Raymond Jones

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Raymond Jones' 1947 Studebaker Convertible. This was the first car Ray restyled. Photo by motor life.blog[1]
Raymond Jones' 1948 Cadillac, also known as The Raymond. The Raymond was Ray's second full custom, and he traded it for his first custom, a 1947 Studebaker Convertible.
Raymond Jones' 1949 Pontiac Convertible. Ray's Pontiac was chosen as one of the 10 best custom cars from coast to coast in 1952 by the editors of Motor Trend in Trend Book 105 Restyle Your Car.
Ray next to a Lincoln Continental he restyled. Photo provided by Greg Jones.
Photo provided by Greg Jones.
Photo provided by Greg Jones.
Photo provided by Greg Jones.

Raymond Jones of Dallas, Pennsylvania. Some time after returning from the Army in 1945, Ray was able to buy a new 1947 Studebaker. The Studebaker was the first car he wanted to modify, and he remembers that his neighbors were all a-flutter. He had no welding experience, but a friend came over with his welding tanks and cut where Ray told him to cut. The friend's wife was concerned that her husband helped this "poor" shell-shocked vet and insisted that he should stop what he was doing. Before he quit, he took the time to show Ray what a good flame was like and how to use the tanks safely, so Ray went ahead on his own and did all of the body changes. Once the build was completed, Ray drove it to Miami to sell it. The car was on its last legs and hardly ran. He limped into Clark Alexander's used car lot, and Clark put it up for sale even though it wasn't' running. When Ray returned to the lot, the car was sold, and It had been moved to a Studebaker dealer for a new engine and some love and care. Clark had a 1948 Cadillac convertible for sale that had been confiscated from Rocco Fichetti of Chicago that he offered Ray to trade the Studebaker for. Ray went to see the Cadillac and made the exchange.[2] He was 24 years old at the time, and as soon as he got the Cadillac home he began to cut it up. According to Ray's son, Greg Jones, the neighbors would talk of how crazy Ray was for cutting up another brand new car, and that must have lost his mind during the war. Once completed, Ray named his brand new custom creation "The Raymond." The Raymond gained national recognition when it was featured in Trend Book 101 Custom Cars in 1951.[3]


After the Raymond, Ray customized several cars such as a Lincoln Continental and several Cadillacs. He went on to operate an auto body and mechanical repair shop in Shaverton, Pennsylvania together with Jim Severn. Eventually Ray was recruited for the new Ford Motor Scientific Laboratory as welder on many interesting projects such as the Levi-Car and some radioactive projects for Ford Hospital.[2]


In 1954 he got married and began working on classic and antique cars in his own garage at home. He was later hired by Williams Research where he worked on some of Sam Williams' innovative projects such as the prototype for the Cruise Missile engine. Later on Ray established a company specializing in restoration work on classic and antique cars. In 1959 his first effort was a 1910 Packard that became the first 100 point winner at the Greenfield Village Antique Car Show the same year. The same year Greg was born, and Ray built a larger home for his growing family.. The new home provided a large work area under the house. Working in the new shop for several years, a neighbor came to Ray with his Bugatti. His wife had run into it with the lawn mover, and he wanted to know if he could repair it. He told Ray that he had no money, but another Bugatti he could give him as payment. Ray agreed. This turned out to be a turning point for Ray and his business. Awed by the quality and attention to details on the Bugatti, Bugattis became Ray's preoccupation. He went on to buy several Bugattis that he became dedicated to the restoration of Bugattis. Ray's agent introduced him to a man called Seyfrid. Seyfrid was the curator at the old Bugatti factory in Molsheim and he was jealously guarding his treasures. Through this meeting, Ray was able to acquire tons of spare Bugatti parts before they would have been destroyed. These parts had been scheduled to be scrapped along with several boxcars filled with parts and engine which were sent to the smelter. Ray was also able to locate the elusive Bugatti Airplane that had been hidden during WW2 in a barn on the Northeast Coast of France. This was of particular interest to Ray as he had a Pilot license at age 16 and loved to fly. [2]


Raymond Jones' Cars

Raymond Jones' 1947 Studebaker Convertible
Raymond Jones' 1948 Cadillac - The Raymond
Raymond Jones' 1949 Pontiac


References






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