Jerry Heasley
September 10, 2018

In the Ford and Mustang world, there are several people responsible for where we are today in the hobby. One of the most significant, though reclusive, of those people is Jacky Jones. Jacky prefers to blend in with the good ol’ boys, having fun at the Carlisle Ford Nationals or a local show, often buying and selling old Mustangs and parts. This is his recreation; selling new Fords at one of his Ford car dealerships is his work. Reticent to publicity, Jones agreed to let us into his collection in Hayesville, Georgia, and talk about his cars and history acquiring those cars.

“I’ve got every Hi-Po car from 1965 to 1973, from 289 Hi-Pos to 428 Cobra Jets, 390s, Boss 302s, Boss 351s, just all the muscle car stuff,” Jacky says. In 1959, Jacky was nine years old when his father bought a Ford dealership in the town where Jacky lives today—Hayesville, a picturesque rural country setting, population 311. Hayesville is in the mountains of northern Georgia, about 100 miles from Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He graduated high school in 1968, was drafted into the Army the following year, and upon his return two years later bought a brand-new 1971 Boss 351. He drove a 1966 Mustang to high school and right after that a brand-new ’69 Mach 1, and he has been a car person and a Ford collector his entire life.

In November of 1980, Jacky got his first Ford dealership, the one his father opened in 1959. It is still going strong, and his daughter runs that store while Jacky drives 40 miles south from Hayesville every day, down winding mountain roads to Cleveland, Georgia, to another one of his Jacky Jones Ford dealerships.

Jacky Jones says his collection, “Probably wasn’t something I intended to do.” By the 1990s, “Call Jacky Jones” became a common go-to phrase when a collector found an old Mustang for sale that he could not buy.

His collection is housed in a dedicated building in Hayesville, Georgia. Most of the cars are classic Mustangs, but Jacky likes everything Ford, and he also collects big Fords—427 Galaxies, midsize Fairlanes, 352-powered Starliners, even 1940 Fords—and we haven’t mentioned memorabilia, which he has been accumulating since he got out of the service in 1971. Jones got his start early, which explains why his collection is so large, and he loves Ford history, which explains why his collection is so important.

We’ve known Jacky since 1986. He’s a good friend of Bob Perkins, who we’ve known since 1981. Bob’s shop is far north in Wisconsin, so Jones and Perkins’ association became the “North/South” connection to a select number of Mustang owners, many of them in the MCA. To a large extent, these two men helped grow the Mustang hobby by defining which cars to pay out significant money for, restore, and preserve.

For example, in the early 1980s Jones bought the Ford Drag Team Pro Stock 427 SOHC Mustang “match racer,” campaigned for Ford by Hubert Platt. Jacky sold this car to Bob Perkins as a favor for Bob getting him the Ford Drag Team Super Stock car. The Pro Stock Mustang was a little less understood, due to its fiberglass components and SOHC 427, than the Super Stocker with its 428 CJ; plus, the Pro Stock Mustang needed much more restoration work. Jones and Perkins understood the importance of both cars to the future of the Mustang hobby. What if somebody had bought either of these old race cars to tear up and build as a weekend warrior? That would have scattered their remains even farther. Effectively, Jones summoned Perkins to the rescue since this car needed a restorer, which Perkins is and Jones isn’t.

Jones stares wistfully at a ’57 Ford convertible that takes him back to a trip he made with his dad when he was just a kid. In the background of the lobby in the building with his car collection is another favorite full of memories for the Georgia native, a 1940 Ford Deluxe coupe.

Perkins bought the Pro Stocker and parked the historic factory drag team car in the back of his shop for decades as he gathered parts and prepared for a restoration, which he completed a few years ago. This would have never happened without Jacky Jones. Perkins recalls Jacky “buying that first Boss 429, going to the bank, and borrowing the money when everybody thought he was crazy.” But that Boss 429 had only 2,900 miles and was an incredible original—Jacky had the foresight to purchase the car and put it away.

When Jacky speaks about classic Mustangs, the name Perkins is spread throughout the conversation, as in, “Perkins did the restoration,” or “Bob found that car for me.” Of course, Perkins talks about Jacky finding cars for him. As the years passed, Jacky grew his Ford new-car business, which to those of us familiar with him looked like a way to do something that we all wanted to do that was much more important—preserve and protect the great Mustangs of the 1965-1973 first generation. Jacky developed a grassroots following, which Perkins refers to as “a chain of Ford people with similar interests.”

This is Jacky Jones Ford in Hayesville, Georgia.

