'G.A.S. Extreme Customs' revs the excitement levels of petrol-heads
As much as petrol-heads get giddy with excitement over shows like "Top Gear", where a wide selection of rides gets put through their paces in different terrain, they are equally revved up by those that customise wheels like Discovery Channel’s "G.A.S. Extreme Customs".
At the helm of this series is Beau Boeckmann, who is the mastermind behind Galpin Auto Sports, which is where the magic happens. When it comes to the automotive industry, he lives and breaths it. In fact, his father was a successful car dealer, which exposed him to cars from a very young age.
In the show, Boeckman shares the limelight with Dave Shuten and Mad Mike Martin, his partners in customisation.
In a recent chat with Boeckmann, he shed light on the pull of show.
Interestingly, they wrapped up the shoot two weeks before the lockdown in the US.
When asked what sets "G.A.S. Extreme Customs" apart from the plethora of car shows on the small screen, Boeckmann explained: “What’s really different about what we’re doing is it’s really about the people and the cars and the history behind them.
"It’s not only what makes the cars special – and what we’re trying to do is find cars that are uniquely special. In many cases they’re one-on-one. It’s the only car in existence. Or it’s a rare car, or we're doing something very special and unique with it.”
He continued: “But what we’re focused on is really telling the stories of the car and the people behind the cars through the builds.
"So, you may have seen the first episode with the Pantera. So, we try to give a little bit of a historical perspective on who Carroll Shelby was and his importance in – not only in racing - but in building automobiles and many other things. Lee Iacocca, who not only was the godfather of the Mustang but also saved Chrysler, and then he got Carroll Shelby and pulled him from Ford over to Chrysler.
"That’s when they developed the Dodge Viper together with others on the team. And we were able to actually find that missing engine that Lee Iacocca gave to Carroll Shelby. And, by doing that, we were able to then really put history back together again, and recreate that hot rod Pantera, because Lee Iacocca gave Carroll Shelby this Chrysler NASCAR engine to create this testbed for the Dodge Viper.”
Well, that’s one of the things that they do.
He added: The other is very unusual automobiles and not the kind of cars that you normally see in car shows. In fact, they’re as much art as they are automobile. In our last episode, which was the Bathtub, is a great example of that. That was basically a hot rod taken to an extreme, extreme theme. And this extreme theme was oddly a bathroom that drove. So, you’ve got two bathtubs with a toilet and you strap a Hemi engine to it. And, believe it or not, I was dumb enough to stick my entire family into this – into bathtubs with an engine with, like, 700 horsepower and drive it into a crowd of people. And yes, it’s as dumb and dangerous as it sounds. And you can see how it ends up on air. It didn’t quite end up exactly the way we pictured it, but I guess all’s well that ends well.”
The show honours all types of car culture.
Boeckman admitted: “It doesn’t matter what kind of cars or vehicles you’re into, we love them all. So, you’re going to see exotic cars, like the Ford GT, which we opened the show with. Muscle cars, we do a resto-mod Mustang. You’re going to see off-road trucks, you’re going to see hot rods and you’re going to see really unusual one-of-a-kind vehicles built by artists.”
"G.A.S. Extreme Customs" airs on Discovery Channel (DStv channel 121) on Fridays at 8.55pm.