The Emory family history of car customizing encompasses three generations, beginning with Neil Emory and Valley Custom Shop in Burbank, CA in 1948. Valley Custom Shop created some of hot rodding’s most revered cars because of the keen sense of proportion and tasteful modification, giving American cars the panache they desperately needed. Even the SoCal Streamliner (below), which set land speed records on the dry lakes, had its body styled and fabricated by Valley Custom Shop.
The design gene was passed from Neil Emory to his son Gary. In the ’60s Gary and his dad started working for Chick Iverson Porsche, launching the family’s long association with the Porsche brand and forever cementing the future path of the latest generation to get the gene.
Gary Emory’s Parts Obsolete business is still widely known in Porsche circles as the go-to place for hard-to-find parts. For more than 40 years it has been a valuable resource in the restoration of the iconic 356 and other early Porsche models.
In the ’60s, Gary Emory styled and created the original “Baja Bug,” a modified soft-top VW Beetle with definite off-road chops. In the ’70s Gary fashioned a wide-bodied, race-inspired car from an early 911, in which he and his wife brought his newborn son home from the hospital at a high rate of speed.
The latest recipient of the design gene is Rod Emory, whose Emory Motorsports business has been restoring 356s for more than 20 years.