Re: George Hook built the CV kits: Central Valley Rolling Stock Kits and Jack Parker

Richard Bale <Rhbale@...>

Jack Parker worked at Revell where he prepared tooling for all types of products including the ubiquitous Revell Engine House, which was designed by his co-worker Alan Armitage. In a 1995 interview Parker mentioned that Armitage specified used and broken bricks in his design which was initially rejected by his supervisor who thought the brickwork should be pristine. After several arguments Armitage was allowed to introduce selective aging, which Parker cut into the tooling.

Parker and Armitage -- a wonderfully talented pair who influenced model railroading many, lasting ways.
Richard Bale 

In a message dated 2/21/2019 9:17:41 AM Pacific Standard Time, midcentury@... writes:

George Hook was the founder of Central Valley Works, formed after WWll.  Located in North Hollywood for years selling mostly kits and die cast sprung HO trucks. Jack Parker, having left Mattel (Jack did a lot of development work for what was to become "Hotwheels"), purchased Central Valley in the early 1980s. Jack attempted to redesign the HO trucks and came out with I believe the first "Semi-
Scale" wheelsets in the market. There was some quality control issues with the first runs, and after an historical scathing from a Model railroader review, Jack discontinued all truck manufacturing. Jack devoted his time to tooling the Piru, California, SP through truss bridge, which became a huge hit. Jack was able to take his new wealth and move to a ideal spot for a Model Railroad Supply company, close to the coast, south of Pismo Beach, CA.

George Hook's freight car kits had long been dormant  before Jack's purchase of the line. He had zero interest in resurrecting the kits.

-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA

On Thursday, February 21, 2019, 8:44:29 AM PST, Bob Chaparro <chiefbobbb@...> wrote:

This was back in the time when Jack Parker owned the company and it was in Southern California. Jack moved the operation to Oceano, CA, and built a large Northern Pacific layout in the same building. His son, Jeff, took over after Jack passed and still produces various products. The layout is still operational.
Both the shop and the layout are open during the layout tour I organize each October for the Central Coast Railroad Festival (
Here are a few photos.
Bob Chaparro
Hemet, CA

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