Just the Facts
Owner: Beau Boeckmann
Where were you in 1962? It's a decades-old question that is meant to physically, if not mentally, place a person in a very specific place in time. The early 1960s was an exciting time for car lovers because drag racing was just entering its Golden Age, custom car shows were producing some of the most memorable vehicles ever, and Main Street of every city and small town in the country was overflowing with cruisers.
The engine and 1965 toploader four-speed transmission were assembled by Galpin’s Classic A
Dual-purpose rods—ones that could compete on the show level as well as the on the dragstrip—were also gaining in popularity. A perfect example of this type of car would be Tom McMullen's wildly flamed 1932 roadster, as it could do it all, from dry lakes racing to cruising the boulevards, and many other car owners did the same.
Dave Shuten, a 41-year-old Michigan car builder and restorer who now lives in Southern California, grew up loving the creativity that was generated during this special time in rodding's history. A tool and die maker for GM for 15 years, Dave spent his off hours either restoring 1960s-era show cars or building clones or tributes to those vehicles. He is especially impressed with the work of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, and Shuten is a true hot rod builder, capable of doing everything from one-off metalwork to pinstriping. Back in 2007 Shuten designed and built the Astrosled show car in tribute to those Roth cars, and it featured many Roth-esque design elements, right down to the acrylic bubbletop.
New-Old-Stock Astro chromed steel slot wheels (15x4.5 and 8) are shod in Hurst tires—the r
Also a few years back Shuten built a replica of the "Mysterion"—the candy yellow, twin-engined, bubbletopped creation Roth built in 1963. Roth was instrumental in the popularity of bubbletopped show cars—his "Beatnik Bandit" arguably being the most famous, and, in 1964, Roth also built the "Orbitron", another wild creation with asymmetrical headlights. The Orbitron was eventually forgotten and seemed to have disappeared, only to resurface 30 years later (and mostly intact) in Mexico!
It was during the time Shuten was building his Mysterion clone that he met Beau Boeckmann who, with his family, runs what is known as "the number one volume Ford dealership in the world": Galpin Auto Sports in North Hills, California. The Boeckmann family has had a long history with customizing vehicles through their dealership, and a special on-site showroom showcases many of the vehicles they've been involved with over the decades, plus it also houses a collection of 1960s-era show cars. In fact, two of the vehicles in the display, the well-known show cars "Ice Truck" and "Milk Truck", were restored by Shuten while he was still in Michigan.
Though he started with aftermarket 'rails, Shuten added belled Ionia Hot Rod Shop boxing p
Beau was able to purchase the remains of Roth's Orbitron, and then commissioned Shuten to restore it. After GM closed the plant he was working in, Shuten moved to California and worked for Beau full time. But among the things Shuten brought with him from Michigan to California was a 1934 Ford coupe. He wanted the five-window to be the ultimate expression of what he felt those 1960s show cars were all about, and had a lot of ideas that would make the car truly unique. As it happened, Beau was looking for a vehicle that he could build and take to the Detroit Autorama in 2013 for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Ridler award, and so the two struck a deal on the car: Beau would buy it from Shuten and finance the project, and Shuten would have the freedom to build it the way he only dreamt he could.
Over a period of 18 months, Shuten took the stock coupe and reworked every aspect of its shape, starting with its chassis. He used aftermarket framerails and added Ionia Hot Rod Shop boxing plates that feature a belled (concave) lightning hole. To that Shuten added domed discs to the backside of each hole to give the impression the 'rail is dimpled rather than be open. Not only was the unique design element used on the 'rails, but on the X-member and other suspension pieces, too. To give the bottom of the framerail a sharper edge, Shuten added material to it, then shaved and filled the area to get the desired effect.
The frame was painted pearl white by Pete "Hot Dog" Finlan, and a buggy-sprung early 1960s 9-inch rear (4.10:1) with a locker rear was located with one-off ladder bars that also featured the car's dimpled design. Shuten also made the Panhard bar from one-half of an extra hairpin. Up front the 4-inch-drop axle is filled in the center, but on the backside it's dimpled to continue the theme. One-off batwings were also made (from 1940 wishbones) and the spring perches were peaked. Custom-machined 1941 Lincoln hubs were used with 1940 Ford spindles, and Shuten designed and fab'd a unique steering arm setup before everything (and we mean everything!) was sent to Advanced Plating in Nashville to be chrome plated.
To make the car a roller, ultra-rare N.O.S. Astro chrome slot steel wheels (15x4.5 and 8s) were shod in Hurst Tires—all four being one-offs made to replicate the M/T Super Stock Drag Series tires from the 1960s. Ansen frame-mounted pedals were also incorporated, and a one-off floor-mount Schroeder steering box ties all of the steering together.
