POCATELLO— Ed “The Outlaw” Jones, professional wheel-stander, and his wife, Wendy, have been traveling both nationally and internationally around the globe for 40 years. As part of Ed’s 40-year career anniversary as a professional driver, they are making an appearance at Idaho State University’s Chrome in The Dome car show March 18 and 19 for its 10-year anniversary.The Jones’ started their racing career in 1967 when Ed drag raced his 1968 Camaro (that came out in 1967) and finished drag racing in 1974. He won many races with the car, but wanted to do something more professional. While traveling back East he found a guy doing wheel standing on a stage-coach car.
Wheeling standing is where a driver jumps a car six feet into the air then drives about a quarter of a mile on two wheels. In 1987, they built the firetruck to go along with the stagecoach. There are only 11 other licensed wheel-standers by the National Hot Rod Association in America. Wheel-standers can only run on National Hot Rod Association in America approved tracks. Jones has been recognized by Guinness World Records.
“I borrowed some money from my dad, cashed in Wendy’s promise ring and cashed in my life insurance policy and went and bought the old stage-coach,” Ed said. “People thought we were insane when we started this in our twenties. We had two little babies, but we thought it would be a fun thing to do. Here we are 40 years later still running the show.”
“We never thought we could make it doing what we love to do,” Wendy said. “He started racing and I knew he loved it. I thought it was one of the things I could join him in to accomplish his dreams. We do this together as a couple and when our kids were young we took them all over the country. It’s been an experience to do what we love to do.”
The couple also traveled to Canada, Germany and Japan. Their most memorable travel experience was Japan because of the different culture.
“Japan was really a treat it was really different,” Jones said. “People there had no idea what we were doing they had never seen anything like this before and they were very subdued at first. By the end of the show we had them clapping and cheering and we were throwing things up in the stands and they were throwing candy back to us.”
Jones is sponsored by Jelly Belly Candy Company and has been since 2002. The Jones’ happened to be in the right place at the right time in Sacramento, California. The President of Jelly Belly and his family were watching the stage-coach show. After the show they came up and talked to the Jones then offered to sponsor them.
“We are kind of like the halftime entertainment.” Wendy said. “We could not have done this without the help of Jelly Belly Company. They are an American family owned and operated company. We will have lots of jelly bellies to hand out at Chrome in the Dome.”
“We are really excited to do the Chrome in the Dome this year. It’s one of the best car shows in Southeast Idaho,” Ed said. “I was very impressed with all of the people that go to it. I feel like the people who run it do a really good job putting it on, it’s a first-class quality show.”
Jones was especially impressed with the trophy he received at Chrome in the Dome in 2011. The ISU automotive department takes pieces and leftover parts from cars and make trophies out of them. The trophies are welded, painted and sometimes airbrushed
“It’s one of my prized possessions because I know there is not another one in the world like it,” Ed said. “It’s one of the neatest things a person can receive.”
Car shows, store display, parades and performances are an everyday part of the Jones’ life. They have 35 cars they showcase a year. Boise and Salt Lake City are the Jones’s home tracks.
“It’s really important to us that people come out and have a good time,” Jones said. “It’s been a very good life; we are very fortunate and blessed we have been able to do this and we will continue to do this as long as we possibly can.”
Chrome in the Dome runs March 18 from 2 to 9 p.m. and March 19 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Holt Arena.