Jacky’s reputation spread across the country among a select, in-the-know group of classic Mustang enthusiasts. People could trade in an old Mustang at Jacky Jones Ford. A new Ford pickup with the Jacky Jones dealer badge pulling a trailer loaded with a classic fit into this ideology, as did the “Call Jacky Jones” mantra when certain high-performance Mustangs came up for sale. People thought, Hmm, this guy is a Ford dealer, but he likes old cars, pretty unusual for sure. He collects old Mustangs. He has the resources to buy and hold.

And more often than not, if a car was significant, Jones would buy it and deposit in his collection. Jones makes no bones about buying and selling cars to get where he is today. He’s always upgrading his collection, but overall he’s kept the best of the best. “He’s bought and sold more Boss 429s than any five individuals,” Perkins says. All along, Jacky has had that trump card, the Northern connection to Bob Perkins, his go-to guy for parts and restoration. Perkins Restorations, full-up with work, would accommodate his Southern connection.

During our visit in May, Jacky was planning his trip to the Carlisle Ford Nationals. He said, “I think I’ve missed one since 1995, when they started having it. I go to Mid America in Oklahoma. I’ve been to some of the Shelby conventions and the Mustang club (MCA) shows.” In other words, like the rest of us, the old-car hobby is his recreation for off-work time.

Jones fits the “eats and sleeps” idiom in the car hobby, selling new Fords during the day and collecting old Fords in his free time.

As we walked past row after row of cars in Jacky’s building, which is divided into three large rooms, he said, “Original, non-restored, low-mile cars is what I really like.” We would like to add “high performance” and “significant” to that collecting philosophy. Most of the Mustangs are top muscle cars. One of those is the 2,900-mile 1969 Boss 429.

Bob Perkins summed up Jacky’s collection by saying, “If you had an unlimited budget and tried to duplicate Jacky Jones’ Ford collection of cars and memorabilia, there is only one way you could get one as good as his, and that would be to buy his, because otherwise you started too late. You could never accumulate that kind of stuff ever again.”

A door in the front lobby opens into a large room packed tightly with classic Mustangs. The red 1964½ hardtop is the car Jacky has owned longer than any other, a K-code 289 Hi-Po built on June 8, 1964, the second day of production for this engine. The Poppy Red hardtop is a factory GT with original redline tires. Jacky got the white ’66 Shelby fastback in trade in 1986 on a new Taurus from a man in Atlanta named Tom Brandon on the condition Jacky keep the car as long as Brandon lived. Jacky says, “He’s been dead a while, and I don’t plan on selling it now.”
Maybe the centerpiece of the entire collection is Jacky’s 2,900-mile Candyapple Red Boss 429.
Red is a recurring theme in Jones’ collection, as are originality and low miles; all three boxes are checked with this Candyapple Red 7,400-mile 1970 Boss 302.
This white 1968 fastback is the first Cobra Jet Mustang built—assembled December 27, 1967. It went to Paul Harvey Ford in Indianapolis and was raced by Bob Coble. Jones bought the car from the late Rick Kirk.
The first four cars in this row feature four Boss Mustangs in Calypso Coral: a 1970 Boss 302, 1969 Boss 302, 1970 Boss 429, and a 1971 Boss 351.
The 1971 Boss 351 is rare in Calypso Coral. This one is low miles according to Jacky, but we didn’t ask how low.
Why is a white 1971 Mustang hardtop here? The reasons are many—429 Super Cobra Jet, four-speed, 4.11 gears, Drag Pack—with one of one such combinations in white.
Jones surprised us when he called this modified 1965 (or 1966) fastback with a teardrop hood his favorite car in the building. Jones was close friends with the owner. The two of them built an engine and drag raced the car in the glory days before his friend was killed in 1977.
In another room, full of Fords, we ran across this special-order–paint 428 Cobra Jet fastback with 1,600 miles—cleaned up by Bob Perkins.
This yellow 1970 Boss 302 seemed out of place, but had the Shaker, slats, and rear wing.
This drawing on the wall depicts the family’s first Ford dealership in Hayesville, which has since moved into new quarters.
Mach 1s are also prevalent in Jacky’s collection, which numbers well over 100 cars, most of them Mustangs.
Jacky Jones likes 1939-1940 Fords—like these coupes.
In the corner is a ’73 Q-code 351 four-speed that is all original—original paint, black interior with fold-down seat—with 11,000 miles. The Mach 1 on the right is a ’72 model, and one of the R-code 351 HOs, essentially a de-tuned Boss 351. It also has very low miles at about 18,000.
Jacky holds up a photo of a 1970 Trans Am Mustang in his office, full of old Mustang memorabilia.
Some collectors like buying their new Mustang from Jacky Jones Ford.
Jacky steps out of his office and into a Ford showroom with a yellow Boss Mustang.
The Jacky Jones at his booth at the 2018 Ford Carlisle event is definitely the more relaxed version. He prefers to blend in with the good ol’ boys and have fun.