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History Custom Car builder Spotlight: VALLEY CUSTOMS

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Rikster, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    Well here it is again... since I did not make a copy of this thread either it might be slightly different that the first time... lets make it even better, with even more pictures.

    Valley Customs was runn by Niel Emory and his brother in law Clayton Jensen. The Valley Customs always could be rocognized easyily by theire clean unclutters classy look. From 1948 to 1960 These two very fine craftsmen turned out some increadible custom cars. Some of which still excist today, some restored, others waiting to be restored.

    Niel Emory once mentioned a theory "that a custom car should not only look diferent, but should look better when finished than it did to begin with". This to me says it all concerning Valley Custom cars. The are all a big improvement over the stock cars they started with.

    Niel Emory's fist custom was this '37 Dodge convertible, a rather unusual car to start with, but the end result is really wonderful. Most of the work was done however by Burbank Auto Body, but Niel did recess the license and club plates into the trunk himself. Top is by Carson.

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    Second car is a mild custom the built for Ed Jacques. A 41 Ford coupe "mild" custom. Niel designed a new grille which was made out of round rod, fenders where molded in and body was dechromed. Headlights where frenched, and fender caracter line was hammered out. Front wheel openings where raise to make it possible to turn front wheels after extreme lowering. Look how low the rear of this beauty sits to the pafement.

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    Detail photo of the wonderful grille

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  2. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    At the real we can see those wonderfull stock taillight lenzes on extended and lowerd pods. Not sure if the fenderskirts are Ford units or hand made... any how they look georgious. Simple clean hubcaps and molded fenders make this one so clean.

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    NIce tuck & Roll upholstery... what else?

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    One more "mild" custom is the '41 Mercury four door they built for Joe Brenner. Very mild but extremely effective body work. low stance dark paint, again use of clean simple hubcaps. Look at those frenshed headlights on slightly extended bezels.

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  3. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    So now we will continue with this more extrem custom, which uses one of the body modification Valley Customs is nown best for. Sectioning.

    Ralph Jilek's 40 Ford convertible was sectioned four inches, the rear of the frame was kicked up 5 inch and the front was lowered using a dropped axle. Front wheel opening was moved up two inche. Extreme low and quite differnt proportions make this one a very nice ride.

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    Here is the car seen at the Oakland Roadster showwhere it was a real crowd pleaser. Note that the car has fender skirt on now. I think I like it better without them.


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    At the back we can see 41 Studebaker taillight fitting the 40 Ford fenders perfectly (a classic combination) and the use of 47 Chevy bumpers (both front and rear)

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    Nice look at the front of the car shows peacked sectioned hood. Note one appleton spotlight!


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  4. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    Next to show is the Ray Vega '38 Ford convertible sedan.
    This georgious custom used a front end from a 40 Ford on which the hood was sectioned five inches. the body was channeled the same amount and the top chopped and fitted with a Carson top.

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    Color on this car was Ruby Maroon. (photo from cover of Hop Up magazine)

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    Valley customs used 47 Ford bumpers both front and rear, and again those georgious 41 Studebaker taillights.Skirts are Buick units... perfect!


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    Ray,s Mother hand tooled all the interior leather and was installed by L&L Upholstery in Glendale.

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  5. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    The Ray Vega custom still excits today... but is in bad need of restauration. The rear fenders openings are cut out... why!!!!!. sad sight. Hope it will be treated well soon and we can enjoy this master piece once again.

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    Ron Dunn drove his 50 Ford to Valley customs to have them turn it into one of the most beautyful custom ever. The Bronze metallic 50 Ford was sectioned four inches. the front has frenched headlights very subtile single bar grille, and raised front bumper. The wheel openings where rounded and raised into the fenders.

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    At the rear the stock taillights and peack where removed and new home made taillights where frenhed into the fenders. The taillight unit also incorporates the exhausts.

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    Taillight itself looks to be a 40's Cadillac unit... but I'am not sure about that.

