1930 Jordan Model Z Speedway Ace Roadster. Collection of Edmund J. Stecker Family Trust. Photograph © 2013 Peter Harholdt

1930 Jordan Model Z Speedway Ace Roadster
Collection of the Edmund J. Stecker Family Trust, Pepper Pike, OH

The Jordan Automobile Company of Cleveland, Ohio, built quality cars with the best proprietary components. Edward S. “Ned” Jordan introduced his extravagant Speedway Ace models during the Depression. The Ace roadster cost $5,500; the Sportsman sedan was $500 more. Jordan rationalized, “The manufacturer of a truly high-quality product is under obligation to the salesman to keep his price higher than that of his competitors to make it easier to sell.”

When the Model Z Ace appeared, Autobody magazine enthused, “These striking designs put some of the old vim and vigor into the Jordan line. From its arrogant trumpet horns, flanked by racy Woodlite headlamps, emblazoned with cloisonné Jordan arrowheads, past the twin cowl spotlights to the raked continental spare, the roadster was a showstopper.” Seated at the Jordan’s wheel, the lucky pilot could imagine himself at the controls of the newest Supermarine air racer, which had a top speed of over 100 mph. 

By 1931, times were so hard at Jordan that when potential customers asked for a Speedway Series brochure, the response was a set of glossy photographs. They could no longer afford to print a catalogue.

Very few Speedway Series cars were built. The lender searched for an Ace roadster for years before acquiring this example. It was missing many parts, including its ultra-rare Transitone radio, and it had the wrong fenders, but he recognized it immediately. It is probably the only survivor.

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