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This is what was a Jordan, the engine would indicate it was built in 1927, but the radiator shell doesn’t match up with any pictures I can find?....   in the end it will be a very well done speedster.  Anyone know this car? It came out of Michigan I think but now it’s in CA waiting on me and $... 

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Neat speedster.  The steering wheel,  firewall and radiator need to be cut down to make it look exactly right.

 

Sorry,  can't help with the Jordon ID,  but the engine may have come from one car and everything else from another.  Those wheels are much later than 1927.

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I am sorry. But I have never gotten the idea of building a "wanna be" out of a "never was" using a few antique pieces, a bunch of decades later stuff and pieces that are nothing like the era imagined, coupled together using modern materials and methods.

It becomes an "art piece" that will appeal to a few people that don't understand the history of the real thing.

Faithful recreations I can very much appreciate. They fill in lost history. Well done "tribute cars" can be okay also. They allow us to get a feel for what it was like and experience first hand the thrills of the races of the day. Vehicles unlike ANYTHING from the past? Might as well drive a Volkswagen chassis Bugatti. 

 

My apologies.

Edited by wayne sheldon
I hate leaving typos! (see edit history)
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The Jordan 1926 Model J and 1927-'28 J-1 named the "Line Eight" used the Continental 8S 246.5 ci straight eights, 116" wheelbase.  Someone likely has the nicely-styled Jordan radiator shell, hood and cowl in his part collection to proceed further to a speedster.    Good luck with this project.

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5 hours ago, 1910 Pickard said:

Wayne this is what I have.....  go out and find me some original Jordan parts.....  thank you for not contributing anything constructive.

Don't post on a public forum if you only want positive comments.  Even negative comments can be constructive sometimes.

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The poster does not to be too receptive to criticism however I will share a few thoughts I have on speedsters in general.

Try to match the appearance of something built in the same time period. Either a factory version of a speedster model, or a car built as a alternative body to what the factory offered. EG. the pre factory Gold Bug Kissel " Silver Specials " Or the "Harley Earl " specials his company built prior to his joining up with General Motors.

 Or try to duplicate a known race car based on the same chassis from roughly the same period.

 Avoid the urge to shorten the wheelbase to anything shorter than the shortest factory offering unless duplicating a

particular race or " show special "car. At some time in the future correct body  parts may turn up. But it is quite a bit harder to unshorten a frame back to the factory W.B. then to shorten it.

This Jordan appears to have a quite a bit shorter than standard W.B. and it may be a problem to make the car appear reasonably "well put  together " regardless of the bodywork. Unusually short W.B. cars can look quite odd to the eye unless the goal is a 1930's or early 1940's dirt track modified.

I don't know if Jordan ever entered a car at Indy during the " Junk Formula " days , but if so this car could possibly make a credible replica of that general episode of racing history.

 

Greg

 

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You're doing a great job. The fact that you took the time to save, rebuild and preserve these Jordan pieces and make it into a functional automobile speaks volumes. Very few people would have tackled this project. Most people would have just ignored this pile of parts. Others would have hoarded them in their yard or barn and it would have been a "some day maybe" project. Very few would have had the energy or desire to actually do something with this. So many people talk about saving cars yet very few of them actually do something. When you finish, this will be a great car to drive and enjoy-and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you started and FINISHED a project-something very few people accomplish in today's world.

 

Wayne must have some really great cars that he  has built or restored and currently owns. I assume he will post pictures for us to see and so you-and the rest of us- can get further inspiration and we can learn from his accomplishments. Surely, no one would downplay someone else's accomplishments  unless they have achieved better themselves and have inspired others to do so.  Looking forward to seeing pictures of the speedsters and other cars owned and and restored by Wayne.

 

Keep up the good work on the Jordan. Well done so far!

Edited by rusty12 (see edit history)
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8 hours ago, Tinindian said:

Don't post on a public forum if you only want positive comments.  Even negative comments can be constructive sometimes.

I agree 100% if they are meant to be constructive.   It sure is refreshing though when people post upbeat remarks and encourage you.  Even criticism can be done in an a positive manner.   

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I have no desire to get into a pissing match over bad ideas.

And, believe it or not, most of my post was intended to be somewhat constructive. Perhaps poorly executed.

 

I just hate to see someone making a mistake that I have seen way too many people make. I have seen too many cars done in ways that were just not really done way back when. I have talked with too many people that did them, and they wondered why nobody would buy their prized possession for what they thought it should be worth. Spending boatloads of money to make something extremely nice, but very wrong, usually ends up being something that may not be welcome in the shows or meets one may wish to participate in. When it comes to speedsters, doing it right often can cost less than doing it wrong. And may well be worth more after it is done.

