In this day and age it’s becoming less and less likely for an independently owned manufacturer – especially in the automotive exhaust industry – to celebrate 50 years of serving the automotive aftermarket. Jones Exhaust Systems Inc., Adamsville, Tenn., is the exception, and the company celebrated the gala event by honoring its more than 50 team members with a barbecue “to beat all,” a number of games and prizes – and allowing the Jones team to take most of the day to enjoy the party.

History & advancements

Roger Jones, the founder of the company, made a name for himself and his company in the exhaust industry when he started manufacturing glasspacks in 1968, selling them at first locally and then on a national level. Glasspacks were the rage at the time, especially for younger drivers who loved performance but were on a budget. During that period there were nearly a dozen glasspack manufacturers in the neighboring state of Arkansas, and even more in other regions of the company, most of which faded away.

Current CEO David Landreth acquired the company in the fall of 1991 with Jones ready to retire. As David noted in his opening address at the celebration, Roger, was a well-respected individual who helped set the groundwork for the company to grow. By the time of the ownership change Jones Exhaust not only made glasspacks, it produced cold-rolled heavy-duty truck mufflers, twin tubes and turbo packs along with chrome tips. The company is the largest glasspack manufacture company in the country today, according to David, but over the years, Jones has expanded its exhaust line dramatically, making the company a one-stop source for warehouse distributors across the nation in need of a variety of performance exhaust mufflers, flex couplers, stainless-steel tubing, exhaust hardware and a wide variety of additional products that nearly every undercar shop requires. It also makes aftermarket exhaust pipes that fit Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Pointing to his plant workers – nearly all wearing bright-red Jones anniversary T-shirts as they feasted on barbecued chicken, ribs, pulled pork, pork and beans, potato salad, coleslaw, pecan and banana cream pie, and watermelon – David noted that they, the line workers, were the backbone of the company, meeting tough deadlines and keeping quality at the highest levels.