They Call It “Happer”
WEST MIDDLESEX, PA… Maybe you have seen “Happer” at a truck show, lighting up the night sky with flames shooting from its stacks. “Happer”, the 1996 Kenworth W900L is named after Hap Jones. Hap raced professionally, many times up to 6 nights a week in the late 1940s. He even raced at the Daytona 500 in 1951. Happer’s graphic has the truck bursting through a flaming checkered flag in remembrance of the Hap Jones’ racing days.
Hap Jones started working with fiberglass in 1953, building everything from corrugated roof panels to race car bodies. Hap’s son Dave joined him in the fiberglass business in 1972 and together, Hap and Dave founded Jones Performance Products in 1978. Initially the company built things like motorcycle trunks, industrial fiberglass molds and even satellite dishes. Eventually Hap and Dave’s passion for fiberglass and love of racing entwined and Jones Performance began building hoods, noses and seats for sprint cars, sport racing cars and formula racers. Dave Jones said, “Floyd Trevis used to be ‘the car builder’ and we built his bodies.”
In 1979 Jones Performance Products began building fiberglass truck components, which led to building replacement truck hoods. By 1982, the company offered dozens of different models to fit many of the existing trucks. Jones even built a custom hood for Bob Motz’s “Jet Truck”. In 1993, Jones Performance Products became a supplier of replacement hoods for Ford Motor Company. Soon thereafter, they also began supplying Kenworth, Peterbilt, Freightliner and Volvo with replacement hoods as well. The company became ISO 9000 certified in 1993 and in 1996, they received Ford’s Q1 Quality Award. Jones Performance Products maintains its ISO certification to this day, currently offering over 100 different truck hoods.
Hap and Dave have always looked for a better way of doing things. They began experimenting with aerodynamic designs and incorporated engineer improvements to their hoods, thus providing added durability and extending the life of the hood.
A third generation of the Jones family joined the company and in the words of his dad, Dave Jones, “Rod has been messing around with fiberglass since he was eight years old. We showed him everything that we knew, and he is taking it a step beyond. He is a much better tool maker than I ever was. We also have seven other toolmakers who are equally as skilled.”
Rod began working at the company before graduating from high school in 1994. Hap passed away on October 20, 2001.
After building over 100,000 truck hoods, the team at Jones Performance Products took what they believed to be the best manufacturing and engineering processes and integrated them to create a new line of hoods called Truck-Rodz. Dave said, “We at Jones Performance Products want to make it possible and affordable to make your truck totally unique. No two trucks ever have to look the same any more. Truck-Rodz is dedicated to developing alternatives to personalize your truck. Functionality and aerodynamics are the cornerstones of our designs.”
For additional information about Jones Performance Products’ replacement hoods or Truck-Rodz custom hoods, call them at 800-451-1600 or visit them online at www.jonesperformance.com.