Beau Boeckmann: I grew up here
in the San Fernando Valley grew up at Galpin Ford. I
never pictured myself doing anything else. I went to USC and
studied business there, and even then always had the intention
of continuing in the car business.
Ford was started in San Fernando in 1946 by a gentleman named
Frank Galpin. My father, Bert Boeckmann, was living in Glendale
and going to USC. He wanted to earn some money and started
selling cars at Galpin Ford in 1953. So next year's going
to be his 50th Anniversary.
My dad started off in sales and very quickly became assistant
manager then sales manager. In 1964, we moved to the present
location just East of the 405 at the Roscoe exit in the heart
of the valley.
Frank Galpin was looking at retiring. He wanted to keep my
dad, who had actually made the business a real success, so
he offered to keep selling my dad a portion of the dealership
through his earnings. For my dad, if you can imagine, it was
a little like chasing his own tail the better job he
did, the more expensive the stock got. Frank Galpin was pretty
smart. My dad was majority owner in 1964 when we moved to
this location, but wound up becoming 100% full owner in 1968.
Karl Boeckmann, my dad's brother, has been with Galpin for
35 years. My brother
Brad and I, we both grew up here and between us did every
job imaginable. The only thing I can't do is turn a wrench
unfortunately. That's the one area I wish I did do.
But I was lucky I got here after the guard dogs. My
brother got to start off cleaning up after the guard dogs.
I started off in rental cars and did everything from customer
relations, a little service writing, wholesaling, sales for
several years, I did F&I management, sales management,
then I really started working with my dad and brother
more directly. Now I'm vice-president so I oversee just about
everything that goes on here. My brother, father, and I are
involved in literally everything that happens here at Galpin.
I specifically handle all our advertising, marketing and promotions,
and oversee the internet department. I do all the Galpinizing
My mom, Jane, is also involved. She publishes Valley magazine.
I also work with my cousin Steve McCord and my nephew Brandon
Boeckmann in the Galpinizing, the design and production of
custom cars and trucks. It's a family affair. I've always
loved it. This business is absolutely wonderful if you love
people and cars. I've always enjoyed dealing with both. It's
actually more of a people business than a car business, believe
it or not. I've always had a passion for automobiles and serving
Beau: I remember we had a
lot of unusual vehicles we did here, really crazy surfer vans
I remember we had a Gucci Thunderbird on the showroom
And we had a Pinto with a fish tank in the back of it. Back
then things were a little freer we did wild things,
wild paint jobs and wild customization. I should say, Galpinization.
And I grew up with that as the norm. When I got in this position
here at Galpin that's what I wanted to get back into because
that's the kind of stuff I grew up with.
Five-O: You've got to bring
back the auto aquarium.
Beau: There's a couple laws
now that might prevent that.
Beau: I just talked to Evel
a couple days ago. He's still pursuing events for his ultimate
event that will contain his comeback jump. I think Evel
sees this as a multiple day or week-long event culminating
in the jump like a festival. The Evel Knievel Experience
at Primm, Nevada also opens its doors this spring. Gaming
and special motion simulator rides that put you inside Evel's
boots on his biggest jumps. It's a big year for Evel. We're
proud to be working with him.
Beau: I was actually hanging
out one night watching TV. And I had been working on a series
of Galpinized vehicles, especially trucks, coming up with
some different ideas and concepts on what we were doing to
set ourselves apart Galpinizing has been part of what
we're doing since the '60s. We were looking to do a whole
series of new Galpinized vehicles for 2002.
I was sitting home one night watching the E! True Hollywood
Story on Evel Knievel. Like a lot of us, I was a big Evel
Knievel fan growing up and always thought his jumpsuit was
really cool. That's when I came up with the idea why
don't we do an Evel Knievel edition F-150 and do the interior
and exterior like Evel's jumpsuit?
I thought, jeez, maybe we can even get Evel Knievel involved.
I hadn't heard anything in a little while and I wanted to
check and see how he was doing. I actually built the truck
first in the design we had come up with. A friend of a friend
actually knew Evel. He said, Beau, this truck's absolutely
gorgeous! Why don't I see if I can get some pictures sent
Evel absolutely loved it. He called back and we ended up
making a deal with Evel to put his name officially on the
truck and do the appearance at Galpin Ford, where he came
out and signed autographs for over 3,500 people that came
out for it.
And he was awesome. He didn't stop signing the whole time
and he wouldn't leave
until everybody got an autograph. And he announced his comeback
and the news that he was planning his ultimate jump. It was
a great day for us. Now we have our Evel Knievel edition Gladiator
truck and it's quite an honor.
That was in June 2002. It was early 2002 when we made the
call. It went pretty quickly.
We built a prototype white truck with the exact paint scheme
and interior. We
made the new truck the official model, made some additions
to it, really got all the details down on it. That's when
we dyed the dashes blue, added the chrome door handles, made
up the badging for it.
This truck, Evel wanted it done, this is the only one done
in the blue he wanted it like his suit that he jumped
in at Wembley Stadium in London for over 100,000 people. He
wanted to see it in blue with gold trim. This is the only
one done this way.
