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Monday, May 2, 2016

Jason Jones continues to shine

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jason Jones, with a drawing of his prize project, the 1941 Willys. Photo contributed
A couple of weeks ago, the Chronicle Times ran an article about Aurelia native Jason Jones, now of Huntington Beach, California, who has been earning plaudits for his classic car restoration work.

Since that article ran, according to a press release submitted to the Chronicle Times, Jason's '41 Willy's was named Top Car at the 2011 SEMA show in Las Vegas, he continues to appear on the hit television show "Chop, Cut, Rebuild" on the Speed channel, and he also received "star treatment" with a 12-page profile/photo spread in the November 2011 edition of the online magazine, Wolf Motorsports Magazine.

In the magazine's cover story, written by Jeff Wolf, you relive the excitement and sheer, well, genius that empowers Jason Jones to be the very best at what he does.

"Hundreds of hours were spent making it perfect, " Wolf writes, detailing Jones' work to build a '41 Willy's from an empty shell for a lady named Rose Hetherington, who wanted the car in memory of her late husband, who was an avid racer and hot rodder.

According to the magazine, Jones' project started "as a tired fiberglass shell requiring lots of hard work, late nights, weekends, talent, and extreme creativity" to get the car completely brought back to life.

"The work started getting the body laser straight, making sure all the gaps were correct. From front to back, top to bottom, this ride is DONE!" enthused Jones.

"Starting with the front, the suspension was completed using coil overs and moving to the rear with more coil overs and a custom 4-link suspension custom made at the shop."

The '41 Willy's is truly "one of a kind," Jason said the other day.

He returned to Aurelia over Christmas to visit family and friends, and his mom Carla joined him on a kind of victory tour around Aurelia. Jason autographed color pictures of the coupe, which featuries Orange Pearl flames.

The Willy's is opened via a key fob, or remote keyless entry. "It's new technology you can put in a car," said Jason, who spent at least 30 hours completing the car's custom console alone. The Willy's also has auto door poppers, a trunk popper and "other trick electric components."

Jason, a 1999 Aurelia graduate, refers to the Willy's as his "most ambitious project - to date. "

Given the success of the Willy's, Jason's been "seeing a lot more people" who want to talk to him about possible future projects.

In the Huntington Beach shop where Jason works, they are currently working on a '69 Camaro, a '57 Cameo pickup and a '59 MGA, one of only 2,000 such coupes ever made. For the MGA, Jason had to drop the floor two inches, widen the frame, and re-engineer the hood.

"There's a lot of interest in old muscle cars," Jason said. "It's like owning a drag-racing car for the street."

Jason's work credo is simple: "If it don't have wheels and go fast, I don't care."

Jason's reputation continues to rise and shine as more viewers turn in to his Speed channel exploits.

Will there be more television exposure in the future?

"Don't know," Jason said wryly.

We'll take that as a "maybe."

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