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USA, 1916-1932.
Filed under:  Companies
Comment(s): 10

The Jordan Motor Car Company was founded in 1916 in Cleveland, Ohio by Edward S. "Ned" Jordan, a former advertising executive from Thomas B. Jeffery Company of Kenosha, Wisconsin. The factory produced cars until 1931 using parts from other manufacturers. Jordan cars were noted more for attractive styling than for advanced engineering, and not surprisingly, the company's advertising was often more original than the cars themselves. Said Jordan, "Cars are too dull and drab". He reasoned that since people dressed smartly, they were willing to drive "smart looking cars" as well.

jordan emblem 1916.png

Jordan Motor Car established its plant east of downtown Cleveland at 1070 East 152nd Street along the Nickle Plate Railroad tracks. The location not only provided an excellent location for shipping the finished cars, but also provided Jordan with ready access to our of area suppliers. The plant was built in two stages; the first 30,000 square foot building was begun on April 5, 1916 and finished some seven weeks later, while the second addition was completed within months of the first structure.

Parts for the Jordan were obtained by outside vendors. The cars were powered by Continental engines, used Timken axles, Bijur starters and Bosch ignitions. According to Ned Jordan's biographer, James Lackey, the source of early Jordan bodies was somewhat a mystery. While Jordan had the capacity to paint the automobile bodies and attach them to the chassis and outfit the passenger compartment, the facility lacked the ability to fabricate the bodies themselves. Later production bodies were shipped from a variety of manufacturers in Ohio and Massachusetts.

In their first year of production (1916), Jordan sold over one thousand vehicles. While most automobile producers relied on the fast drying Japan Black lacquer which cured in a matter of hours, Jordan automobiles were available in no less than three colors of red - "Apache Red", "Mercedes Red" and Savage Red" as well as "Ocean Sand Gray", "Venetian Green", "Egyptian Bronze" and "Chinese Blue". Black was also available. The most flamboyant of color schemes was four-passenger Sport model which could be ordered in "Submarine Gray", with khaki top and orange wheels.

Details given the cars were unusually advanced for an independently made assembled car. For example, Jordan's bypassed the placing the gasoline filler at the cowl of the car, and located it to the rear of the vehicle. In its place was one of the first ventilation systems of its type. Jordan also went to all-steel construction in the mid 1920s, some ten before Buick and eight before Chrysler introduced the Airflow models.

In 1927 the firm introduced its only significant misstep, the Jordan Little Custom, a luxury compact. Not only did consumers ignore the car, but its financial drain on the company was a leading factor in the takeover by bankers of JMC, leaving Ned Jordan as the company?s titular head. Both Jordan and his wife began divesting their interests in the company in 1928.

The company survived the Stock Market Crash of 1929, but with intense competition among the many US automakers then extant, and personal problems besetting 'Ned' Jordan, the company ceased production in 1931.

The true production of total Jordan cars is unclear. Some sources list the total amount as high as over 100,000 units, which other sources list the production as low as 30,000 units.

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Portrait of Edward S. Jordan, better known as Ned Jordan, CEO of Jordan Motor Car Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Jordan is best remembered as the creator of modern automobile advertising with his 1923 "Somewhere West of Laramie" ads for the Jordan Playboy sports car that his company built. Image originally printed in a Thomas B. Jeffery Company report from 1914.

jordan 24

1924 Jordan MX Series, USA.

jordan sport roadster 18

1918 Jordan Sport Roadster.

Jordan ads   
Richard Diamond3569 days ago

Hello, I am the grandson of Walter Wanderwell. I am looking for the Jordon Blue Car he used in his expedition, Sept 19 1922, driven by Nell Wanderwell. and Capt. any information will be apreciated.
Thank You
Richard Diamond

CT3569 days ago

Richard, I don't have any more info than what is posted here.

raul robles santoyo3304 days ago

perdon no tendrian una fofo de un jordan camioncito tengo uno paro me falta la carroseria es camioncito jordan hecho en usa ohio cleveran modelo no se espero respuesta y si quierern les mando fotos y el nom serie grasias

Dale R. in CT3259 days ago

Hello Richard: Have you seen the new book by James Lackey called "The Jordan Automobile?" It says Nell left Atlanta, GA in 1919 in a stock Jordan chassis with a highly modified body. She arrived in New York in 1925, but the Jordan was now a "Blue Boy" model chassis with the highly modified body. The account says she covered over 200,000 miles. Also in the book, on page 64, is an image of a promotional piece circa 1923 entitled "A Modern Nellie Bly", showing three views of the car and participants. It is unlikely the actual car survived the scrap drives of WWII, but there are about 100 Jordans surviving in 2009, including several Blue Boys.

There is a club--The Jordan Register, and a newsletter, The Arrowhead. You should call Jim Lackey in WV at 304 429 1180. He would be excited to speak to you. Tell him DALE sent you.

chris bromley3231 days ago

i own what i believe is a 1925 jordan model k roadster. i can email pics upon request. my name is chris my email is

Chris Jordan3213 days ago

Very interesting coincidences! Christopher Jordan, and I build 3-wheel cars. I looked up Jordan cars and enjoyed the similarities!

Amanda3181 days ago

I just want to jump up and down a little bit... I have been looking into the history of Edward Jordan, as he is my son's great-grandfather, and this was a jackpot site! Caspian, my son, has wanted to build cars since he could talk, long before he knew his family history! How's that for coincidence? Of course any further information is more than welcome, otherwise, carry on folks!

Peggy3127 days ago

Does anyone know how much an original Jordan hubcap is worth?

Bob Gilbert2588 days ago

I have a Instruction Book (Owners Manual) for Jordan Motor Car Company. On the front of the book it has printed:

Instruction Book


The book is for the: Silhouette Seven and Four
Play Boy
Town Sedan

It's 48 pages and the color is blue.

Cal Chrisman 1866 days ago

I have a 1924 Jordan sedan (recently discovered in barn) what's it worth? Please help or refer interested buyers. 717.814.2623

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