Beau: The entire conversion
van business grew out of Galpin. A friend of my brother's
had this van done up and
wanted to take it surfing. He said, if you put in a little
sink, did a little carpet over here, and maybe like a bench,
I'd buy it. So that's where the whole surfer van craze came
out of, that spawned the whole conversion van craze.
We did all kinds of crazy things to vans. From "Madame
Frenchy's," a van that actually had a whole French painting
and fireplace on it, to every color scheme you could imagine.
back in the late '60s, early '70s, so you can imagine what
that was like.
We were also among the first to do customizing of four-wheel
drive trucks. We only sold a couple 4WD vehicles a year, people
weren't really using them. So we ended up lifting them, putting
on big wheels and tires, mounting light bars, everything like
that, and we popularized that whole movement.
Even when Ford stopped making Mustang convertibles, we did
our own convertible. The president of Ford came
out and saw our car and said, wait a minute we don't
build that anymore. He sent it back to Detroit and that's
when they started making Mustang convertibles again.
Beau: We sold those. I try
to keep it to very limited editions. Like the Black Widow
truck, we basically make one a year. We've made two because
we wanted to keep them very exclusive.
I made a custom billet spider web grill in the front and
did a hood that has brake lights and an hourglass logo so
that it actually lights up for that menacing
look. Did custom wheels that look like spider legs. Since
my truck came out a wheel manufacturer is making now a spider
web wheel that we'll have on the next one in 2003. But on
the seats, we took the whole interior apart. Instead of having
a gray interior, we did it black. And then the hourglass logos
on all the seats. Came out really cool. Red carbon fiber dash.
Beau: That's one for the younger
crowd. I got with my nephew on that. That's where we did a
tribal paint job black on top, and either yellow, red or white
below. The white one is blue on top with blue tinted windows.
Did a whole custom front and rear end, custom wheels, spoilers,
did custom leather interior with "Tribal Focus"
on there, and did an awesome stereo system with a kick-ass
box that takes up the whole back end.
Beau: We try to do whatever
we think is hot right now. We got a whole Navigator I did
that was all lowered to 22 inch wheels, everything done in
black, with 3 TVs, a back up camera, Sony Playstation II,
navigation system, a whole rolling stereo/ entertainment system.
It's pretty choice.
Beau: I got that idea from
a similar deal that was done at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment
Manufacturing Association) show. I said, hey, we can do something
like that. We call it the TGPT. Basically it looks
like a standard truck. Inside is done different with carbon
fiber dash, carbon fiber leather, nice DVD & entertainment
system inside, but then you open up the lift gate in the back
and down flips a 13-inch TV with speakers.
You can play a game on TV or put a DVD in. And then you pull
out the whole back section and it's a BBQ grill, a sink, two
beer taps, a little briefcase that has a blender inside so
you can plug in the blender and make margaritas it's
a whole rolling party ready to go.
SEMA has inspired a lot of what I've done, not because of
what I've seen there but because of what I haven't seen there.
I haven't really seen true creativity and whole packages being
done very well. So I thought, hey, we could do something that's
a little different, a little more creative here at Galpin.
That's what we're famous for anyway. We got a great team of
very creative guys, the best painters, the best upholsterers,
and the best guys to work on these vehicles.
Beau: When the Thunderbird
came out, we did one in Dusk Rose, which is like a pink color;
we used the actual 1957 color Dusk Rose on the car. What's
of fun is we're able to do just like the factory and dye the
dash and do a matching leather interior in Dusk Rose. I sent
out and had whitewall tires made for it. So we had a total
'50s look and feel to it, at the same time it matched the
factory and exactly what they were doing but in a completely
different paint scheme.
Beau: We'll see how this one
goes off, but I'm actually building a Low Rider Grand Marquis.
It has a wild interior and paint job to match and it will
actually lower and raise. It's not on hydraulics or anything,
because I couldn't have that under warranty.
We also just had the Thunder Truck, which I supercharged
the V10 and did a sport interior on it.
We also just completed the '50s Edition Truck, which we took
all the badging off the old F100s, made the front
end grill look like the old 1950s truck, did the interior
in a tuck and roll, painted dash to match, then actually built
a whole custom wood bed just like the '50s. When you open
up the bed, it's all a beautiful wood bed in there. It's kind
of different. Complete with fuzzy dice.
Beau: Anything I can find.
I try to think of new ideas, get our creative group together
and work on what the next idea's going to be. We're inspired
by having the calendar we do every year. We want to have something
for every month that's going to be completely
Galpinized. That's what's gets us doing these really big ones.
Then of course we do tons of other packages that aren't so
elaborate, some simple wheels and tires to special paints,
special interiors, not so outrageous as the others.
It's a huge phenomenon right now anyway. The public comes
to the dealership, they buy the truck, then they go out and
spend thousands customizing it. We can tie our customers in
closer with us and create something unique for our customers
if we do it ourselves. Especially in Los Angeles. Everyone
wants something unique. You try to create something completely
different from what you can find outside.
We can do anything a customer wants. It's up to their imaginations.
anything they can think of or they can dream of, quite frankly.
We'll do that for an individual customer or we create our
own packages so people will see it and say, that's so slick,
that's just what I want.