 

Speedsters, and their related racing cars, generally have a very well deserved bad reputation as a sub-hobby of the antique automobile hobby. It IS a well deserved bad reputation because way too many people put together things that did not really resemble anything that ever was. Building a sort of late1910s style "speedster" using a late 1920s (or even later?) chassis is something that was never really done back in the day.

Speedsters, like so many "trends" humans follow over the years, did not have a specific beginning and ending date. You can find a dated photograph of the (supposed) "last" Studebaker rolling off the assembly line, but there never was a single ending date to speedster building. In fact, I can and have many times argued that the "automotive hobby" of building speedsters never did fully end. However, there was a "speedster era", a time when many thousands of men, old and young, built such cars every year. They built some very bad junk piles, and they built some really beautifully finished, incredible sports cars!

People began building speedsters a few years before Henry Ford began selling the model T Ford. However, it was the model T itself that really fueled the passion to build one's own "racing" car or custom roadster. By 1915, companies like Ames and Apco were distributing catalogs of parts and kits to help build your speedster. 1917, Roof offered the first overhead valve head made specifically for the model T. By 1920, there were hundreds of companies offering parts and/or services to aid in speedster building. Thirty-some years ago, I made a list of companies advertising bodies or full kits for model Ts. There were nearly fifty on my list (which I have not seen for several years now, so don't ask). The speedster craze was not limited to model Ts, many other cars were also popular for speedster building. However, the craze grew with the model T Ford, and basically died along with the model T as well. By 1925, about half of the companies catering to speedster building were either out of business, or moving into other things, automotive or otherwise. Those nearly fifty companies selling ready-made bodies, were down to about a dozen.

Speedsters, as a passion, were triple whammied in the late 1920s. Tastes changed. People had come to enjoy their comfortable coupe or sedan, with its plush mohair seats. They expected comfort, and were less willing to chase the thrill of an open wheel minimalist fast car. In the 1910s, pushing a speedster to fifty miles per hour was really flying! Especially compared to most cars on most roads those days were usually driven at less than 20 mph. The other thing was the economic crash. For the next fifteen years, most people were too busy trying to survive the depression and WW2 to waste money or effort on a crude car, unless that was the only car they could get. And then they weren't into making it into anything other than basic transportation. People turned old cars into work trucks, not pretend racing cars.

Some people did continue to build "speedsters". Although the style changed, as did the language. "Go-jobs", and other similar efforts, eventually evolved into what became known as "hot-rods". These were different than the speedsters were. In the 1910s and '20s, one desired what looked like a racing car! And racing cars of those days were minimalist bodies on slightly modified chassis (unless they were true racing cars or factory specials which required major custom chassis work). By the mid 1920s, real racing cars had full aerodynamic bodies on heavily modified or custom chassis. In the "speedster era", the first thing one did was throw away the body and maybe the fenders and more. The original wheels were often kept, or if replaced, by wire or steel disc wheels of about the same size as the original wheels. In the beginning of the 1930s, those trends all changed. Now the body was kept, maybe modified, simplified, or lightened. And now, the wheels would be replaced with smaller diameter wheels and fatter tires for better road gripping and handling. Engine modifications were sometimes done in the earlier years, but in the '30s they became much more important for real performance.

A few people continued to build old style speedsters. Usually young men, high school or college age, wanting a car, but the best they could buy was an ancient model T. And they didn't have any money to build anything fancy. So they went back to the basics, and made do with a minimalist speedster for a few years. Years ago, in the antique automobile hobby, the club magazines and news letters used to run short articles about remembrances from people that grew up in those years. More than a few recalled the speedsters they built during WW2 just so they could have something that wasn't just uncle Al's old model T.

After WW2, the antique automobile hobby inspired some people to restore old speedsters, although most old speedsters were considered undesirable, and parted out for common parts to be used to restore the old touring car. However, a few others also began building speedsters themselves. I have often said that building "model T speedsters" is probably the longest running continuous automotive sub-hobby in the world. It began with the factory experimental test chassis in 1908 and continues to this day with speedsters built in every calendar year since.

But the real "speedster era" ended in the late 1920s.

 

I have often said that speedsters, properly done, are every bit as important to automotive history as is almost any other era car. 

 

 

Right now, I don't have any together, running, or drivable antique automobiles. Thanks to my ***** Family. Everything I had, over the years, has been sold to pay for their screwups, and medical bills. Such is life.

