“I don’t think the neighbors are going to be thrilled with us,” Galpin’s Ray Petrossian says as he gets on the gas for a short burst and the Galpin GTR1 belches out a galactic, ear-splitting roar that literally shakes the trees along a normally quiet two-lane road around Pebble Beach. No Ray, they probably aren't, as evidenced by my still ringing eardrums. And oh yeah, that was only at 40 percent throttle.
You may have heard of the GTR1, Galpin’s own unique vision of the Ford GT dialed up well past 11 to 1058 horsepower. This particular car is 1-of-1 at present and is the brainchild of the crew at Galpin Ford in Southern California, led by Galpin’s el presidente Beau Boeckmann. I had a chance to go for a quick ride in GTR1 in the chaos that is Pebble Beach weekend, which didn’t afford much of an opportunity to let the car even come close to within shouting distance of its potential. And sadly, I wasn’t able to actually get behind the wheel (we’ll be stopping by their HQ soon to go for a real drive). But the short jaunt was enough to get an impression of what it’s capable of, and it is capable of A LOT.
Galpin has been spending a lot of time over the past several months since the GTR1’s debut at last year’s Pebble weekend dialing in the car. The most notable change is a switch from a twin-turbocharged setup to a 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger in addition to all manner of other powertrain upgrades that have further boosted the 5.4-liter V-8 to the aforementioned 1058 horsepower and 992 pound-feet of torque, according to Galpin. All that power will reportedly enable the GTR1 to blow past the 60 mph mark in approximately 2.9 seconds.
Petrossian and the Galpin team were recently out at the Willow Springs circuit in the desert north of Los Angeles, where they did some shakedown laps prior to the event to evaluate their latest powertrain and suspension upgrades to the car. He’s happy with how it’s shaping up. Things are looking good on the inside as well. Save for a few prototype niggles that need to be cleaned up, it has more of a race car feel, with lots of brightwork and gauges that tastefully update the Ford GT’s cabin.
At present, Galpin has secured six Ford GTs that they’ll be turning into GTR1s. There are those who would argue that losing those Ford GTs to a conversion isn't a good thing, but they are Galpin's to modify. (Did we mention 1058 horsepower?) If things go well, perhaps there will be more, and if Ford GT owners would like to morph their cars into a GTR1, Galpin will be happy to oblige. But they’re not getting ahead of themselves. There is still a bit more work to be done before they’re satisfied enough to roll out these bad boys with the Blue Oval souls at a cool $1 million a pop. But from the passenger seat at least, things are looking darn good for the future of this coach-built American monster. Just ask those poor neighbors.