After four-and-a-half years in the making, the Galpin Porsche dealership opened in March only to shut its doors just two days later due to the pandemic.
“We accounted for tidal waves, earthquakes, we figured everything, but we didn’t figure pandemic,” General Manager Joe Allis said.
In the years leading up to their opening, Allis — working closely with Galpin Motors Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Beau Boeckmann — designed every inch of the dealership.
“Everything that you see in the dealership is dictated by Porsche corporate — Germany determines what, how, when,” Allis added.
Even so, Allis and Boeckmann said they were able to make this Santa Clarita location unique, like the cars they sell.
“Every single Porsche you see on the road is bespoken from front to back from interior to trim colors,” Allis said. “There’s no standard Porsche builds … (which), at the end of the day, is part of what makes your car unique.”
For the dealership, it’s the Boxenstopp Restaurant, specializing in American and German cuisine, and Porsche Design Boutique, which carries the typical Porsche Driver’s Selection gear, along with the entire Porsche Design Collection — the only Porsche dealer in California to do so.
“We also decided that there’s nothing more exciting for a Porsche owner and driver than to see their baby actually being worked on,” Allis added.
That’s why there are large glass windows separating what Porsche refers to as the kitchen from a seating area, where owners can see into the service area.
In addition, because they wanted to build more of an experience than a retail center, they created the Wunderground, in which guests can peek at through the glass floor of the showroom.
“It’s the only exclusive Porsche family-approved heritage center in the country, which is open to the public … so we were very privileged to have Porsche approval and their blessing to do this,” Allis said.
The Wunderground features a collection of rare and special Porsche vehicles, including cars from Allis and Boeckmann’s personal collections, along with pieces that tell the history of the Porsche brand.
“We wanted to build a facility that was indicative of the lifestyle,” Allis added. “Porsche is a lifestyle, it’s not just the car that you drive … and how people embrace that lifestyle is the unique part.”
That’s why the facility also includes an interactive learning center and conference room space available not only to Porsche clubs, but also to the community.
Since the dealership reopened in June, things have been looking up, as their hard work has begun to pay off.
“We have now exceeded the manufacturer’s forecast of what we’re going to do by roughly 140%, so we’re doing very, very well, and the community has been nothing but supportive, even if it’s to come in just to see what we built here,” Allis said.
When plans for the dealership began four-and-a-half years ago, it was a very risky business, according to Allis.
“There’d never been a Porsche dealership in Santa Clarita before, so the town was not aware of the brand, the brand wasn’t aware of the town, and here we are, investing millions on a hunch,” Allis said, “but to our pleasure, there’s so much high net worth moving into Santa Clarita. … So, we’re very pleased over what has come of this decision.”
For Allis and Boeckmann, it’s the Santa Clarita community that has made the transition an easy one.
“We feel blessed and honored and humbled to be part of this tremendous community and this amazing car culture here in Santa Clarita,” Allis added.
Porsche Santa Clarita is located at 23645 Creekside Road in the Valencia Auto Center.