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Valley Gas Speed Shop Open Day
To coincide with the special Gene Winfield celebration at Valley Gas Speed Shop last Sunday, the company opened its doors to visitors, revealing several major projects underway. Here's a largely pictorial report with extended captions of what we found at their extensive premises in Newbury.
It's not the easiest place to find, but once there, there's lots to take in
The '33 coupe hanging from the celing belongs to Richard Heal and was delivered as a rolling chassis but will be stripped and the chassis powder coated. The car is equipped with a 327 Vette motor and auto box with drive through a Ford 9 inch axle. Nitro Express, the Fordson panel van in the foreground, has been built gasser-style from the ground up using a beat up old body. It features a small block Ford motor, straight tube axle and was also trimmed and painted at Valley Gas. It belongs to Ken Mee.
Johnny Shepherd's Willys is in for an engine and gearbox rebuild. It was delivered with a 429 Ford but now boasts a 558 cu. in. stroker kit. The red '32 coupe next to it was almost complete and seemed only in need of an interior and glass.
Jimmy's Boston Brawler '33 Willys is awaiting an engine freshen up, while Kenny Brookes's Roarin' Rat (next to it) hurt its motor at a recent test and tune and is receiving attention in the valve department
This radical aluminium-bodied roadster/coupe is one of the major on-going projects. The rear half of the body looks traditional '32 roadster while the front has a more modern feel and the grille has late 30s Ford influence. Power is from a Honda V6 with a rear mounted trans/axle. it will be fully fendered once complete - an alternative approach to the Prowler concept?
Some neat fabrication and pipe work on this custom hog in the making
Hooligan, the '57 Chevy wagon of Chris Manning was in for a six-point cage, rear axle narrowing and a front camber tweak. He asked Gene Winfield to sign his car and everyone else decided it would be fun to follow suit. It now has lots of signatures on its lower flanks. The orange '57 Chevy in the foreground is in for an engine and gearbox rebuild and has been lowered around 18 inch front and 20 inch rear ARE wheels. The yellow coupe under the ramp belongs to Phil Forth and is a ground-up build that will feature small block power and a Tremec 5-speed.
Although Jimmy is an adept metal worker, he can also draw on the considerable experience of former business partner Max, who operates in the same building and restores classic cars - such as this old Lagonda. You can't see It here, but the bodywork had already received lots of attention. In the workshop (below), Max was busy knocking up an old Maserati - complete with hand-formed aluminium body. Gulp!