Garner Jones' 1951 Ford

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An old color photo of the Little Jewel from 1954. Photo courtesy of Don Garnett / The Hemmings Blog.
The Little Jewel as it sat before Keith Fox restored it for Don Garnett of Lubbock, Texas. Photo courtesy of Don Garnett / The Hemmings Blog.
Photo courtesy of Don Garnett / The Hemmings Blog.

Garner Jones' Little Jewel is a sport custom built by Garner Jones and Herman Lawhon of Lamesa, Texas. Before building the Little Jewel in a backayard shop in 1952, Garner and Herman built a kit car that was square like a MG. After the build they decided they could design and build a better sports car, and set off to build the Little Jewel. The Little Jewel started life as a 1951 Ford station wagon. The station wagon provided the frame, firewall, dashboard, front and rear suspension. The frame was shortened to 100 inches. The cockpit floor, rear section, rear fenders, inner doors and rockers were from a 1947 - 1948 Chevrolet 4-door. Front fenders and outer door skins were from a 1946 Buick. Trunk lid was from a 1937 LaSalle while the hood had been the trunk lid of a 1938 Studebaker. The folding top may have come from a 1938 Studebaker as well. A 303 Oldsmobile V-8 with a 3-speed overdrive Ford 3 on the three provided power. The Little Jewel was first registered in 1953, at that point it was painted bright red and ran Pontiac hubcaps, blackwall tires and no grille. By 1954 the car had received a home made grille and windshield. The rearend was modified for drag racing, and the car drag raced in West Texas, New Mexico, Kansas City and Indianapolis in the mid 1950s. The Little Jewel is still around, and in 2012 it was owned by Don Garnett og Lubbock, Texas who had Keith Fox restore the old sport custom back to its 1953 configuration.[1]



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