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Galpin Auto Sports builds custom 1969 Mustang live at SEMA

By - November 19, 2009 – 4:55 pmNo Comment | 4,695 views

Galpin Auto Sports 1969 Mustang SEMA Build

World-renowned Galpin Auto Sports (GAS), the innovative team behind MTV’s Pimp My Ride television program and a division of the nation’s largest volume Ford dealer, Galpin Ford, built a striking muscle car from the ground up as thousands looked on at the 2009 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas. Seven Galpin staff members took less than 24 hours over three days to hand-build a complete 1969 Ford Mustang fastback live on stage, from thousands of parts – a SEMA first.

The Mustang project was the brainchild of Beau Boeckmann, President and Chief Designer of Galpin Auto Sports, an expert at “pimping” rides under any unique circumstance.

“I received a call from Ford’s SEMA Project Coordinator Bob Adams asking me if I had any ideas for the SEMA show,” Boeckmann said. “After a day of thinking, I called him back and said ‘What if we built a car live from scratch, in 3 days, right in the Ford booth?’”

At the start of the show, all the major components were positioned on the stage, along with tools and a lift. The centerpiece of the project was the Dynacorn reproduction replacement body shell, which was painted a brilliant custom-mixed PPG green pearl chartreuse. On a stand next to the Mustang body was the stroked 351-to-392 cubic inch Ford Racing V8, topped with Hilborn injectors. Suspension, interior, dash, wiring, wheels, tires, glass, and trim pieces were also carefully arranged and ready for installation.

GAS technicians began assembly at 1 p.m. on Tuesday and worked for the remaining three days of SEMA.

“The audience was completely captivated by the constant activity and onlookers were compelled to continually revisit the Ford display to check on the car’s progress through the duration of the SEMA Show,” said Bob Adams, Ford Motor Company’s SEMA Project Coordinator. “It was amazing to see that even some of the greatest legends in the automotive industry, such as John and Ashley Force, Parnelli Jones, and Edsel Ford all expressed intrigue and amazement in what the GAS team was doing live on stage in the Ford booth.”

By 1 p.m. on Friday, the key was finally turned and the Mustang’s motor fired up. The rumbles, accompanied by cheers from the crowd, created a deep echo throughout the SEMA halls. Immediately afterwards, drifting mega-star Vaughn Gittin Jr., known best for his aggressive, foot to the floor, big smoke driving style, took the car out for a sideways drift around the strip.

Onlookers not only marveled at the creativity of the project but also the stunning aesthetic beauty of the vehicle. In true Galpin fashion, the team took the iconic beauty of a ’69 Mustang, with its classic lines and proportions augmented by an aggressive fastback attitude, and added a contemporary twist.

“We wanted to build a vehicle that respected the past, but reflected the future with very current design influences, and we feel we achieved that with this car,” Boeckmann said.

In short, the hot rod is not just another 1969 Mustang; it’s a piece of muscle car art that incorporates sleek and fresh design cues while still embracing the classic muscle car aura.

While the unique nature of the project attracted attention, the car itself is the prototypical American muscle car – and the components are first-rate. The potent Ford power plant – dressed in Billet Specialties accessories – is mated to a Ford Racing Tremec 5-speed transmission and a 3.89- geared Currie 9-inch rear-end. The independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering are from Chris Alston Total Control Performance with a Magnaflow 3” exhaust. SSBC front and rear disc brakes corral the power; Shelby 17-inch two-piece wheels are mounted with Nitto NT05 rubber.

GAS also paid special attention to the interior: Katzkin leather seats, designed by Galpin Auto Sports, feature custom stitching and bolsters. A 1,000-watt JL Audio system – Kenwood audio controller, speakers and 10-inch subwoofers – pumps out the tunes. And cabin climate is controlled by a Vintage Air a/c and heater unit, blowing through stock dash vents. An Ididit steering column is topped with a custom Grant steering wheel. The door handles as well as hundreds of additional switches and buttons were provided by National Parts Depot. All told, more than 20 suppliers contributed to the project, Boeckmann said.

The car will make its public debut in the Galpin Auto Sports booth in Kentia Hall at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, Dec. 4-13, 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Photos © 2009 MustangsDaily.com

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