The rear apron was stretched 2 inches so there’d be more space for the 1965 Corvette taill
A car like this would have to have the right motor, and Shuten succeeded by locating a 1964 427 side-oiler big-block, which was bored 0.030 over and dialed in with 11:1 compression and assembled by Ray Petrossian at Galpin's in-house Classic Auto Service facility. A pair of 1965 Hemi cross-ram carbs was used with an M/T power ram intake, operated with EELCO linkage. The motor is solid-mounted with a Nicson drag boat engine mount, which doubles as a timing cover, too. Vintage Moon valve covers top the engine, and a FoMoCo dual-point distributor delivers the spark. Galpin Auto Sports' Ryan Shostle followed Shuten's design for the zoomie-style headers while the transmission is a 1965 Toploader four-speed operated by a Hurst shifter and equipped with a McLeod Racing dual-disc clutch and hydraulic throw-out, all concealed under an Ansen scattershield. Once all the rights parts were gathered, everything was shipped off to Advanced Plating for chroming.
The five-window body was in nice shape before any work was started on it, and work began with a 3.5-inch chop, which was done by Shuten and Lucky Burton without leaning either of the pillars back. A 3-inch wedge channel was also performed, and Shuten filled the roof with an insert from Walden Speed Shop. Bobby Walden also created one of the most distinctive design aspects of the coupe: the see-through hood sides, to which Shuten added blue acrylic panels.
The underside of the vehicle shows more chrome from Advanced Plating and a great view of D
The decklid was filled with louvers, and Shuten extended the rear apron so the four 1965 Corvette taillights would fit better. The grille had its cap and bullnose molded in and it, along with the custom radiator, was chrome plated at Advanced Plating. Once the metalwork was completed, Galpin Auto Sports' Manuel Lopez and JD Hendrickson aided Shuten on finishing up the body and paint prep work. For final paint, Shuten chose Vintage Color Studio's Darryl Hollenbeck to give the car its signature look.
Using PPG paints, Hollenbeck laid out an ambitious design for the coupe, one that would incorporate nearly every famous paint scheme, including panels, lace, and fades to create a truly one-off paintjob. The car was painted from top to bottom, including the underside of the vehicle. Once the paint was dry Rory Pentacost laid down the pinstripe to further customize the coupe.
Time was starting to get tight with the fast-approaching deadline for Detroit, so once the body was out of Vintage Color Studio's booth the parts were shipped to Elegance Auto Interiors in Upland for an interior. Elegance, run by Mark Lopez (who had recently finished the 2012 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour 1940 coupe), was able to locate the custom pearl white leather needed to complete the coupe.
Over the years, Shuten had developed a list of custom tricks he’d like to someday have on
Shuten supplied Elegance with a pair of bucket seats from a Ford Thunderbolt, and Lopez stitched up a tufted diamond pleat for the seats, door panels, roof, floor, trunk, and both sides of the firewall. Up on the dash, which is a combination of a 1934 Ford and a 1952 Willys Aero Coupe, a set of Stewart-Warner gauges were placed, as was a N.O.S. steering wheel from Cragar. More chrome from Advanced Plating can be seen with the steering column, custom seat risers, pedal arms, and window garnishes. Under the trunk a Hollenbeck-sprayed 10-gallon Moon gas tank contrasts more pearl white leather, and a vintage Autolite battery is purposely visible.
The coupe, which now sported the "Iron Orchid" moniker given to it by artist Robert Williams, was only a day from being completed when it was loaded into its trailer for the 2,300-mile haul from Southern California to Detroit. Considered by most to be a contender for the Don Ridler Memorial Award, the coupe did pick up several major awards at the show, including Outstanding Undercarriage, Outstanding Use of Color Design, Outstanding Engine-Rod, Outstanding Street Rod, Best in Class, and a STREET RODDER Top 100 award.
But even though the accolades are nice, Beau's desire now goes to driving the car. And though a couple of shake-down runs down Roscoe Boulevard in North Hills has only served as an aperitif, both Beau and Shuten are looking for the day where they can get in the car and stand on the gas. With Beau's family being involved with cars in a major way for six decades, he knows it comes down to only one thing: you have to drive them, and that's just what he's going to do.
An ultra-rare white Fenton shift boot surrounds the Hurst shifter, and blue acrylic allows
The dash is a combination of 1934 Ford and 1952 Willys Aero Coupe. Stewart-Warner gauges a
Mark Lopez, of Elegance Auto Interiors, created the diamond-tufted, white pearl interior f
Among the wonderful 1960s-ish custom tricks added to the coupe are the blue acrylic side p
The early 1960s 9-inch is buggy-sprung and was chromed by Advanced Plating. It’s equipped
Tucked into the rear apron area is an Autolite battery, along with more diamond-pleated le