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    Side profile

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  6. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    In this photo we can see the 50 Ford just after it was sectioned. The taillight work has not yet started here. The car was brought to the shop to get a new exhaust sistem installed.

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    Wonderfull upholstery

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    Here we can see the Valley Custom compaired to a stock 50 Ford coupe. This car is so elegant.

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    The car at a Valley Custom gathering.

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  7. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    Glen Hooker a brother in law to Niel and Clayton had this very ellegant custom '40 Mercury convertible built by Valley Customs.
    Both front and rear fenders wher cut freom bottom and the wheel openings moved up. I love this old color photo of it. The chopped top was created by Carson.

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    The wonderfull background was a favourite of Valley Customs. A lot of theire customs where photographed on this spot. Bumpers where '47 Chevy units and hubcap once again those beautifull simple smooth moon's


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    Look at this near profile photo... how subtile, how wonderful. Also not difference in paint graphic compaired to the first two photo.

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    On the Hooker Mercury Valley Customs installed yet again those georgious 41 Studebaker taillights, only this time they turned them 90 degrees.

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    Girl attraction

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    All hard custom work by Valley Customs sure has not be done for nothing.

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  8. Skate Fink
    Joined: Jul 31, 2001
    Posts: 3,472

    Skate Fink
    Member Emeritus

    Rikster..............you can tell that Ryan feels bad about losing the past week. It is sure through no fault of his. Thank YOU so much. No only for your postings the first time, but for the outstanding job and great attitude in doing it the second time. WELL DONE!
     
  9. LOST ANGEL
    Joined: Jan 2, 2003
    Posts: 3,647

    LOST ANGEL
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    Rickster, thanks from all the custom lovers. Not just for the repost, but for sharing the knowledge.-MIKE:) :)
     
  10. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    Jack Stewart, had a certain plan when he went to the Valley Custom shop. He had looked around at other shops as well, but knew Valley would be the right shop for him, since he wanted his '50 Olds sectioned, and who better could handle that job, than Niel Emory and Clayton Jensen.

    The body was going to be sectioned, not chopped the front and rear of the body would also be completely re-disigned to create a completely new look for this '50 Oldsmobile.

    Looking for the most flat area on the body to be sectioned material was cut out.

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    After the inner structure was cut as well whole upper body was lowered into its new much lowe position. Not that the section of the rear fender still needs to be cut in this photo.


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    At the front the headlights where extended slightly and modified to have frenched custom units fit in place. a new grille opening was cut and surounded by round rod. The raised bumpers is here trial fit in place.

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    Inner grille panel was shaped from sheet metal.

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    some fine tuning.

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    Custom made headlight bezles where made out of extruded metal.

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  11. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    Finished headlight with custom made bezel... a work of art all by itself.

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    Moving back to the rear of the car the rear of the fenders where reshaped using again round rod and sheet metal. Gravel pan was molded in.

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    Taillights where completely home made.

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    Messurement are taken to determen the best location for the side trim.

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    Note all finished body work just has recieved a fresh coat of primer.

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  12. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    The finished car, very elegant, perfect proportions.


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    From the cover of Hot Rod magazine

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    The finished tail and head-lights.

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    Interior

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    FlatheadRods likes this.
  13. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    A Valley Custom that is not to well known is this '41 Loncoln Continental built for Tommy Jamieson.
    It is a mild custom but has some very intersting styling done to it.

    The first photo was taken at that wonderfull spot again.

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    In progress.

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    Custom grille was made from bended round rod, then chromed.

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    Valley Customs also customized this Studebaker, or perhaps better restyled it using invluences form European cars. Wheel openings where reshaped and raised. A new wonderfull grille was created in a modified front pan.

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    Lovely

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  14. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    Rounded hood corners.