My first model T speedster? I followed some bad advice. I was fresh out of high school. Used some non-era materials and methods. Everyone else was doing it. A dozen friends in the local model T club said to do it that way. Within a year, after much studying myself, I realized that was the wrong way to do them. My first speedster, still had the right look. I had followed the look from some era photographs. If I had kept the car, I would have eventually corrected the error. Instead, the car was sold to pay a hospital bill. Every one of the T speedsters I have resurrected, had some original era speedster pieces used in them. One of my cars had the leftover remains of three original era speedsters as its basis. And except for a few things on my first one, all pieces that needed to be made, were made using proper era materials and methods. I found a lot of original bits of era speedster that were parted out in the '50s and '60s when they were considered undesirable by most hobbyists. I bought or traded for the leftovers of other people's speedster projects.

I never had the money to build an expensive speedster. But the truth is, that most speedsters in the real speedster era had mostly stock running gear anyway. So I was happy with the speedsters I had. And I never needed a concourse finish for a speedster either. Most speedsters in the era weren't as nice as the ones I resurrected. (As a side note, I use the word "resurrected" as a sort of inside joke, because most of the original era speedsters were not kept intact or cared for in any way for many years, so mere "restoration" just doesn't cut it.)

 

 

The five Speedsters I resurrected from rusty piles of junk. The yellow number 20 is with a friend that bought it almost twenty years after I had to sell it. Number six is about half done, waiting for me to have time to finish it. And I still have a few interesting original era speedster parts for maybe another two or three.

 

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Edited by wayne sheldon
I hate leaving typos! (see edit history)
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 I nice looking builds you have there Wayne, I know I’ve seen a few of them while researching on the net.   All the expensive work was done by one of the previous owners (my Jordan, engine, custom parts)  in my heart of hearts I’m a preservationist.    But this is how it came to me and the price was right.  

 
attached is a photo of my 1910 Pickard, (fenders and hood were painted with a brush before is was born and the running gear back in the late 80’s other than that it’s basically original and the last one in existence) Ive spent the last 15 years sourcing original parts (buying more wrong then right... lol)  The Jordan is going to be driver for sure! (My 1910... not so much) 

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Wayne,   I'm as much a purist as anybody here but does it really matter if someone takes an otherwise useless pile of parts and builds a speedster?   He is not wrecking an other wise nice car - I don't really see the damage if it makes the builder happy.

 

To make it look "right" he needs to cut down the firewall and lower the steering.   But if he doesn't care then does it really matter?

 

There are some decent speedster builds (all the one you posted for example).  

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Hey 1910 Pickard,

    This post string got me thinking about building a Kissel racing speedster. Again.
    I own two stock 1920’s Kissel Gold Bug Speedsters. I can’t help you with Jordan parts. But as an assembled car, many independent subcontractor parts in your Jordan Were used on other cars like my Kissels

    Your drivetrain has the very common Warner T64 transmission /clutch assembly. My mid twenties Kissels used this. I have spares if you need. I also have spare axles, drive shafts, and chassis parts for The low-slung Kissel 6-38, 45, and 55 models which have wheelbases 116”, 124”, 121” similar to what your car should have Originally had. They would all mate to your Warner transmission. Indeed, because your trans seems to match, you could probably use one of these longer replacement frameS for your setup and plunk the Jordan engine and stuff on to it.
    Your wheels are thirties or forties and do not grace your twenties speedster properly. I suggest you Replace them With period correct disc or Buffalo wire Wheels. Internet has these available. Or I have spares. 
     For body parts, a speedster really only needs a hood, cowl, and radiator for a Jordan. These could be fabricated by a sheet metal shop - not cheap, but correct matches. Mike Kleeves is a sheet metal artist for classic cars who could do this. 
     You can spend tons of money on this project, but if you do it right, it will have much more value than a decades different parts job. 
    Contact me if you have parts interest. 
    Thanks, Ron Hausmann P.E.

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I have a buddy who is really in to speedster builds.   He owns maybe 6 different cars,  all pre-1920 and some very very cool - even for me.    I can get it.   I don't get the crate motor resto rod guys but a well done speedster is cool with me.

 

You can spend a FORTUNE,  but they surprisingly do ok on resale if well done.

 

 

 

 

 

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I agree with Wayne.........speedsters are fine, when done properly from floor sweeping or old cut down doodle bugs. Problem is almost no one does them right.......and thus, I have zero interest in a modern half assed attempt. Speedster’s can be surprisingly affordable if you buy one with an unusual power plant. Buy one with decent horse power and a T head.......it will run real money. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, motoringicons said:

And the Jordan is going to be a lot of fun to drive when finished. Keep up the progress. 

