I've visited countless garages and shops in my career, many of which have impressed me me with their high caliber of service work, wild project race cars and million-dollar facilities; however, not one of them can say they're modifying two Koenigseggs, a Lamborghini Diablo, and a 1,100hp Ford GT at the same time. Welcome to Boden Autohaus.
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS IN AIR SUSPENSION
Before I get into the juicy bits, let's turn back the hand of time as Boden Autohaus wasn't always catering to the billionaire boys club. Owner Josh Sherwin started out in a tiny shop next to John Wayne Airport in 2014 specializing in aftermarket parts sales, which then transitioned into air ride installs.
Stance builds and air setups were booming at the time and on any given week, Boden was fabricating some extravagant air trunk setup for a wide range of customers with BMW M3s, Audi S4s or Subaru STIs. By creating their own media content and emphasizing great customer service, they continued to grow, even playing host to our mega annual calendar car meets in 2016 and 2017 with Toyo Tires. But as with any trend, air suspension sales weren't always consistent and despite using high quality components, cars would often come back needing regular maintenance and tweaks. It wasn't enough to keep the business growing so Josh took what he had learned, saw a niche opportunity and evolved Boden Autohaus into a new brand that services Orange County's .01%.
THE NEXT EPISODE: TITANIUM EXHAUSTS
Through Josh's experience and listening to customers, he discovered there was a niche out there for enthusiasts looking for a specific style of exhaust. Boden took their superb craftmanship from sculpting the most intricate and precise air tank setups, and applied it to bespoke exhaust systems, mostly in the form of titanium. These artisanal exhausts come out having the deepest color, finest welds, perfect shape and best sound. Customers shopping for a Boden exhaust want a system that they can show off like an art piece, and they don't necessarily need the lightest or most powerful part. Style, sound and comparable performance are their main concerns. "We don't want to lose power, and we're definitely making power still," explained Josh. "Best example, a brand like Akropovic makes 20hp gain on one of their systems while ours makes 15hp, however our clients want more of an artform and not something that's mass produced and on every other car. Our clientele is young with some swagger—street car guys that enjoy going on spirited drives. There's a hundred shops that specialize in race cars but we're catering to a specific audience that want to be noticed."
Boden's business evolved and grew, but it wasn't until a particular vehicle came through which really put them on the radar. "What really did it was building an exhaust for a Koenigsegg three years ago," Josh told us. "We all thought it was a joke, but the owner was real. We were the first shop in the world to put an exhaust on one. That gave us the benchmark that we could do any unique project—we later did custom systems for a LaFerrari and Pagani." Today, Boden offers over 20 different exhausts ranging from Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren, while one-off custom systems aren't all that uncommon, either.
IRVINE OFFICE WITH A SEXY SHOWROOM
With business booming, Boden Autohaus had increased its workforce to 15 employees and moved to a larger facility in Irvine. I was greeted at the front office where two cars were on display in the showroom - a black six-speed manual 1,004hp Koenigsegg CCXR awaiting a titanium exhaust and a Lamborghini Aventador SV that's been lowered, equipped with HRE wheels and fitted with Boden's titanium exhaust. Impressive to say the least, but it's the service center where all the magic happens and where the panties begin to drop...
BODEN WORKSHOP IS EVERY MAN'S DREAM GARAGE
While exhausts are the company's forte, skilled Boden technicians are also wrenching on a wide range of sick customer cars and they're doing everything from bolt-ons to twin-turbo systems and complete builds. I'll leave you here with a taste of six dream machines Boden was working on this particular day.
- McLaren 720S. Novitec body kit, OEM titanium goodies, MSO rollbar and actual Senna seats (worth $30K), the twin-turbo V8 in this black beauty pushes 950hp.
- 1997 Diablo VT. 485hp, V12-powered, all-wheel-drive Italian Stallion was getting a custom titanium exhaust fitted during my visit. Gorgeous in purple, and Boden started it up in a recent Instagram video.
- Ford GT. This Boden customer decided not to just bump up horsepower to 1,100hp, but also 24K gold plate virtually everything in the engine bay. Not my cup of tea, but damn, that's nuts!
- Koenigsegg Agera RS. This is the world's fastest production car currently pushing 1,360hp with a top speed of 278mph. In today's market they go for about $6-7 million bucks and Boden is casually building a custom exhaust for it.
- Ferrari 458 Speciale. This is Ferrari's $300K turn-key racecar and the last of the naturally-aspirated V8s. This Speciale has about 35hp more and is 200 lbs ligther than the standard 458, with a more race-ready suspension setup. Boden added their twist by lowering it, throwing on a set of HRE and fine-tuning a perfectly pitched exhaust that sounds pretty damn similar to a Formula One car.
- Ferrari 488 Pista. Boden upgraded the turbos, exhaust, suspension, and then added spacers to transform this rare 'Rari into a 750hp (stock is 661hp) animal. I went for a ridealong in this car and it scared the bajeezus out of me as the instant throttle violently broke the tires loose.