A Request For an Update

geothumbnail10
Longtime followers of this site will recall that I have always taken a special interest in the Jones & Maley Special, otherwise known as the car up on the roof. For years, I had heard Donald Davidson speak of the car that sat up on top of the Safety Auto Glass building, just east of downtown Indianapolis. When I heard him give an in-depth history of the car and how it got up there, I became fascinated with the story. In fact, I was so fascinated with the car – I named my yellow-lab puppy “Maley” when we got her in August of 2015.

In April of 2012, Susan and I had already made plans to wed on the grounds at IMS during Qualifying Weekend. We each had to take off on a workday in April and drive up to Indianapolis to apply for our wedding license in the downtown area on Washington Street. Since we were nearby, I decided that we would seek out Safety Auto Glass and see the car for ourselves.

What we saw was almost comical, had it not been so sad. It was nothing but a shell of a car, with a bashed in rear-end from when it blew off the building one night in the early sixties. For over fifty years, this car with such a proud history sat out in the elements feeling the brunt of the frigid Midwestern winters and getting baked in the Indiana summer sunshine.

I took many photos of the car that once finished second in the 1956 Indianapolis, being driven by Sam Hanks. Bill Vukovich once drove this car in a test-hop. The once glossy red Kurtis Kraft 500C was now a flat faded pink and was barely recognizable as a race car. After we returned, I wrote a post about this car – describing the history and providing many of the photos we took of the relic. If you care to read it or at least see the photos, you may read it here.

As luck would have it, we saw the Jones & Maley Special on one of the last opportunities anyone had to see it. For fifty-one years, that car had been on display atop the building housing Safety Auto Glass – the last owner and namesake of the car when it was still trying to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 as a tired and aging race car. Five months after we went to see it, the car came down.

bilde-9

bilde-5

In September of 2012, the car was sold to Chris Paulsen and Gary Schoeder. It came down and was trucked off to California, where the car was to be completely restored in its Jones & Maley livery of the mid-fifties. From what I saw just a few months earlier, there wasn’t a whole lot to work with – just some old sheet metal from the body, but I suppose the tube frame underneath was still intact.

I know nothing about the process of restoring old race cars. I know some old cars have been discovered in barns decades later and they are somehow turned into pristine showpieces, but this old car likely presented quite a challenge. Still, I was glad to know that what was left of the old girl was going to enjoy a revival of sorts and be a regular participant at vintage racing events.

That was over seven years ago and I’ve not heard a word about it since.

I turned on my Google machine and found nothing. I googled “Jones & Maley”, “Jones and Maley”, “Jones and Maley restoration” along with other combinations and came up with nothing. Aside from my own article, I came up with a short blurb on a site called Indy Roadster Builders about it coming down when it was sold, but there is not a shred of information out there about the status of the car or the restoration project.

Like I said…I don’t know anything about restoring race cars, but I’m assuming one can do it in less than seven years, if properly funded. Am I wrong?

To quote Warden Norton in The Shawshank Redemption; it’s as if the Jones & Maley Special vanished “like a f..t in the wind” after that day it was taken down from the roof.

The readership of this site is very savvy and knowledgeable. I am betting that there is someone out there who can give us an update on the status of the car after it left for California. Did they run out of money? Did they realize there was not enough there to restore and they abandoned the project? If so, where is what was left of the car at the time? Did they throw it in a ditch somewhere or is it just sitting in the back of a shop gathering dust? I would think that if the project had been completed, there would be something about it somewhere on the internet.

My fear is that they decided that this project was too involved and they just abandoned trying to salvage the historic race car. After something like that sits for a while, it becomes pretty easy to scrap it just to get it out of the way. Once they decided to dispose of it, they opted to keep their decision under wraps, knowing that people like us would be incensed. I hope that’s not what has happened, but that is my fear.

So does anyone know what the status of this restoration project is? If so, please let us know here. I hope this story has a happy ending.

George Phillips

4 Responses to “A Request For an Update”

  1. Would love to know what happened to the car….

  2. I have been wondering about this for the past few years. Chris Paulsen was the owner of C&R Racing and I believe he also built some roadster replicas. He should certainly have the know how to do the restoration. I am beginning to wish they just left it on the roof where it was a well known landmark. Donald Davidson was there the day they took the car away so maybe he knows what’s going on. Hopefully someone can give us an update.

  3. For an update, I would put my money on that California gal, Ballyhoo.

  4. […] may recall that just a couple of weeks ago I asked in a post if anyone knew the status of the “Car up on the roof”; the Jones and Maley Special. Many of you […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: