ABG Q&A: Beau Boeckmann's tricked out 2008 Ford F-450 Super Duty runs on biodiesel and hydrogen

In the latest AutoblogGreen podcast, we spoke with Beau Boeckmann, the president of Galpin Auto Sports (they do the Pimp My Ride cars), about the truck you see in the picture above. What started out as a normal Ford F450 ended up as a, well, let's just let Beau explain. This is the transcript of our chat.

ABG: Hi, I am on the phone here with Beau Boeckmann and as readers will see when this post goes live, we were just talking about the, what did I say, it was the crazy, oh I cannot remember-

BB: Awesomely crazy, something like that.

ABG: Yes, crazy great, incredibly unusual hybrid that you worked on and we definitely want to get all the information we can for that. I heard this is actually your first appearance on a podcast.

BB: You probably is, you are right, so, good. I am glad to be here.

ABG: Yes, we are very glad to have you on the AutoblogGreen Podcast. You are involved with Galpin Auto Sports and some of our readers may know that that is the crew that works on some of the Pimp My Ride Vehicles, is that correct?

BB: Yes, we're the exclusive shop for a Pimp My Ride for the last two seasons. I am the president of the Galpin Auto Sports as well.

ABG: All right, so definitely readers can use that to help them put it in respect of what it is that we are talking about here today. I will slightly introduce it. You started it of as a normal 2008 Ford F450 Super Duty truck but that was not good enough for you. So, you added a couple of things. Let us a little bit about your additions to this truck.

BB: Well, it actually grew out of an episode that we did on Pimp My Ride for Earth Day. We took a 65 Impala and put a GM diesel in it that we converted to run on bio B100. So, it was environmentally-friendly muscle car which is a little bit, kind of ironic in itself. So, I thought why not do the same, kind of thing with the truck. You know, you have this big huge, very thirsty vehicle that people like to take off to the road and how do you turn something that is that mean into something that can be a green at the same time.

Read more after the jump.

So, we have the F450 Crew Cab dually diesel 4X4, and that is with SAE Energy and Jonathan Goodwin. He helped us out with that and we had it run on Biodiesel, which is B100. So, pure BioDiesel as well as of hydrogen, so, a little of combination there and then of course you could not just have a standard truck. So, of course it is lifted big, you know off-road wheels and tires and just a beast of a machine with, you know brush guards in the front, off-road lights and all kinds of really cool stuff like that. We did an extremely luxurious interior, inside with really amazing audio video system inside and top of the line, you know, leather seating. But, we also want to have an environmental impact inside, so, for example, the carpets. They are made of recycled plastic bottles. But they are still fantastic carpeting. The headliners are made from hemp. So, wherever we looked, we tried to find an environmental solution to what we are trying to accomplish.

ABG: Well, you certainly just listed all the things that I was going to ask you about, because those, you know, the hemp headliners and the carpet from recycled plastic are things that I wanted people to not miss. Let's talk about the dual fuel system there. When people hear hybrids, most commonly, that means gas-electric. Sometimes we are seeing concepts of diesel electric but biodiesel and hydrogen is certainly not a combination that we see very much. What can you tell me about the idea to mix those two power sources in one vehicle?

BB: Well, and it was rather new to me too because, you know, the more that you research things and you try to come up with creative solutions, you know the more that you find and actually that was a recommendation that came from Jonathan. Because really what you have this on the diesel side, on the biodiesel side, what you have is the environmental aspect of that and that it is a natural fuel. The hydrogen really provides the extra mileage.

So, you see a tremendous uptick in mileage with the hydrogen, as well as performance. So, we get some significant performance upgrades as well. So, it is really fun to drive because you do not even really notice it other than it is very powerful and when the exhaust is burning it kind to smell like french-fries. So, other than it is just like driving a big old mean truck.

ABG: The hydrogen, how does get burned? I mean, what kind of system is that? Does it go through the same engine that the biodiesel goes through or-

BB: It does but if you are going to ask me technically how that works, I do not know. I cannot describe it because certainly I am not an expert in that field. You know, what I try to do is to find the solution to the problem and find the best people that can work on it to achieve that. So, technically, I could not give you an accurate description of how it actually works but it is a system where you add the hydrogen into the fuel mix. So, how that was accomplished? Well, that is for Jonathan actually, he could probably explain.

ABG: Maybe, we will get him on a future AutoblogGreen Podcast.

BB: Yes, he does great work, I'll tell ya.

