‘Iron Orchid’

Apr 12, 2013

Galpin Auto Sports (GAS), a custom shop based in North Hills, Calif., unveiled it’s one-off fully custom show car built from a 1934 Ford Five-Window Coupe called “Iron Orchid” at the 2013 Detroit Autorama in early March.

Galpin Auto Sports’ newest creation earned five awards at the Detroit Autorama, more than any other car at the event. It scored first place for the Altered Street Coupe class and honors such as Outstanding Street Rod, Outstanding Engine-Rod, Outstanding Undercarriage and Outstanding Use of Color Design, according to a GAS press release.

The Ford was built by Dave Shuten of GAS over 18 months. Designed to imitate the extreme show cars of the 1960s, Shuten relied on a combination of period-correct, pre-1965 parts with hundreds of custom-fabricated pieces to finish the car.

“I couldn’t be more proud of ‘Iron Orchid,’ Dave Shuten and the team,” said Beau Boeckmann, GAS president “They’ve put together one of the most beautiful cars that has ever come out of Galpin and the most beautiful hot rod I have ever seen. This car really shows the pride and quality of workmanship of everyone here and demonstrates what they are capable of doing.”

Clear blue acrylic panels were used for the windows and also replaced steel is certain places, allowing the driver and onlookers to see many of the working mechanicals of the car. The acrylic panels in the hood provide views of the upholstered firewall and engine even while closed.

Acrylic is also used on the inside, which gives the passenger and driver an unobstructed look at the chromed transmission internals, the released noted.

“I took everything that I loved from four genres of cars of the mid-1960’s era-show cars, customs, race cars and hot rods-and tried to incorporate elements of each into one that would blow people’s minds,” Shuten said. “I was blown away by the response; it certainly seemed like ‘Iron Orchid’ was one of the most talked about cars of the show, and that means more to me than winning any award.”

More than 2,000 individually chromed pieces went into the car. The grille, one of the vehicle’s centerpieces, was crafted from specialized silver solder and lead, and chromed to become a “fluid-like sculpture” for the front of the Ford.

The vehicle’s drivetrain, a 1964 Ford 427 side-oiler V-8 mated to a 1965 Ford top-loader four-speed transmission, was built and prepared by Galpin Classic Auto Service. Steve Tracy at Advanced Plating completed all the chrome, and Bobby Walden custom built the one-off four-piece hood to accept the acrylic inserts.

“Iron Orchid” also was selected for the Street Rodder Magazine Top 100 award.

Additionally, Hurst Racing Tires created the custom set of tires for “Wild Orchid” modeled after Mickey Thompson Super Stock Drag series, and Darryl Hollenbeck of Vintage Color studio completed the period-correct fully custom paint job.