Galpin Car Show – a Free Event Featuring the Numerous Facets of America’s Car Culture
Readers living in Southern California will likely be acquainted with Galpin Motors, a local company formed in 1946 best known today for its multiple car dealerships, including a giant Ford outlet. Having a long history of community service, it has been hosting the most impressive annual Galpin Car Show for over a decade. Vehicles take over several dealership lots lined up on Roscoe Boulevard, next to L.A.’s busy 405 Freeway. Best of all, the event is free to participants and spectators.
To better understand the success of the one-day affair, we need to move back to 1953, when Bert Boeckmann was hired as a Galpin dealership salesman. His skills in both business and sales allowed him to purchase the company in 1968. Today, the firm has 1,000 employees spread over the various entities, under the helm of Bert’s son Beau. Some of you will be familiar with Beau, a diehard fan of rods and customs, who managed to assemble a remarkable car collection. He is especially fond of the outlandish customs created over four decades ago by Barris Kustom, Ed Roth and the likes.
Many of his vehicles have been restored or built by Dave Shuten, better known for being the lead character in the TV show Car Kings. Originally from Detroit, he settled in Southern California in 2010 and started working for Galpin Speed Shop on a number of Beau’s cars.
Beau’s dedication to the rod and custom scene led him to create the annual Galpin Car Show, which gathers a vast range of automobiles representing America’s rich car culture. The main paved area welcomes a mix of hot rods, customs, lowriders and classic Americans, while other lots each have a specific theme: off-road vehicles, exotics, air-cooled VWs, Meyers Manx dune buggies, vintage Japanese classics and minitrucks etc. A most impressive layout!
Visitors could also peruse through Galpin Auto Sports (GAS), a division of the company that specializes in customizing new cars with accessories, wheels and more. GAS incorporates a fantastic showroom, which featured a selection of vehicles specifically gathered for the show. We should point out Coby Gewertz’s wildly painted ’34 Ford coupe – Goodguys’ 2023 Hot Rod of the Year, Greg Tidwell’s ’40 Ford truck – Goodguys’ 2023 Truck of the Year Early, and several rides owned or formerly owned by James Hetfield from the band Metallica. Candy Clark who stared in the movie American Graffiti was also in the building to sign pictures.
The various dealerships’ showrooms offered some surprises as well, such as the Ford outlet featuring a very rare, street-legal 1967 GT40 MKIII. More rarities awaited the crowd in the VW dealership, home to three early 1950s Beetles. Want to join the complimentary party in 2024? Check out www.galpinford.com/galpin-car-show – a memorable experience.
Photos by Stephan Szantai