Bert Boekmann, Galpin Motors Leader & Innovator Dies @92

The patriarch of the Boeckmann family and pioneer of the one of most respected car dealership groups in North America has passed away. Herbert F. “Bert” Boeckmann II died exactly two years to the day after his beloved wife, Jane, passed away. He is survived by his daughters Laverne and Denise; sons Brett, Brad, Beau, and their spouses; 12 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and many extended family members.

Bert Boeckmann joined Galpin Motors as a salesman in 1953 and by 1957, he was promoted to General Manager. Boeckmann was majority stockholder by the time he was named president in 1964 and became the sole owner of Galpin Ford in 1968. Under Bert’s leadership, Galpin Ford became the #1 Volume Ford Dealer in the World for a record 29 consecutive years.  As of 2023, The Galpin family of dealerships has grown to 12 brands which include Ford, Lincoln, Volvo, Polestar, Mazda, Honda, Volkswagen, Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Lotus and Porsche.

Boeckmann became known as a pioneer in the industry and is credited with many industry firsts; the first sunroof ever installed in the United States, in-house vehicle customizing, the 4×4 craze, introducing the idea of custom conversion vans in the market and was the first to offer leasing options for vehicles to individuals. Galpin became the first Shelby dealer in California and became the first automotive dealership in the country to offer its customers a full-service restaurant, the Horseless Carriage, and a Starbucks on the premises.

Boeckmann’s rapid success was primarily due to his devotion to the customer. He genuinely cared about people and wanted to help his clients purchase the vehicle of their dreams.

“My father will be remembered for his love and commitment to his family, business, community, and the world he lived and worked in,” said Beau Boeckmann, President and Chief Operating Officer of Galpin Motors. “He always welcomed people with open arms from all walks of life. Whether you were a customer, an employee, a stranger or world leader, he treated everyone with respect and will be deeply missed.”

Boeckmann’s legacy extends far beyond the car dealership floor. He was an active member of the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles communities as a long-time supporter of the Los Angeles Police Department, where he served as a member of the Board of Police Commissioners for over 16 years. He was named Time Magazine’s National Quality Dealer of the Year (the highest possible honor bestowed upon a dealer), inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, awarded the Presidential Citation for Private Sector Initiatives (the nation’s highest award for entrepreneurs) and honored by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans for his outstanding success achieved through hard work, upstanding business ethics and worldwide philanthropy. Bert was inducted into the automotive hall of fame and Galpin was also the first Ford dealer to be inducted into the Ford Motor Company Hall of Fame.

Boeckmann was also bestowed the Fernando award, which is the highest civilian award for volunteerism and philanthropy in the San Fernando Valley, supported by the Valley Chambers of Commerce, civic and philanthropic organizations, entrepreneurs and corporations located in the San Fernando Valley.

“While Bert turned over the Presidency and day-to-day management of the Galpin organization several years ago to his son Beau, he remained extremely active as a mentor to Beau and other management employees. Bert wanted to ensure that the Galpin servants’ culture and high standard of performance survived even him, and part of his great legacy is the solid footing and employee group with which he left the Galpin organization,” said Jeff Skobin, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Business Operations at Galpin Motors.

A celebration of life is scheduled for Saturday, May 20th at 10am at Shepherd Church in Porter Ranch. Doors will open at 9:00 and a video tribute will begin playing.

Based in North Hills, California, Galpin Motors has established itself as one of the foremost automotive dealers in the United States. Family-owned and operated since 1946, Galpin’s list of automotive brands includes Ford, with which it consecutively held the No. 1 dealer title for 29 years, Honda, Volkswagen, Mazda, as well as premiere brands such as Volvo, Land Rover, Polestar, Lotus, Aston Martin, Lincoln, Jaguar and Porsche. Quality service centers, dedicated staff, and world-class amenities, such as Galpin Auto Sports (G.A.S.), in-dealership Starbucks and the Horseless Carriage, an award-winning restaurant, set Galpin above the rest, offering the best buying and ownership experience of any dealer in the world. To learn more about Galpin Motors, visit