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History Custom Car builder Spotlight: VALLEY CUSTOMS

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

  1. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,124

    19Fordy
    Member

    Rikster, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, etc for posting the KUSTOM PIX and stories. I really enjoyed looking and reading about who built them and how it was done. I can't help but wonder where the many young craftsman shown in the photos are now. I am sure many have passed on, but their work still honors them as a lasting memory that we all still enjoy. Kind of makes you wonder about what life is all about and what each of us is suppose to do in our time on this planet.
     
  2. I would like to mention that the Dick Flint Roadster was instrumental in bringing my mother, Ina Mae Overman, together with Valley Custom. Dick’s father, Larry, and my mother worked together as draftsmen for the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering. She liked the work that was done on the roadster and decided to have Valley Custom execute her designs. Larry Flint liked her ‘52 Lincoln so well that he bought one a year or two newer. In 1972, I happened to be a Letter Carrier in Canoga Park, California, where I delivered mail to Dick Flint’s house. Parked out on the street was his dad’s Lincoln.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Evel
    Joined: Jun 25, 2002
    Posts: 9,036

    Evel
    Member
    1. 60s Show Rods

    Awesome stories you have. Can't wait to meet up and hear these stories
    first hand..

    still figuring the date.
     
  4. Spike!
    Joined: Nov 22, 2001
    Posts: 2,733

    Spike!
    Member

    Evel rules. God bless Mad fab.

    Spike
     
  5. 29AROD
    Joined: Jul 23, 2006
    Posts: 292

    29AROD
    Member

    great post
    love to see how it was done back in the day.
     

  6. I've posted a few new photos on my web site, including the '55 T-Bird that Valley Custom did some of the work on. They frenched the headlights, modified the front and rear valances to accommodate the Model A bumpers. They bent the front bumper in the center to follow the body contour. My mother spent her weekends in the driveway removing the emblems and filling the holes using fiberglass. “Bondo” wasn’t really available yet. She learned the hard way that you don’t fiberglass over seams. The gas filler door in the trunk lid was bolted down and she fiberglassed the seam which later developed fine vibration cracks. (From then on the gas filler was accessed by opening the trunk). At one of the car shows, George Barris photographed these cracks in an attempt to put down the workmanship of Valley Custom not knowing it wasn’t their work. Rather than redo the work, which would require repainting the car, she had Von Dutch pinstripe it. This camouflaged the cracks and no one noticed them after that. The T-Bird and the Lincoln were painted the same custom mixed gold. The Lincoln was sandblasted on a trip across the desert to Vegas and the front end was repainted, but it never quite matched. My mother could always see the difference, even if no one else did. That led to the green paint job, which was done by a friend of hers, and being of poor quality and metallic lacquer, I’m surprised there is that much green left on it today. The person who bought the T-Bird taught his wife to drive in it and it was banged up a lot. It got to the point that the mismatched gold was so bad that it was repainted blue. Where it is today, we have no idea.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    Mary,
    Thank you for the new update. The photo of the Lincoln is absoluteley gorgious. I had never seen any photo's of the finished car with the wheel cut-outs.
    Very interesting story about the T-Bird as well.

    Thank you
     
  8. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 4,171

    Automotive Stud
    Member

    Model A bumpers on a T-bird? Not all old ideas were good ones!
     
  9. RatBone
    Joined: Sep 15, 2006
    Posts: 660

    RatBone
    Member

    Unbelievable! Thanks for posting!
     

  10. I guess the idea was a good enough to earn a shit load of throphies.
     
  11. the "eliterate"redneck
    Joined: Jun 26, 2006
    Posts: 341

    the "eliterate"redneck
    BANNED

    maybe im drunk but those chicks were hot.
     
  12. Jensen
    Joined: Jan 17, 2007
    Posts: 1

    Jensen
    Member

    First of all I would like to say that I appriciate all the pictures that everyone has posted up. Because my Grandma (and dad) did not have all of these pictures of my Grandpa's work.

    It's kind of nit picky of me, but I also wanted to mention that Niel was basically the spokesman and front of the shop/books man (he did do a significant amount of work on the cars though) Clayton actually did the majority of the work. So it kind of annoys me when I see a lot of the valley custom shop work goes as credit to Niel only. Which wasn't done completely here, but was done a few times.

