"If You Can Dream It, We Can Build It." That's the motto of Galpin Auto Sports (GAS), the renowned custom division of Galpin Motors - one of America's largest auto dealership groups and the No. 1 volume Ford dealership in the world. The legendary GAS garage in Van Nuys is the former home of MTV's wildly popular "Pimp My Ride" show and created the heavily modified Ford Mustang for the "Knight Rider" TV series reboot.
Long a part of the LA Auto Show, over recent years Galpin has gone all in with Galpin's Hall of Customs - an enthralling exhibition of mostly custom rides, plus live DJs and merchandise, filling more than 26,000 square feet of the Los Angeles Convention Center this year. Located in Concourse Hall between the West and South Halls, this year's Hall of Customs comprises 35 ultra-rare supercars and outrageous custom rides for an ultimate auto aficionado's selfie-fest.
For fans of Aston Martin - those utterly British luxury sports cars forever synonymous with James Bond movies - the only examples at the 2017 LA Auto Show are in Galpin's Hall of Customs (Galpin Motors includes Galpin Aston Martin in Van Nuys). The six Astons on display include the DB11 Volante convertible and, until Dec. 5, the first public showing of the eagerly-anticipated new Vantage.
Galpin is also showing off its Ford Competition GT - one of only three ultra-lightweight incarnations of the legendary mid-engine two-seater in the world. Billed by Ford as "the track fan's ultimate production car," the Competition Series cars have weight removed higher in the vehicle to shift their center of gravity closer to the asphalt - maximizing the thrills produced by the GT's 647-horsepower engine.
Further Galpin gawkers include its transformation of the Porsche Carrera GT belonging to social media star Salomondrin. Previously clad in an impossible-to-ignore fuchsia wrap, Galpin Auto Sports unveiled its finished paint job at AutoMobility LA (the press and trade days that immediately precede the LA Auto Show). There's also a uniquely "Galpinized" version of Kia's new five-door, lift-back Stinger (Galpin Motors includes a Kia dealership in North Hills), Mazda concept cars, and the 2018 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.
A highlight for hardcore gearheads at this year's LA Auto Show is undoubtedly the VLF Rocket V8 - a Ford Mustang-based joint venture between Galpin Auto Sports and Danish-born automotive designer Henrik Fisker (founder of Fisker Automotive and a former senior BMW and Aston Martin designer). A sleek, sculpted design loaded with power and performance enhancements, Galpin Motors president and COO Beau Boeckmann has described the VLF Rocket as "literally the most beautiful Mustang I have ever seen."
Also appearing is "Henry Jaded," another incredible build by Galpin Auto Sports craftsmen, this one based on a 1952 Henry J two-door sedan. The Henry J was a pioneering American compact car built by the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation that today commands a cult following. But the Galpinized take on this originally humble vehicle is an extravagantly reimagined, drag strip-ready hot rod.
Galpin's Hall of Customs also includes a Porsche aesthetically enhanced for a GAS client by RWB - a super-exclusive Japanese Porsche tuner famed for curvaceous interpretations of these already amazing German sports cars. GAS put 350 careful hours into disassembly, custom paint and reassembly for their customer's commission. RWB's radically modified, strictly "one-of-one" creations, which feature new front and rear bumpers, fenders, and side skirts, have polarized Porsche purists - decide for yourself at the LA Auto Show.
- Paul Rogers, Custom Publishing Writer