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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Fri, Nov 7, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

The GAS store


It isn't all gloom and doom out there. One dealership is on the cutting edge and is moving full speed ahead while the competition seems to be stuck in reverse. What does it take to change the perception of the industry? Maybe a few automotive icons both in flesh and metal, and a heavy dose of some legendary musicians can change an attitude or two. Maybe, just maybe, rock and roll will save the day.

GAS' "Pimp My Ride" garage The Galpin name is well-known to most in Southern California, especially as the dealership has been in existence since 1946. Certainly, as the number one selling Ford dealer in the country (for the past 18 consecutive years) more than just a few are already aware of this Van Nuys landmark. Even more were brought into the fold thru the MTV's favorite "Pimp My Ride". The Grand Opening of the Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) facility will galvanize Galpin as the home to not just new car sales, but also the destination for a vast assortment of modifications. GAS provides everything from wheels to complete bumper-to-bumper transformations. The only question is how deep is your wallet? This mid-October gathering of over a thousand guests brought out the best - among them, a few of the most notable names in the automotive world.

The GAS Mustang collection Lee Iacocca, automotive titan and the man who let the Mustang loose on the world, was on hand to celebrate the night. Mr. Iacocca is also known for his monumental efforts in pulling Chrysler out of the gutter decades ago. Oh my, how history repeats itself.

George Barris A legend around this town is the remarkable George Barris. He is credited with so many movie cars it's getting hard to tell fact from fiction. But one thing is certain, George and his contemporaries created the art of the custom car. He too honors what Galpin has in store. No surprise, many of his wonderful cars have a Ford at their heart. The ringmaster for the evening and the man behind the curtain is Beau Boeckmann. As the heir apparent to the dealership, and President of Galpin Auto Sports, Beau knows. Nothing is better than having both a vision and the means to make it happen. Yes, Beau knows cars, and he knows how to have fun. Life is too short and the team at Galpin is here to make the most of it.

Mr. and Ms. Boeckmann Providing the proper flavor to the evening was a Kustom Kulture show with cars provided by George Barris, along with the Orbitron - created by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth 35 years ago (restored to its former glory by the team at GAS). Plus, customs by Von Dutch and cars provided by the Petersen Museum surround the grounds. Galpin pays homage to these industry icons that brought customization to new heights made the genre socially acceptable decades later. This evening there is still another car waiting to be unveiled before the anxious mob. The Scythe concept was created in house to showcase Galpin auto Sports' talents in all aspects of creating a complete one-off showpiece. Will customers be looking for something this elaborate? Probably not, but if they do the team at GAS will be more than happy to make it happen.

Scattered about are other familiar faces including Pimp My Ride's Mad Mike, Z, and Diggity (aka Dave Aragon). The show portrays their collaborations in a comical way, however the work on customers' cars is serious business in every sense. Those that know Fords are also be familiar with 3dCarbon's Ernie Bunnell and Billy Longfellow, if not by face or name at least in the aftermarket masterpieces they produce. The award-winning vehicles they cook up often grace on the covers of magazines, and the Mustang body kits are some of toughest around.

Galpin collection in front, "Pimp My Ride" facility in back Also on hand from Ford corporate is Melvin Betancourt. Even if you don't recognize the name you've seen the effect of his influence. His efforts with Ford at SEMA are definitely widespread. If you spot a Ford car prepped for SEMA chances are Melvin has something to do with it in one way or another. What fun would the night be without some refreshments? While we typically frown on alcohol consumption in association with cars, when consumed by someone accompanied by a designated driver, we can give this a thumbs-up. Absolute Vodka and Pernod liqueur complement the evening perfectly. As this celebration in the Valley is just a dozen miles over the hill from Hollywood, it brings out the celebrities in mass. Attending the shin-dig are Audrina Patridge, Sharon Osbourne, Jack Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne, Amy Osbourne, Dominique Swain, Bai Ling, John Dolmayan (System of a Down), Scott Baio, Renee Sloan, Tamera Mowry, Carmit Bachar, Wesley Jonathan, Denyce Lawton, Kristy Swanson, Cassandra Hepburn, Jason Hervey, Will Estes, Aaron Hill, Zack Lively, Jacob Vargas, Angelica Bridges, Mikayla Jordan, Robert Davi, The Olly Girls' Molly Shea, Angie Meyer, Leven Rambin, Robbie Jones, Phoebe Price, Carla Collins, and Mark Harris.

Navarro and Leitch

Slash Camp Freddy isn't just a band; it's the best of the best. This is the headliner for the evening. Any one of the band members is enough for most rock fans. Just as Galpin isn't just an ordinary dealer, Camp Freddy isn't just an average band. The line-up includes some major band regulars, including Dave Navarro, Slash, Billy Duffy (The Cult), Billy Morrison (the Cult), Matt Sorum (Guns and Roses). Along with them are Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray), Donovan Leitch, and Chris Chaney (Jane's Addiction). Now, how much fun would it be if there aren't a few surprises? It turns out Galpin didn't let us down. On hand to round out the night is the Prince of Darkness - Ozzy Osborne. Supporting Ozzy's vocals is the guitar work of Navarro and Morrison. Covering the songs we know and love from several of the artists playing at this affair is exactly what one would hope for. Calling this an explosive experience is an understatement. The addition of the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones and Steve Stevens, guitarist for Billy Idol, makes all this seem so dreamlike.

Ozzy Osbourne and Billy Morrison When it all comes down to it, isn't that what it's all about, creating the dream? Galpin Auto Sports is taking a different tack than most others in the business, and we'll see how this plays out in the morning. For now, the night continues rolling along. Find out more about the dealership and Galpin Auto Sports at

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