Once considered one of Formula One's more obscure drivers, Tom Jones entered his own Cooper T82 in one Formula One race, the 1967 Canadian Grand Prix. He raced on and off throughout the 1970s in various series before retiring in 1980.
Tom Jones was born in Dallas, Texas. He started racing in 1964 at local tracks with his Lotus Super 7. At the end of the year, National Service meant that he had to join the army that temporarily curtailed his racing.
Once a civilian again he returned to the tracks in Formula A. He bought the 1966 ex-Jo Bonnier Cooper T82 in 1967. The factory upgraded with 1.5 litre Climax V8 engine. Though they had told Tom that this would take the car to F1 spec. But, since F1 teams were running 3 litre engines, he had effectively bought a car to 1965 specs.
In August he entered the Canadian Grand Prix. Having towed the Cooper all the way from Cleveland on an open trailer, he was handed his FIA licence and on the Friday went out for free practice, setting some reasonable times.
However in qualifying he had electrical problems and didn't complete a flying lap. The organisers decided that he couldn't start even though there were only 19 entrants.
Bitterly disappointed he returned to Cleveland. He competed a few more times in 1967 without success. Late in the year he bought the ex-Pedro Rodriguez Cooper Maserati T81 from the factory but before the end of the year Cooper re-possessed the car, claiming that he still owed $8,000.
With no money Jones didn't race again until 1973. He entered a number of North American F5000 championship races between 1973 and 1978 and a few CanAm rounds between 1978 and 1980.
Jones, who was working in the automobile industry, was made redundant in 1980 and that was it for racing.
He ran a welding and metal fabrication company in Cleveland.
Jones died in Eastlake, Ohio