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    Reshaped rear wheel openings

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    Another not to well known Valley Customs was first shown in the "old thtread" by RPW. It is a '52 Lincoln Capri customized for Ina Mae Overman. Subtile customing again on this custom. The rear fenders where extended 12 inches to cover the Continetal spare tire cover. When the rear fenders where extended the back ov the car had become narowed by three inches hence the curvature of the bodyu side. So the rear bumper needed to be shortened three inches as well to fit the new longer rear fenders. Exhaust tips where made using 52 Ford parking light bezels in the lower part of the new extended rear fender.

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    The front was modified with a nice tube lip around the opening. Dechromed lower part of the bumper and Kaiser guard on top of the new bumper.


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    The side scoop was reshaped and a new chrome trim piece was made... so elegant.

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  15. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    Dave peters '49 Ford sedan was also mildly but very stylish customized by Niel and Clayton.

    A 49 Mercury grille and shel where used. The hood was extended down. Headlights frenched and cut down 50-51 Mercury fender skirts used, and what did they use for hubcaps.. yes again those beutifull understated smooth moon hubcaps.

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    Chevy license plate guard... not the first time they have been using this either.

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    Nice tuck&roll interior

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    This sectioned '40 mercury for Larry Sanford is rumored to be the last custom to roll out of Valley Custom's shop. The beltline was removed completely

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    Trunk was shortened several inches when the rest of the body was sectioned.

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  16. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

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    Rod & Custom magazine did a few articles and how too's on Valley Customs Tad Hirai's '50 Ford Del Mar. Perhaps not the most elegant Valley Customs car, but it sure has some very interesting styling elements.

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    Scopped headlights and hand made tube grille.

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    Tube bumpers and custom taillights

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  17. Benzine440
    Joined: Aug 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,272

    Benzine440
    Member

    Thank you for posting this. The in process photos are invaluble.

    I really like their choices for upholstory. Nice and clean. You can see the Italian design studio influences. I get a sense of early "50 Alfa Romeo Flecchia de Oro and Fiats V8.

    It doesn't hurt when you can start with convertibles and convertible sedans either.
     
  18. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    Chrome panels over the A pilars where obscure.

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    Phil Phirinian had his '56 Ford mildly customized by Valley Customs. Very nice tube grille, mild dechroming and perfect stance.

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    Mercury wagon taillights

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    Another mild custom was made for Wayne Rodgers. this time based on a '52 Ford convertible. The front bumper was raised to act as grille bar as well.

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  19. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    The hood corners where rounded, headlights frenched and hooded slightly.

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    Bumper guard shows craftmanship of Valley Customs very well.

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    This very mild 51 Mercury is wonderfully styled by Valley Customs. It has a 51 Lincoln rear bumper (perfect for any 51 Mercury), mild dechroming, runs again some wonderfull simple hubcaps and no skirts.

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    Frenched headlights and wonderfull large radious runded corers on the hood. Grille opening comes from a 49-50 Mercury and now has also rounded corners on the botom.

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    Valley Customs also created this '37 Ford pick up. They sectioned the body and reshaped the front fenders. Later this truck would get a huge horn on top of its cab... totaly out of place making this good looking truck like a joke.

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  20. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,779

    Rikster
    Member

    Here are a few more photo's of the Valley Customs craftemen doing what they can do best...

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  21. CHOPMERC
    Joined: May 11, 2001
    Posts: 992

    CHOPMERC
    Member

    thanks rikster...this is one post i'm glad made it back...thanks to you and thefrenz i'm building on helluva personal pic archive...bob
     
  22. CHOPMERC
    Joined: May 11, 2001
    Posts: 992

    CHOPMERC
    Member

    i'm not sure of the builder of this one, but it has sort of a valley custom flavor to it...it was on ebay a while back, anyone know whats going on with it??
     

    Attached Files:

  23. TheFrenZ
    Joined: Dec 3, 2004
    Posts: 1,898

    TheFrenZ
    Member
    from Germany

    Thanks for reposting this thread,Rik ! I just want to repost my pics and info.

