‘The Rocket’ Has Launched

Your garage is Kennedy Space Center: Automotive exhilaration is T minus and counting.

With “The Rocket,” 725 horses of supercharged equine power thrusts you onward for pure ‘Stang excitement. But the excitement of this very special limited production car from Galpin Ford is retrospective, too, celebrating the 52-year Ford Mustang tradition of American muscle-car sinew and pride: Lee Iacocca, Carroll Shelby and forward.

A collaboration of the creative energies of Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) and Henrik Fisker, the coach-built super Mustang, “The Rocket,” is fitted with Ford’s optional Mustang performance package, including a larger radiator with oil cooler; custom suspension and chassis tuning; gauge pack with oil pressure and vacuum; stability control, EPAS and ABS tuning; a 3.73 ratio TORSEN® rear differential; and Brembo™ 6-piston front brake calipers with larger rotors.

How fast? “It’s very fast,” says Beau Boeckmann, president of Galpin Motors, Van Nuys, and Galpin Auto Sports, the company’s performance and customization division.

Constructed from ultra-strong and lightweight carbon fiber –– only the doors and roof are steel –– Galpin and Henrik Fisker worked with GFMI Metalcrafters Inc., of Fountain Valley, Calif., led by Mike Alexander, a longtime associate of Galpin Motors.

Revealed as a prototype last November during the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, the first production Rocket debuted at the annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in March. After the super Mustang received a positive reception in Los Angeles and Florida, Boeckmann decided to produce them for car enthusiasts.

“From Los Angeles, Amelia Island and all over the world, the response has been overwhelmingly positive for The Rocket,” says Boeckmann, whose dad, Bert, grew Galpin from its 1946 start to the #1 Ford Dealership in the World, a title it’s held for 25 years. “I’m so proud of Henrik’s amazing design and the team at Galpin Auto Sports for the detailed performance work.”

Getting the Rocket to the Pad

“Galpin Motors and Galpin Auto Sports have been Mustang enthusiasts since the car first appeared in 1964 and a half,” says Boeckmann, who was honored with the first Petersen Automotive Museum’s “Automotive Visionary” award.

He notes that Galpin was the first Shelby Mustang dealer in California, has offered Saleen- and Roush-modified Mustangs, the Iacocca 45th Anniversary Edition Mustang and is the number-one Mustang dealer in the country. “Mustangs are a part of our heritage.”

When Ford and the automotive world announced the 50th anniversary Mustang celebration, Galpin wanted to release a customized car. “We wanted our own version but couldn’t make the right deal work,” he says.

Then Fisker, a long-time family friend, called him at about the time of the annual Pebble Beach Concours in Carmel.

“I made some sketches of the Mustang with design changes and showed them to Beau. They were born of pure emotion, and the final car came out exactly like those first sketches: sexy and strong.

“I said to Beau when I gave them to him: ‘This is a cool Mustang that maybe we could do in the future.’”

“I looked at them and was astounded,” Boeckmann recalls. “I said, ‘We’re not doing this in the future; we’re doing it now.’”

The men worked quickly, including a computer rendering, a full clay model, then a prototype just in time for the Los Angeles Car show in November 2014. “Henrik put the final piece on, the wheel caps, the day of the show,” Boeckmann recalls with a laugh.

For this year’s Pebble Beach Concours, Aug. 16, a convertible Rocket will be shown on its famous lawns, he says. “The whole car has come together for us for Pebble Beach,” Boeckmann says. “We’ve got our suspension dialed in. It’s everything our customers would want, and the car is really as extensive as you can get.”

Mustang Custom, Fisker Style

One of the world’s leading automotive designers, Fisker was inspired by the specialty pony cars of the 1960s and early 1970s, especially the 1968 Shelby GT500.

“I’ve always loved American muscle cars. This gave us an opportunity to design an outrageous muscle car and celebrate what we love about them,” says Fisker, who began Fisker Automotive in 2007, producing the world’s first premium plug-in hybrid, the Fisker Karma. He is also known for the designs of the BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage and the Lauge Jensen Viking motorcycle.

“This is a no-excuses car with a lot of sculpture and just a little wild and crazy,” he says. “We wanted to do it the right way, and I think we’ve done just that. “We know we didn’t have to adhere to anything beyond our own feelings. It’s straight from the heart.”

Among his design changes are sculptured rear fenders, air intakes on the hood, a dovetail spoiler on the rear, front diffuser and functional air intakes for the rear brakes and carbon fiber details to set off the rear tail lights, so reminiscent of those classic ones on the ’65 Mustang.

“We were also able to widen the track of the car and create a grille recalling the one on the ’68 Shelby Cobra,” says Fisker, who is the founder of HF Design, a Los Angeles-based design and technology company with various automotive, technology and consumer product ventures.

“We also made the belt line look even more aggressive than the factory version,” he says. An option for the hood stripes, paint is removed in places to elegantly expose the carbon fiber.

“It’s a totally unique body but still celebrating that it is a Mustang,” Fisker says. In many ways, it recalls the coachbuilt vehicles from the ‘30s, ‘40 and ‘50s. “It’s maybe not a car you have to drive every day,” he says. “It’s steak and fries and red wine, to enjoy when you have the time to have a good time. It’s what life can be all about.”

Option it Out, Trick it Out

The Rocket, with the upgraded performance package, carbon-fiber coachwork and Bassani cat-back exhaust with quad tips is $109,100, while models equipped with the supercharged performance package start at $125,000. By California law, superchargers can’t be installed until the car is sold separately, Boeckmann explains.

Exterior colors available include “Eminence Grise” — the paint color shown on The Rocket prototype — Black, Ingot Silver and Magnetic (grey), Oxford White, Race Red, Deep Impact Blue and Competition Orange, but any interior and exterior color combination can be ordered.

While the stock Rocket is outstanding in basic trim, you can add to its exclusivity.

As an additional extra cost option, Galpin and Henrik Fisker are also offering the ultra-high performance Gran Turismo brake package from Brembo, featuring oversized 15-inch front and rear two-piece drilled rotors engaged by 6-piston calipers for superior stopping.

Exterior options include that carbon fiber hood stripe, mirror covers and lower front fascia.

The Rocket Interior Package adds hand-finished Italian leather upholstery seats, center console, door panels and rear interior deck panel, as well as suede-lined A, B and C pillars, headliner and interior panels.

Galpin also offers a custom-tuned premium audio system, including a Focal amplifier, component speakers and an 8-inch subwoofer in a custom fiberglass speaker enclosure.

In addition to the standard 5-spoke 21-inch wheel, two alternative wheel options have been created. An optional 10-spoke 21-inch wheel was designed and built with ADV1, and an optional track-oriented super-light 10-spoke 20-inch wheel/tire combo was developed to reduce unsprung weight and improve track handling.

Boeckmann expects that The Rocket will retain its value and ascend from there.

“It has rarity and beauty and will be amongst the rarest of the Mustangs and at the highest end,” he says. “It’s the ultimate Mustang super car, with the Galpin name and the signature of a legendary designer. I am hoping that 50 years from now, I will see it on the lawns of Pebble Beach.”

For more information on “The Rocket” from Galpin Motors and Galpin Auto Sports, contact Marketing Manager Jeff Skobin, 818.778.2540, jeff@galpin.com or visit www.galpin.com. For more information on Galpin Auto Sports, please contact GAS Operations Manager, Brandon Boeckmann (brandonb@galpin.com), 877.GO.GAS.GO or visit galpinautosports.com.