About an hour northeast of Los Angeles, nestled among the joshua trees and the hush-hush R&D operations of the aerospace industry, sits the home of Emory Motorsports. The company’s founder and nonstop ball of energy is Rod Emory who, along with his father Gary, effectively kickstarted the “outlaw” Porsche movement with their eye-catching 356 builds. Rod's history as a visionary outsider is even deeper than we knew, as we discovered when we recently visited him and his team at their shop.
In 1948, Rod’s grandfather Neil cemented the Emory name in automotive history when he started Valley Custom Shop in Burbank, Calif. While other hot rod builders were chopping rooflines, shaving trim, and pulling fenders, Neil Emory developed a reputation for his streamlined builds that employed techniques such as channeling and sectioning. The goal then, as now, was to create a customized car that did not draw attention to any single modification but which rather presented itself as a coherent whole.