory.

The fettling of performance engines, and the pursuit of power and speed has been

a constant for Clint’s entire life, as has been a doggedly passionate following of the Ford brand. For Clint there’s never really been any other option than some form of racing.

An industrial strength expression of power, speed and skill.

“The real story is my Dad, he’s been racing for years,” Clint says, self-effacing when he speaks, not wanting to sound as if he’s talking himself up. However, a childhood spent on the sidelines has left its mark. “I’ve always been there you know,” he says, “the first to be on the sidelines.”

His formative years were spent in the pits of one race circuit or another.

Crackling celluloid films flicker with early Nascar images, big-bodied American iron howling in the dirt. Cars that were designed to reflect the jet age and an aspiration to reach for the stars with rocket fueled fury are punished, raging as they slew sideways around back-water oval tracks. Pummeled into a role they weren’t designed to fulfill, this was the birthplace of the American nascar religion.

Away from the motorsport pretensions of suspension geometry and tyre technology, speedway initially evolved away from the eyes of talent scouts and sponsors. A sport that sprang from back road moonshine runs across US state lines.

A car with a big boot, enough horsepower to evade the law and the back road driving skills to back it up.

To some these cars may seem ungainly, ugly even. To Clint however, there’s an undeniable attraction to the early years of nascar and speedway.

“I just love seeing these big bodied cars racing, I’m not really an open wheeler fan,” he muses, “And I just love that door to door racing.”

Nowhere is this more evident than with Clint’s 1964 Ford Galaxie fastback. The stripped back and horsepower driven approach to this build speaks volumes of the man who built it. It’s a grass roots aesthetic that is both raw yet compelling.

“This car was inspired by my Dad,” he says, “He now races a 64 Mercury Comet in TCM (Touring Car Masters), I wouldn’t be doing any of this if it wasn’t for him.”

The raw, race inspired ethos of this car is obvious in all aspects. A naturally aspirated 440cu small-block feeds power to the 9-inch diff via a 6-speed Tremec manual transmission. It makes 810hp at the rear wheels.

“It could do with a full restoration, but I reckon it suits the period the way it looks now.”

The creases and lines of the Galaxie coupe speak more of supersonic travel and jet age aspiration than opposite lock dirt track muscle. The deliberately aged faux race livery is homage to a relatively unsophisticated motorsport era. And in many ways it’s both a wheeled tribute to an era as well as a family history. A branch on an automotive family tree.

Some of Clint’s most significant memories stem from the days when his father raced in the HQ Holden series, “I didn’t even have my licence back then, but we were pulling Holden motors out of the car, getting them ready for the next race.” He grins as the memories resurface, “They were good times, and a real learning curve.”

Unsurprisingly, given the theme of the Galaxie, it becomes apparent that speedway racing is the motorsport closest to Clint’s heart. “I’d go back to it in a heart beat,” he says, “That’s why I love that whole stock car, nascar, speedway thing you know?”

His first race was at a speedway meet, “Dad snuck me behind the wheel one night in the Stock Standard class,” he recalls, “I was 14 when the legal age was 16.”

Coming from a privateer motorsport family has clearly ingrained a hands-on approach to all aspects of Clint’s approach to cars.

“I like the challenge of taking a big car and making it do anything that a small car can do.”

This family racing pedigree has had a massive influence on his streetcars, “We don’t tend to go for run of the mill stuff when it comes to our cars, we like to keep it different,” the self-effacing grin resurfaces and he gestures towards the car, “As you can see.”

A procession of Ford vehicles has passed through Clint’s ownership, all with a muscle car bent. Though as the conversation goes on it becomes clear that there’s something special about this car. “This car has only been on the road for 5 minutes so I’ll see where it goes.”

“I don’t intend to stop here with this car, I’d like to take it to a circuit track.”

With the bi-modal exhaust system switched to track mode the Galaxie thunders, even at idle. The note not unlike a dirt track sprint car. The visceral punch of metal aspiration, the combustion cycle

cranking in the stuttering lop-sided idle. There is nothing subtle about this Ford.

“My family has always had 50’s and 60’s cars since day dot,” he says, “You get a thing in your head of how you want the car to look.” In fact, his father’s nickname, Cusso, came from his early love of the Ford Customline.

“It’s the style and the shapeof the cars, they’ve got attitude without even moving.”

The stark outlines of the Galaxie are reflected starkly on the lenses of Clint’s sunglasses, the afternoon sun dipping towards the horizon as he turns towards the car.

“This car is just me.

Retromotive Volume One

This Ford Galaxie was origanlly published in Volume One Of Retromotive Magazine