If there is a “Disneyland” for car guys, it has to be Galpin. Located at 15500 Roscoe Blvd. in Van Nuys, CA, the sprawling Galpin complex. From new Jags and Fords to custom hot rods, Galpin has it all (they even have a very nice diner on site). Galpin Auto Sports, or GAS for short, is just one of the Galpin operations and they build way out, one-off customs.
One of their latest creations is this high performance 1968 Ford Ranchero. Yes, we said high-performance and Ranchero in the same sentence.
The car had been sitting at an RV storage facility in Castaic, California, for about 12 years prior to purchase. It had no engine or trans, back glass had been broken out and the driver’s side window had been down and uncovered. Purchase price: $100.00.
Considering that GAS found the car in the condition it was, the car was very straight and amazingly rust free. They really wanted a custom road race / Shelby look that would be true to its Ford roots, that meant that they did not want to go to extremes and lose the original lines of the car. Besides, with SEMA coming up, there was an 8-week time limit for the build, so there was a limit to what they could do. A little brainstorming turned to rough sketches, and soon the boss approved it and away they went!
First, the Galpin crew completely disassembled the car leaving the suspension and sheet metal intact. The body was sandblasted so they would have a good clean place to start. With help from Ford Auto Body of Van Nuys, California, GAS sourced two 1965 Shelby R model front aprons and grafted them together to create the front bumper/apron that would be wide enough to fit the Ranchero. It took some reshaping of the apron and the Rancheros fenders to make it fit and look clean and proper.
Once back from Ford Auto Body, GAS went about the rear of the car. The rear bumper was dumped in favor of a roll pan, which was custom built and installed at GAS. Next was the question of the tail lamps. The GAS crew didn’t like the stock look now that the rear bumper was gone (besides, stock lenses are almost non-existent). After spending hours on the internet looking at pictures and checking dimensions they decided that LED lamps was the way to go, so Galpin technician Ray Petrossian fabricated a sheet metal surround panel and installed it and the lights on the car.
Source: Galpin Auto Sports