    Let's begin with Neil Emory's own '37 Dogde,a unusual car to start with.Emory worked on this car in shop class at Burbank high school from 1940-41.The top was chopped by Burbank Auto Body.They also painted the car black.Carson did the tasteful top.The young Emory later added '39 Ford teardrop tail lights, recessed the license plate as well as the "Throttle Stompers" car club plaque.As evident by that great name,the members of the club were Hot Rod oriented first.Some of them switched to Customs later for obvious reasons we all know...

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    Ray Vega's '38 Ford is a good example of a well done 4-door.I think what really makes this car so nice is the top made by the famous Carson shop.The then new '40 Mercs seem to be the rage back in the day and so complete '40 sheetmetal was added to this '38.Severe channeling,'41 Studebaker tail lights and '47 Ford rear bumper do the rest...

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    This nice '38 Ford was photographed in front of Emory's house by the great Dean Batchelor.Owner of this Carson-topped beauty was a certain Bill Faris who was a club mate of Emory when they both were Throttle Stompers.Like I already mentioned in the first thread,the car reminds me a little bit of Kent Kozera's '38 Ford which was featured in one of the latest Hop Up mags.Look for a pic in the Taildraggers thread...

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  24. TheFrenZ
    Joined: Dec 3, 2004
    Posts: 1,898

    TheFrenZ
    Member
    from Germany

    Well,speaking of Dean Batchelor,the So-Cal Streamliner comes up to mind.The car shows again the metal work of Valley Customs.Batchelor was co-owner and designer of the car.The other owner was the great Alex Xydias.The streamliner was the fastest car at the very first Bonneville Speed Trials in 1949 due to a full race Flatty built by Bobby Meeks,an engine expert who worked for Edelbrock.In the following year the car reached a top speed of almost 211 mph...

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    More metal work by Valley Customs can be seen on this pic.Emory tried to find the widest spots on the body panels with the help of a plumb line.That explains why the cut lines go up on the door etc.The car was sectioned 4 inches and so he used a 4 inch wide aluminium template to draw the cut lines.

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    The finished product is visible here.Jack Stewart's 50 Olds 88 Holiday Coupe better known as the "Polynesian".The car made it onto the cover of Hot Rod Magazine and always was a major attraction at car shows.Beside the obvious sectioning,the front wheelwells were raised to allow turning clearance of the tires,fender skirts were built from scratch,other body mods include the reworked grille opening with wraparound bumper,frenched headlights with perforated trim rings matching the tail lights etc....

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  25. haring
    Joined: Aug 20, 2001
    Posts: 2,335

    haring
    Member

    Great post! Can this be saved? It should be required viewing for all members. :)

    Not a single flame, skull, iron cross, tattoo or pinstriped glob to be found anywhere in these photos. Extreme cuts, restrained results. Ahhhhh ...
     
  26. sodapop
    Joined: Apr 26, 2004
    Posts: 178

    sodapop
    Member
    from Tejas

    All I can say is wow, and thank you..
     
  27. sodbuster
    Joined: Oct 15, 2001
    Posts: 4,942

    sodbuster
    Member
    from Kansas

    And Valley Customs......that I missed. Awsome pix.
     
  28. Here's a couple color shots of the Glen Hooker Merc taken at the same time as the two b&w pics shown earlier. Sorry about the quality but it seems when I resize them they lose a lot.

    FWIW- Glen's Merc now resides about 20 miles from me and starred with Nick Adams in the seldom remembered 1956 movie "A Strange Adventure"!

    Mick
     
  29. Wonderful post. Thanks.

    If money were no object, I'd find a 50 Olds, march down to Cole's shop, and say "do this, but w/ two inches out of the top and airbags." That car is beautiful.
     
  30. 00 MACK
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 3,669

    00 MACK
    Member

    What does any one know abouit the Pebble Beach line up this year? I heard that the Glen Hooker car and the Ray Vega car as well as a few others will be there . True?????? If Ganahls writings are true the Ray Vega car should be in some altered state in Black.
     

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