Pick of the Day: 1969 Ford XL SportsRoof

When Ford introduced the XL model for the Galaxie 500 in the middle of the 1962 model year, it was following in the footsteps of the 1961 Falcon Futura by debuting bucket seats and console to the Ford line. However, the XL evolved into a slightly different vehicle as the decade wore on. Our Pick of the Day, a 1969 Ford XL SportsRoof, demonstrates the XL’s position in the Ford lineup. It is for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Concord, North Carolina. (Click the link to view the listing)

The 1962 Ford Galaxie 500/XL was introduced as a V8-powered two-door hardtop and convertible with standard buckets and console. Production reached over 40,000, which was an auspicious start for a mid-year model. In 1963, a four-door hardtop model was introduced — yes, a four-door with buckets and console — and sales exploded exponentially, with the two-door hardtop alone achieving over 134,000 units. For 1965, the Galaxie 500/XL reverted back to two-doors and, in 1967, Ford shortened the model name to just “XL.”

In a sign of the times, Ford decontented the XL for 1968. Standard was a bench seat with a 240cid six. Now the XL was just a highly trimmed model with little in the way of sportiness aside of the fastback body style for the hardtop, with a new GT Equipment Group created for the more sport-inclined consumers. This set the tone for the redesigned 1969 XL, which Ford claimed, “You’re looking at the sportiest, best-handling Ford XL in history. Don’t believe it. Drive it.” The fastback was now a semi-fastback style called “SportsRoof,” and both it and the convertible continued to feature a standard six and bench seat. New to the option list was the 429 Thunder Jet, available with a two-barrel or four-barrel carburetor, the latter rated at 360 horsepower. The latter would be the last time a four-speed manual transmission would be available on a big Ford; ditto the GT package.

This “unmolested” 1969 Ford XL SportsRoof is a fine example of a model not often seen on the collector car radar. This one has the four-barrel Thunder Jet, as evidenced by the “N” character in the VIN, backed by a column-shifted C6 automatic. “The original Lime Gold (code 63) finish was professionally resprayed in 2012 and is in good condition,” says the seller, and it is accented with a black vinyl top. Other notable features include 15-inch wheels with mag-style wheel covers. Inside, the Ivy Gold bench seat is in good condition, with “upholstery, carpets, headliner and dash [being] well maintained,” per the seller. AM radio is stock for the car, while several aftermarket gauges including tachometer have been added.

The XL continued through the 1970 model year, upon which Ford removed any semblance of sportiness with its full-size cars. That simply was the way the market was moving, but we have this 1969 XL SportsRoof to admire for those folks who appreciate traditional American cars with traditional American torque. For $29,995, that’s a lot of car for the money.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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