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Old 12-29-2008, 09:27 AM   #1
jakespeed63
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Default 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

On my recent Holiday trip to Cleveland, besides seeing the Christmas Story movie home, going to the Crawford Museum to see the Jordon Speedway Ace was tops on my list. This car is nothing short of stunning, with dozens of killer little details that every traditional Hot Rodder hopefully will find interesting. As usual, seeing pictures, can't duplicate seeing it in the flesh. But I feel this is a significant piece of automotive history and wanted to share it with all you HAMB'rs.

Here is a link to the entire article for those of you whom want to read it. Well worth the time.
http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/...upgradeable=no

These are a few excerps, from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, should the article not link for you.
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Just as Starbucks doesn't sell coffee but the coffeehouse experience, so too with Jordan 85 years ago. It wasn't about the car. It was about the lifestyle it could drive you into.

This, however, was just one of Jordan's accomplishments. He was quick to tell people he wasn't really a car manufacturer. He was an idea man. He had big ideas, and one of the biggest was creating the most fabulous car for the very, very few who might ever be able to afford it: the Model Z Speedway Ace, a veritable airplane on wheels.

For a long time in the 1970s and 1980s, car collectors had talked about a mystery car somewhere in Cleveland.

This was that car.

On display now for first time

The Jordan Model Z Speedway Ace has never been available for the public to see. Never, that is, until last month: After seven years and several hundred thousand dollars in restoration costs, the ivory roadster with the red leather interior now shimmers at its new temporary home, the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland's University Circle, courtesy of Stecker.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:40 AM   #2
jakespeed63
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

This car has significant meaning to me, in that it was made in Cleveland, My "Paternal" Grandfather spent time near Laramie Wyoming and my "Maternal" Grandfather, a Jordon Salesman at the time, courted my Grandmother in a Jordon. Enjoy.
JT

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It's a surviving symbol of Cleveland's heyday. It's also a symbol of the story of Ned Jordan, a spats-wearing fellow who lived at just the right time to make a Horatio Alger-style splash that ended, as so much else did, with the 1929 crash

On a train ride out West, Jordan got really inspired. He said he saw a young woman with a suntanned face riding a horse, and maybe he did. The advertisement that resulted became iconic. "Somewhere West of Laramie . . . there's a bronco-busting, steer-roping girl who knows what I'm talking about. She can tell what a sassy pony . . . can do with eleven hundred pounds of steel and action. The truth is, the Playboy was built for her." The ad appeared in the Saturday Evening Post on June 23, 1923. (Advertising Age later named it one of the top 100 ad campaigns of the 20th century.)
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:25 AM   #3
billshari
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

The detail is awesome, as are the Woodlite headlamps and parking lamps. I've seen the parking lamps in books, but never mounted, Do you think the running boards gave any lift?

What do the levers on the dash control?
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

Jakespeed, thanks for posting this story and photos. One of my all time favorite cars is the Jordan - and I can't really tell you why! I think it is the advertisements that used to accompany their cars. The "Somewhere west of Laramie..." ad was just too inviting. While I admit to being old, I am not old enough to have been around when the Jordans were sold. I just remember seeing the old mags and the ads for the Jordans and even though they were long gone from the car scene, I wanted one bad all these many years later! Talk about the power of the ad media. Yeeeeeeeesh, they had me hooked, for sure...
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:05 AM   #5
displaced_kiwi
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

FYI, Hemmings Classic Car magazine, Feb 2009 issue has a 4pg article on Jordan titled "Jordan: Seller of Dreams".
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

Another FYI, Special Interest Autos #31 had an article about the Speedway Ace:

http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2...proni-biplane/

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Old 12-29-2008, 12:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

Cool car, even cooler story, thanks.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:33 PM   #8
jakespeed63
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

Hey, Oldandkrusty thought I would throw out a couple more Jordon photo's from the same museum. Not quite as cool, but I'd take it any day of the week. Thanks for the other info, will look for those articles.
Also, while we're on the subject of "Art Deco Cars" check out this 1932 Peerless prototype touring sedan.
http://www.wrhs.org/index.php/crawfo...less_Prototype
All Aluminum body and in as built condition, never restored. One of my favorites in the collection.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

I've seen and touched that Jordan on a couple of occasions, awesome car indeed.

The story is really a neat one about how people were talking the car was in Alaska and really it had been in Cleveland the entire time. The stuff folk lore is made of for sure!
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

I saw it at Pebble Beach this past summer, had never seen or heard of it till then....STUNNING car...





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Old 12-29-2008, 05:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

a friend of mine has a 23 playboy like the maroon one in your pics. i've driven it several times in the past. pretty fun car. it has a continental 6 cyl. clutch pedal, with a stick in the floor. quite advanced for 23. it has pretty good power for a 23, but dosn't stop or steer worth a crap. it'll be at my garage in a couple of weeks for some sprucing up. the playboy is the car that the "west of laramie" add is about. it was a very expensive car , built for the elite. last we heard there where only 3 playboys known to exist.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

That thing is beautiful! Am I the only one that thinks its kinda strange that the cover and extinguisher aren't in the trunk? This is a museum display right?
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:25 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

Last time i was at the Crawford museum half the cars were "put away" and the remaining space was taken up with boxes from the dang pope exhibit upstairs. Need to get back there!

What are all those knobs on the dash right behind the shifter on the Jordan?
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:56 PM   #14
jimi'shemi291
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

God bless Jim Stecker. He was SO serious about restoring the car he FINALLY found (minus front fenders), he worked from original material to MAKE repros!!!
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

BTW, Jordan fans, does ANYBODY have evidence of a SURVIVING Jordan "Little Custom"? Cool little (expensive) car. And THAT was Ned Jordan's only real flub! It's credited as the car venture that put Jordan's company behind the ifnancial 8-ball.
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:45 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

Thanks for the post! How does this car compair with a 1931 Jordan "Sportsman", same running gear different coachwork or total different model?
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:53 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

Damn, 37Kid! I haven't heard of that model. But, you've given me something to work on!

Meantime, maybe a senior HAMBer with broad tastes will already know the answer. THANKS for YOUR post, 'cause I know this is an older thread (but WHO doesn't like to talk about SPEED?).
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

OK, ok, 37Kid, you sucked me in. Web search didn't take 5 minutes. LOL Naw, man, talking about NED Jordan, not Michael Jordan!
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

Never even heard of a Jordon till now... WOW what a beautiful car. I love those marble (looking) knobs on the dash and shifter.

Kevin
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:12 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1931 Jordon Speedway Ace

Sorry for the poor photo, Santa is getting me a new camera next month. The "Sportsman" is on page 181of The American Car Since 1775. Coackwork is by Baker, Rauch & Lang, looks a lot like a Stutz Monte Carlo doesn't it?
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