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Friday, 19 April 2013 00:00

Galpin Auto Sports

Written by Kristie Bertucci | Photos By Brian McGee
Beau Boeckmann, President of Galpin Auto Sports (G.A.S.), vividly recalls one of his most memorable experiences with automotive legend Carroll Shelby. “I was most taken aback with one incident when he came into Galpin and asked my dad and I what we thought of some of the projects he was working on,” he reminisces. “I thought, ‘Wow, here’s one of my idols in the industry, asking me what I thought about some of his projects.’ It was so cool just to sit around and chat with Shelby about all things automotive related and more. It’s an honor to have been friends with him and to have known him.”

Boeckmann, his father, Bert, and Galpin have all been involved with one of the world’s most recognized American automotive designer, racer and entrepreneur since the very beginning of his Shelby American, thus paving the way for G.A.S.’ latest recognition of becoming a Shelby American Authorized Mod Shop.

This is the cool part for customers. They get the Shelby magic, and it’s official in the Shelby Registry.The story goes, that Lee lacocca, legendary former Ford and Chrysler President and “father” of the Mustang, introduced Shelby to Boeckmann’s dad Bert in the early 1960s, given both were involved in racing and in the same racing circles. Once Shelby started to build his own cars, he’s noted as referencing both Bert and Bob Tasca as “the two people that got behind it, and if they hadn’t gotten behind it, nobody probably would have heard of the Cobra.”

G.A.S.

Not only does Galpin Ford (right across the street from G.A.S. and the #1 volume Ford dealer on Earth) already sell the Shelby GT350, GT500 Super Snake, and GTS, but now G.A.S. offers a full-range of genuine Shelby modifications, the only place on the West Coast to do so. “My father’s and Carroll’s relationship goes back 50 years when Galpin Ford became the first Shelby dealer in California. Carroll Shelby was a dear friend, and we miss him tremendously. He was always looking to the future, so for us this is a way we can continue his legacy building amazing cars that honor him.”

The only other authorized Shelby Mod Shops are the main factory in Las Vegas, NV and Tasca on the East Coast in Rhode Island, who like Galpin, has a storied history with Shelby. “The Tasca family still remains good friends of ours to this day,” Boeckmann reveals. “My dad and Bob Tasca were the first Ford dealers to sign up to sell the Shelby Cobras and GT350s. And back in 2005 when Ford was thinking about bringing back the Shelby Mustang, Bob Tasca III and I were on the product committee at Ford, and were really the ones pushing Ford to rekindle its relationship with Carroll and bring back the Shelby Mustang. I guess history repeated itself!”

Since the early-2000s, G.A.S has been one of Southern California’s most recognizable customization shops, building on Galpin’s history of wild builds that stem back to the ’50s through ’70s, when Boeckmann’s dad would turn vans into what we now consider party buses. In 2005, the G.A.S. showroom was officially unveiled and their reputation and ability to build any car to customers’ desires preceded them thanks to amazing talent and a team whose passion burns as intensely as Boeckmann’s for all things automotive related.

G.A.S.

Already able to modify any car imaginable, being an authorized Shelby Mod Shop allows G.A.S. to take any Shelby car and upgrade its performance and styling, with all the work then endorsed by Shelby American. So any mods performed to the vehicle or any parts added to a stock Shelby bought across the street at Galpin Ford, will be documented in the Shelby Registry that chronicles the entire life of a Shelby vehicle, maintaining the vehicle’s integrity and authenticity as a Genuine Shelby.

“This is the cool part for customers,” Boeckmann says. “They get the Shelby magic, and it’s official in the Shelby Registry. For hardcore enthusiasts, this is an extremely important thing. It’s their car’s birth certificate in a way. The document becomes part of that car’s DNA, its history and its future.”

Currently, G.A.S. can modify 2007 to present Shelby models, as well as 2005 to current Mustangs, and can even provide Shelby upgrades to off-brand models like the Ford GT, Corvette, Camaro, Challenger or even an off-road truck like the Raptor. “Each vehicle modified will leave the shop with a Shelby certificate and engine plaque, authenticating the work performed on that vehicle.”

Even before it was officially announced, Boeckmann created a 2012 Shelby GT500 widebody to show at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance’s Quail Lodge Motor Sports Gathering to get the buzz about the new appointment started. “I wanted to have a car that really represented what we could do at G.A.S. and how the Shelby Mod Shop addition incorporates to our established business,” he reveals. “This was a major accomplishment, showing our custom Shelby GT500 alongside of one-off concepts cars. It was really amazing.”

Treated to a vast array of custom touches, the widebody was taken out 9-inches via handcrafted sheet metal fabrication, dressed in a special Aston Martin Morning Frost Pearl White paint scheme and given one-off custom three-piece wheels by Forgiato Wheels. Its interior was also upgraded to an Aston Martin level, featuring custom Crimson red raised grain leather, wrapping the seats, dash, doors, headliner, and more–even the trunk. The audio system consists of McIntosh MX406 AM/FM CD head unit, complete with dual Blue McIntosh analog meters in the dash. The doors and rear deck have McIntosh MSS530 5” component speakers. In the trunk is a custom fiber glass box with a 13.5” JL Audio subwoofer, powered by two McIntosh amplifiers with more than 1,100W of power. Boeckmann will display it again at this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas.

And as the 50th anniversary of the Mustang gets closer in 2015, Boeckmann knows that whatever special model Ford will release will also be a new opportunity for Shelby American. “I think that some feared that when [Shelby] passed away earlier this year that it would be the end of Shelby American,” he admits. “But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He set up everything to make sure his legacy continued on through the years and that’s what we want to make sure happens with this Mod Shop program. We actually began working on this deal before he passed away, and he was very much in favor of Galpin and Shelby coming together again.” Inside the G.A.S. showroom, Shelby enthusiasts can also find a wide selection of Shelby branded memorabilia, apparel, merchandise, and parts for the Do-It-Yourself enthusiast, creating a unique experience for die-hard fans.

Boeckmann is also continuing the Shelby spirit in his latest automotive endeavor by building the first G.A.S. supercar, based on the Ford GT and featuring a bit of Shelby DNA. “Shelby and Ford came out with a concept car called the GR1 a few years ago that was never built, and it’s that spirit that we’re basing our supercar on.” He reveals that it will have an all-aluminum body, push out more than 1,000 ponies, have a custom interior, handcrafted wheels and more. “This is one of the most exciting projects I have ever worked on and we can’t wait to show it. We may have a “sneak peak” at SEMA, but the plan is to have our debut at the L.A. Auto Show in our display.”

GALLERY

Sources

Galpin Auto Sports
www.galpinautosports.com

Shelby American, Inc.
www.shelbyautos.com

Forgiato Wheels
www.forgiato.com

Pirelli Tires
www.pirelli.com

JL Audio
www.jlaudio.ca

MagnaFlow
www.magnaflow.com

Ford Racing
www.fordracingparts.com

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