ABG: You know, this is kind of technical, maybe you can't answer this one either but, do you know how the, I see in the picture that there is the hydrogen tank that is sitting in the bed of the truck. Do you have any idea how that, what pressure that has kept under and how the hydrogen stored at all in there?

BB: Very carefully, is how that's stored. That is why it is surrounded by the bars and everything back there. No, I do not know what kind of pressure it is under. That is something that I have to find out exactly. I need the detail on that kind of a thing.

ABG: Okay, was this a vehicle feature on an episode of Pimp My Ride? Is it the upcoming or it was just something that you wanted to do in the shop?

BB: Well, it is something that I just wanted to do, to show that, you know, you do not have to be boring to be environmental. You know, if you get creative there is other ways that are getting around problems. It is not all about Priuses. It is about, you know, in the real world, what solution are we going to, you know, try to come up with that solves problems and you can still have fun doing it. So, that was really, the whole reason and inspiration behind doing the vehicle.

It is not featured on the show in anyway. It was really done to show that, again, you do not have to be boring to be environmental.

ABG: But, you did bring the vehicle to the SEMA show few months ago, is that true?

BB: Yes, we had it at SEMA where Ford featured it in their book and actually even get a designer award for the truck as well because it just came out absolutely gorgeous in my opinion. That's a testament to our guys and their workmanship there. And then the Ford liked it so much, they actually borrowed it to use at the LA Auto Show along with another vehicle that we did. Now, we got it kind of in the press run and we got lot of interest in of it obviously. So, lot of magazine, there are shooting it and doing stories on it right now.

ABG: The SEMA crowd, I never been to the show but I have spoken to a lot of people who have been there. That is all about taking a stock car and doing all sorts of amazing things to it. Some are very reasonable. Some are just out of this world, crazy. But, usually it is a big show for AutoblogGreen because that crowd does not so much focus on the environmental aspect of tuning up a car. When you brought this truck to the SEMA Show, you said Ford liked it. What was the reaction from other people there at the show? You know, other people were showing off vehicles or people who were just an attendance?

BB: It was really fantastic and it came from a couple of different ways. One, the truck just so cool looking in many ways that we get a lot of attention. People go, "Oh man, that truck is awesome," and then they come up and, "What are those tanks? Oh wow," you know it is not only a cool truck but it is also environmentally friendly. I mean, that is what we got a lot of.

Secondary, more from the people who knew what are going on, it was welcomed because, more and more, SEMA is getting to the point of, you know, "We need to start looking at some environmental alternative." So, they are very much welcomed it. This was the first time SEMA was really trying to engage people on doing some environmental things, even though we started building it way before thy even looked at things like that. So, the reaction was really fantastic. I was very, very happy with it.

ABG: Okay, that is kind good to hear with us. We'd had people go to SEMA and cover it for AutoblogGreen and also Autoblog, and maybe we will have to do a little bit more of an AutoblogGreen focus in the future, if you saying that the whole culture is shifting towards few alternative fuel sources and thinking a little bit more about the cars impact on the environment. That is -

BB: Yes, I think it has to, you know that is part of, you know, what we need to do is responsible human being. So, you will see more and more of that happening.

ABG: So, for our listeners, people who are hearing, just download this from iTunes or whatever. Just know that there is a nice high resolution image of the truck up on the site, AutoblogGreen. You can come by and take a look at all the things that we are talking about here that Beau is describing in his truck. It is, it is a great picture, and it is a great looking truck. We cannot see the interior but if you can tell us a little bit more about the decision to use the renewable fibers, the hemp headliners and carpet from the recycled plastic, how did that come about?

BB: Actually came right from Pimp My Ride as well because we did a lot of research for that episode on different types of materials that are environmentally friendly. The other thing we had on the Impala was reclaimed wood, we are actually using recycled wood for all intents and purposes. So, that came out of that and if somebody would like to actually see the interior and the rest of it, we will have it at the galpinautosports.com or if you go to galpin.com and click on the Galpin Auto Sport and that will have all the pictures and all the information are there as well.

ABG: There you go. We will make sure to link to that site, as well make it really easy for people to find.

BB: Alright, thank you very much.

ABG: What other things are you looking forward to do with future vehicles? You kind of explored significant options with this this truck and the Impala, anything really piquing your interest for the future?

BB: Yes, they are. I kind to get this really big top secret project that we are working out which hopefully will debut sometime in the fall. Maybe late summer and for that, you know I am also looking at how we can make that have an environmentally-friendly aspect to it, as well. And, we are just kept looking. There are lot of interesting things that are occurring both from the OEM side, as well as some after market companies that I think will keep moving forward in that direction until we really have the quote, you know that magic bullet whatever it is that all our cars are going to run on. That is actually going to help the environment instead of hurt it.