    Again, sorry for the nitpick, and again thank you for providing a venue to get a lot of these photos. I am actually living with my grandma at the moment (clayton's wife) so it was nice to be able to give her some of the pic's we did not have.
     
  13. ARCHANGEL
    Joined: Jan 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,437

    ARCHANGEL
    Member

    Hey Jensen, Welcome To The H.a.m.b.





    Rafa.
     

  14. Don't be afraid to ask for credit where credit is due. My mother always said that Neil spent too much time bullshitting, leaving Clayton to do most of the work. Your grandfather was a fine craftsman. You should be proud.
     
  15. Evel
    Joined: Jun 25, 2002
    Posts: 9,036

    Evel
    Member
    1. 60s Show Rods



    Awesome!!!
     
  16. Clay's granddaughter
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 2

    Clay's granddaughter
    Member
    from Utah

    well said
     
  17. jalopy43
    Joined: Jan 12, 2002
    Posts: 3,085

    jalopy43
    Member Emeritus

    Cool pics! Thank you.. I always liked the lighter open wheelwell style,as opposed to the skirted, heavy appearing sleds of the East Coast. My dad was a bodyman ,and worked with lead,I remember playing with the silvery"splatters" of lead...Toxic?? (the word didn't exist in those days) ha ha ha .... Sparky:D
     
  18. barfers
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
    Posts: 382

    barfers
    Member
    from Florida

    great post and pictures!!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    A well-written and nicely illustrated piece of research. Thanks.
     
  20. This is a fabulous post.!!! These guys really had an eye for balance and proportion.
     
  21. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,949

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    I know this is an old thread that keeps getting ttt'd, but this Lincoln is phenomenal! I hope the restoration is taking the car back to this configuration...

    [​IMG]
     
  22. jonnycola
    Joined: Oct 12, 2003
    Posts: 2,065

    jonnycola
    Member

    Yep, thats the version it's going to be. Still trying to track down all the parts it's missing.
     
  23. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    That is cool, I think this is the best version. At first I loved the original version best... but the whole car sat just to high to look really cool that way. The wheel cutouts make it proportions much more in balance. Plus it made it so muc more a real Valley Custom Shop creation.

    Here is a Motor Trend magazine cover featuring the Lincon on the left..


    [​IMG]


    So do you own the car, or?

    If so can you post some more photo's of how it looks now/
     
  24. jonnycola
    Joined: Oct 12, 2003
    Posts: 2,065

    jonnycola
    Member

    Yeah, I own it. It looks basically the same, except some more of the paint has flaked off.

    I got all the parts to restore it correctly, and now it's on the back burner. I'm unsure if I want to, or can do the pebble beach quality restoration that the car deserves. So it's probably going to sit for a while, unless the right person wants to buy it.

    You never really own a car like that. You're just a caretaker. I want whats best for it.
     
  25. jonnycola
    Joined: Oct 12, 2003
    Posts: 2,065

    jonnycola
    Member


    It looks great. The picture of the T bird in front of the Thunderbird Hotel is fantastic. Thanks again for taking the time to sit down and talk with us about the Lincoln. It was great to hear the stories of you and your mother and the car in the early days... louvering of the hood... taking it to mexico... the stories of having it at those early car shows. It was fantastic.
     
  26. For anyone that's interested, I added a section to the Lincoln page with links to PDF copies of the magazine articles I have.

    Mary Ellen
     
  27. Mary Ellen,

    Some of your links are not working.
     
  28. shoprat
    Joined: Dec 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,109

    shoprat
    Member Emeritus
    from Orange, CA

    You guys sure have a nice collection of the early customs photo. I was
    born in the valley but moved to Orange County in '49. kn ewNeils sons for
    awhile. They were driving a Black 50 Chev at the time, then a 55 Nomad
    later
    Thanks for the great post
     
  29. Not all the vehicles listed have pages yet so therefore do not have active links. I've been adding a few pages a week, as time permits. The automobile section is the only one I've been working on ( I considered that the most important for now). I also need to take some photos of some of the currently owned family vehicles.

    Mary Ellen
     

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