Ron Jones Oct.12, 1943-June 19, 2009
Ron Jones grew up in South Gate, CA and graduated from South Gate High School in 1961. He always loved cars and metal work and became a Tool and Die Maker back in the mid-Sixties. His boss at the time had a '57 T-bird that needed to be restored and Ron took it home ands began his love affair with metal finishing, painting cars. He began chopping cars and got lots of experience chopping is own drivers.
He had a shop in South Gate, CA where he did hydraulic lifts for the Low Riders. Since Bill Hines shop was near by, Ron would visit the real master of leading metal and they became friends. By the late-60's, he finally moved his shop to his garage at home in Bellflower, CA. This became a place where car guys could stop by to see what cool projects he was completing. Bud Brian, the Editor at the time (late 60's) for Rod & Custom, lived directly across the street from Ron. After seeing all the cars going over to Ron's, Bud would come over with his camera and take photos and put them in the magazine.
In 1970 Ron traveled with Jerry Slattery in his '32 Ford 5-window coupe to the 1st Rod & Custom Street Rod Nationals in Peoria, IL. They left with some of the other, Long Beach, CA Early Times Car Club members, and met the Andy Brizio group in South San Francisco to travel together on the 4000 mile trip.
His fame grew and he became the metal man to have work on your ride or have it painted. Finally in the middle-70's he teamed up with Don Thelen who owned Buffalo Motor Cars in Paramount, CA. Don went on to win the Oakland Roadster Show 5 times (only Boyd Coddington finally won 5 times). Ron did a lot of metal work on all the winners, but his name was never mentioned much about Don's winning success. Out of that shop came the Billy Gibbons red '34 Ford 3-window "Eliminator" coupe that graced their album cover and was featured in the video we all saw on TV and was also dropped on stage by helicopter when ZZ TOP wanted to make a grand entrance to start the show. It was also featured in HOT ROD Magazine.
His success continued when Jack Rosen, current owner of the Tommy Ivo T-Bucket, came to him for a complete restoration because he was the metal man to see. Ron was complimented with a feature in Rod & Custom Magazine that highlighted his hammering, painting and restoration abilities.
In 1998 Ron moved from Orange County, CA to Cashmere, WA and remarried to Anita Burgess. They bought a house in Dryden, WA where he continued metal finishing in his shop at home for all the local car builders until he passed away. He kept his mind mentally busy and happy through his remaining days by working on his personal car projects and not looking ahead.
It was Ron's third bout with colon cancer and this last time he elected not to have kimo and peacefully pass away at home surrounded by his friends and family. He passed away Friday afternoon, before Father's Day, June 19, 2009. It was a real blessing to have Ron as my friend for 40 years. Jerry Slattery