ABG: Yes, that was out of the EVS show recently in Anaheim, the Electrical Vehicular Symposium runs by the EDTA and World Electric Vehicle Association. And, one of the guys who I spoke with out there, who does some Prius conversions, adding nickel metal hydride packs to the current Prius, he was just saying how excited he is going to be when Toyota does release a plug-in version of the Prius because it just going give him a better toy to play with.

BB: Right.

ABG: The vehicles that you are seeing in concept form or that are coming out soon, such as a plug-in Prius, such as the Chevy Volt, something like that. Maybe even a Tesla Roadster. Any of those vehicles you would really like to get your hands on and start messing around with and improving.

BB: Well, I think plug-in hybrids are going to be a very interesting thing for a period of time. I think that is going to be again another bridge until we get to the ultimate solution. You know, I think the thing like the Tesla, I think it is a very cool concept. I have not driven on myself but it is based on a Lotus. I think, you know that Lotus is a great car for driving around but it is certainly not something I want to drive everyday. So, it is a very expensive environmental toy. Is really what that is and I think you are going to search and saying more and more of environmental vehicles coming up that you can actually drive everyday.

We have sold two different electric vehicles here at Galpin. It is kind of something interesting. We actually open up the very first methanol station in the entire country right out here back in 1979. So, you know, we keep searching for, you know, what are the answers going to be or at least what is going to help until we really get to the ultimate solution of, you know, whatever that is - fuel cell or what that might be that, you know, cars running on water.

ABG: You are right. I definitely think that there is no way you are going to get bored anytime in the near future.

BB: Absolutely not.

ABG: Thank you very much for your statement with AutoblogGreen and I look forward for this big project next summer, next fall.

BB: Thank you Sebastian. Okay, cool. Thank you very much.

ABG: Keep us informed.

BB: All right. Have a good one.

Press Release

Ford Motor Company
SEMA – Vehicle Wheelstand
Vehicle 28
October 11, 2007

2008 Ford F-450 Super Duty by Galpin Auto Sports
With its time-tested reputation for toughness in tow, the all-new 2008 Ford F-450 Super Duty is stronger and more powerful than ever before. The ultimate truck for workplace applications, the 2008 Ford F-450 Super Duty features a host of innovative appointments, designed to make any job easier.

Thanks to the work of Galpin Auto Sports, one of those jobs just might involve saving the environment. The 2008 Ford F-450 Super Duty by Galpin Auto Sports is a twin turbo 4x4 that's friendly to the environment, thanks to a Bio-Diesel and Hydrogen conversion by SAE Energy. With an enhanced suspension and wheels, it can get to just about anywhere on earth, and all with the comfort of a luxurious customized interior.

Base Vehicle
  • 2008 Ford F-450 Super Duty Crew Cab 4x4
  • 6.4-liter Power Stroke® Diesel V-8 engine
  • 5-speed TorqueShift™ automatic transmission
  • 32 Overhead valve twin turbo Bio-diesel with selectable B100 Bio-diesel or Hydrogen fuel by SAE Energy
  • Rize Industries "Quad-Link" upper and lower adjustable suspension lift system
  • King 3-inch coil-over front and 2.5-inch "Piggy-back" reservoir rear shocks
Wheels & Tires
  • 22-inch Forged Dually wheels
  • BF Goodrich Mudders 335/55/22 tires
  • Custom Brushed Aluminum and GAS Green paint with GAS logo design
  • Galpin Auto Sports-built roll bar with Hydrogen tank mount system and 9" HID fog lights
  • Galpin Auto Sports custom built front brush guard with HID fog lights
  • Galpin Auto Sports custom front fender aluminum badging and 7-inch LCD monitor for lighting
  • Dual front and rear captain's chairs upholstered with Edelman leather
  • Custom design and interior fabrication by Galpin Auto Sports
  • Customized Hemp headliner by Enviro Textiles
  • Carpeting by Foss Manufacturing Company from recycled plastic soda bottles
  • Galpin Auto Sports custom audio system featuring:
    • JL Audio 8-inch W7 subwoofers
    • JL Audio prototype "Slash" series amplifiers
    • Dual audio and video systems
    • Apple iPhone integration in the front and rear
    • Bluetooth and Internet capabilities
  • Alpine navigation system
Created By:
Galpin Auto Sports
Van Nuys, CA

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