The Jordan Automobile

A History

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SKU: 9781476662770 Categories: ,

About the Book

The subject of one of the great advertising campaigns of the early 20th century, the “Somewhere West of Laramie” ads, Jordan is a well-remembered marque despite its brief duration.
Edward Stanlaw “Ned” Jordan was born November 21, 1882, in Merrill, Wisconsin, and worked as a journalist before finding work in the automobile industry. A pioneer of automobile advertising and sales who got his start with Thomas B. Jeffery and Company in 1907, he founded the Jordan Motor Car Company with fellow Jeffery employees Russell S. Begg as experimental engineer and Paul Zens as purchasing agent in 1916.
This book is both a biography of Ned Jordan and a history of his company and its vehicles from its beginning in 1916 to its end on April 1, 1932, when non-payment of franchise taxes forced its dissolution. Jordan’s first models were four- and seven-passenger custom-type touring cars, but it would become famous for the Sport Marine, the Playboy, the Little Tomboy, and the Little Custom Jordan. Spectacularly illustrated.

About the Author(s)

Retired construction electrician James H. Lackey is a charter member of the Jordan Register and has been its historian for many years. The restorer and owner of an award-winning 1923 Jordan Playboy, he lives in Huntington, West Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

James H. Lackey
Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 207
Bibliographic Info: 417 photos (43 in color), appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015 [2005]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6277-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0921-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1

1. Ned Jordan      3

2. The Founding of the Jordan Motor Car Company, 1916      10

3. Early Growth, 1917      22

4. “ Million Dollar Idea,” 1918–1919      31

5. Surviving the First Pinch, 1920–1922      40

6. “Somewhere West of Laramie,” 1923–1924      51

7. New Models and All Steel Bodies, 1925–1926      63

8. Little Car, Big Blunder, 1927–1928      76

9. Dashed Hopes of Recovery, 1929      90

10. Last Gasps, 1930–1932      103

Between pages 116 and 117 are 16 color plates containing 43 photographs

11. Aftermath      117

12. Advertising      123

13. Dealers and Distributors      133

Chapter Notes      141

Appendix I. Partial List of Distributors and Dealers      147

Appendix II. Chassis Specification      149

Appendix III. Engine Specifications      154

Appendix IV. Serial Numbers      155

Appendix V. Wiring Diagrams      157

Bibliography      173

Index      177

Book Reviews & Awards

Winner, Thomas McKean Memorial Cup—Antique Automobile Club of America
“a labor of love…a stunning reference source…extensive”—Cars & Parts; “one of the finest, most carefully researched single-make ‘autobiographies’ I’ve ever seen”—SAH Journal; “superb in-depth study…outstanding…heartily recommended”—Antique Automobile; “well-deserved praise”—SpeedReaders; “extensively illustrated”—Hemmings Classic Car; “accurate…a labor of love”—Horseless Carriage Gazette; “James Lackey has done his homework…highly recommended”—Classic Car Club of America Bulletin.