- Conductive Classics converted a 1964 Ford Custom 500 into the “Galax-E,” winning Best EV Conversion at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach.
- The E-Apache truck sparked their EV journey, leading to the impressive Galax-E build that involved fitting a Tesla Model 3’s powertrain and components into the classic chassis.
- Galax-E’s success relied on meticulous frame modifications for the battery and motor, integrating Tesla parts, while keeping the original Galaxie’s exterior and interior charm intact.
In the bustling world of automobile innovation, some stories stand out for their electrifying spark and audacious journey. One such tale is that of Mike Sallee, the visionary behind the mind-boggling transformation of a vintage 1964 Ford Custom 500, affectionately known as the “Galax-E.” I had the chance to catch up with Mike after Electrify Expo in Long Beach, the man behind this masterpiece, as he recounted his journey from traditional performance builds to the cutting edge of EV conversions.
The Road Less Traveled: The Birth of Conductive Classics
“Our adventure into the EV conversion world started with our 1959 E-Apache,” Mike reminisced with a grin. It all began when they acquired a truck from Montana and decided to break free from the LS swap trend. “We didn’t want to do just another LS swap, so we decided to go EV. We have been doing performance work for 20+ years and thought that this could be something new to put a little ‘spark’ back into our car building,” he chuckled. The truck proved to be a fun experiment, igniting their curiosity to push further.
When Inspiration Strikes: The Birth of Galax-E
As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. The team’s original plan was to electrify a K5 Blazer, but the battery from a wrecked Model 3 they acquired didn’t fit the bill. “Let’s measure that,” they exclaimed, eyeing a customer’s 64 Galaxie in their shop. With the tape measure confirming that the battery would fit, the journey to electrify the Galax-E took off. “The car had 28k original miles on it, so it was in amazing condition,” Mike shared. The team embarked on the mission to retrofit this classic beauty into an electrifying masterpiece.
Behind the Scenes: The Transformation Unveiled
The heart of the 1964 Ford Custom 500 “Galax-E” lies in the painstaking conversion process. “The frame was rebuilt from the firewall to the rear bumper to house the full long-range battery pack, the rear subframe with the performance motor,” Mike explained. The Model 3’s components found new life in the revamped Galaxie chassis, along with the conversion of the car’s brake system.
The Ride and Showstopper: Galax-E’s Triumph
After months of intense labor and with the help of his dedicated team, Mike showcased the Galax-E at the Electrify Showoff 2023 in Long Beach. The recognition came swiftly, with the Galax-E securing the prestigious “Best EV Conversion” award. “It took us about 9 months of work crammed into 6 months to meet the date of the Holley High Voltage Event in Sonoma, California,” Mike shared. The Galax-E’s journey from classic to electrified sensation was complete, capturing the hearts of automotive enthusiasts.
From the Horse’s Mouth: Mike’s Musings on the Build
I asked Mike about his favorite part of the transformation. He chuckled, “A new challenge.” This embodies the spirit of a true automotive innovator, pushing the boundaries and reveling in the journey’s twists and turns. We delved deeper, exploring the hurdles faced. “Making the Model 3 components work,” Mike admitted, “we really had no idea how we were going to do it when we started.” The turning point came when they discovered Ingenext’s control system, breathing life into their electrifying vision.
A Legacy of Visionaries: Looking Forward
As our conversation wound down, Mike shed light on his future plans. “Currently developing a system on another vehicle that we plan to incorporate on the Galaxie when time allows,” he teased, exemplifying his dedication to innovation. His humble acknowledgements extended to his team and partners, “Big thanks to all the guys at the shop, Throttle Works/Conductive Classics for all their help in making this possible.”
An Ongoing Journey: A Legacy in the Making
Mike’s journey with the 1964 Ford Custom 500 “Galax-E” echoes a larger narrative of technological evolution, redefining what’s possible in the realm of automotive design. His journey stands as a testament to human ingenuity, pushing past limits to electrify the classics we hold dear. As technology advances and battery tech matures, we can anticipate more streamlined and affordable EV conversions, driving us toward an electrifying future on the open road.
2024 Electrify Expo Schedule
|May 31-June 2
|Long Beach, CA
|San Francisco, CA
|New York, NY
|Boise, Idaho, USA
|1964 Ford “Galax-E” Custom 500
|350 horsepower, 350 ft-lbs of torque (estimated)
|Control System: Ingenext
|12-Volt Battery: Tesla
Electrical System: Tesla
Charge Port: Tesla
|Wheels & Tires
|Chassis & Suspension
|Front Suspension: Stock
Rear Suspension: Tesla subframe with Ride-Tech air ride system
|Factory color with slight modification
Chrome painted to match wheels
HV orange pin stripes added
|Mostly stock, original condition
Seats being redone to match original vinyl
|Shops & Mechanics
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