And that in the end is what it's all about. The fun of building and enjoying the fruits of our dreams. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, wayne sheldon said:

 

 

I just hate to see someone making a mistake that I have seen way too many people make. I have seen too many cars done in ways that were just not really done way back when. I have talked with too many people that did them, and they wondered why nobody would buy their prized possession for what they thought it should be worth.


Speedsters, and their related racing cars, generally have a very well deserved bad reputation as a sub-hobby of the antique automobile hobby. It IS a well deserved bad reputation because way too many people put together things that did not really resemble anything that ever was.

1000% this.

I have to admit to having made some pretty horrendous mistakes. Particularly when I was young and simply didn’t have the money to do things right. But even the worst mistakes kept this hobby alive for me. Similarly, I was about 30 and packing up to move when I realized I’d spent more on car books than the average asking price for a long lusted after ‘29 Cadillac. Not sure if that was a mistake or not, but again, it kept the hobby alive for me.

Actually, the books needed no upkeep. Certainly couldn’t’ve afforded the upkeep on a ‘29 Cadillac so that wasn’t a mistake....

 

This is turning out to be a great thread — and a great project.

Good luck!

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I have a ton of hobby related books and original pieces of literature as well as a rather large collection of Vintage Car Club magazines. But 90% were bought second hand for reasonable prices. No where near the overall cost of a 29 Cadillac. Some books are admittedly very pricy, but I usually just keep looking for very underpriced examples. Sometimes for decades if necessary. Over $125.00 for a book and I strenously look for a cheaper example.

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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7 hours ago, ron hausmann said:


     For body parts, a speedster really only needs a hood, cowl, and radiator for a Jordan. These could be fabricated by a sheet metal shop - not cheap, but correct matches. Mike Kleeves is a sheet metal artist for classic cars who could do this. 

 

I would second Mike Kleeves.  He is truly a cross between an accomplished artist and craftsman.  Over the top quality.  He has his shop in Marysville, MI.

 

Here is google search with some information on him.  Watch some of his videos.  I have been to his shop a number of times.  Great guy and very knowledgeable.

 

https://www.google.com/search?source=univ&tbm=isch&q=marysville,+mi+Michael+kleeves+metal+shop&client=opera&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi_rLS4kKbtAhVhu1kKHb8HA-MQjJkEegQICxAB&biw=1253&bih=626

 

 

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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1910 Pickard, I had wondered about the name? And I knew I had heard of such a car. I probably saw it at Harrah's collection back around 1970 when I went through it a couple times, or maybe just read some mention of it somewhere. That is a wonderful and intriguing automobile! I hope you do get to use it some for Horseless Carriage activities.

As a few people have commented, building up a speedster/racer from a pile of junk is fine, and beyond fine. It is a good way to make good use of bits and pieces of both rare or common antique car parts for which there are not enough need or demand for the pieces. And if one can get a nice rebuilt engine for a fraction of the usual cost to rebuild one? That can be a great way to get ahead on such a project. I gather that how it now appears is basically as you got it?

20 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

To make it look "right" he needs to cut down the firewall and lower the steering.   But if he doesn't care then does it really matter?

For a late '20s or early '30s race car look, the body (and hence the steering) needs to be to be lowered and streamlined considerably. And if the frame has been shortened too much? There may be easy ways to add a foot or two back? Otherwise, another frame may be in order. And another frame does not necessarily have to be from a Jordan. Which brings up a question. Do you know whether or not that frame is from a Jordan?

As to does it really matter if you don't care? Maybe not. Enjoying the journey is one of the most important aspects of this hobby. However historic preservation and representation are also important. And it is a lot easier to enjoy with a car admired by others rather than one looked at with heads shaking and fingers pointing. I have seen that a lot on cars not being done to era standards.

 

Over the years, I have said many times that one needs to first determine what era they want their car to represent, and then build to that. Remember, both styling and technology changed rapidly! There is a world of difference between 1913 and 1920. And an even bigger difference between 1920 and 1928. Then other huge leaps between 1928 and 1935. Brakes, carburetion, wheels, nothing was the same. The wheels you show would be appropriate for around 1935, not much earlier. If you want the car to represent late '20s? The wheels will have to be somewhat larger and skinnier. A particular bugaboo of mine? Is carburetion. For all practical purposes, downdraft carburetors were NOT used before 1929. I didn't do it myself, but this has been thoroughly researched. The number of racing cars using downdraft carburetors before 1929 can be counted on the 'fingers' of one hand (thumb not needed!). I will say, that most hobbyists aren't all that concerned about that historic detail.

 

The engine and manifold/straight pipe look very good! They would be wonderful to assemble a period race car around. 

As I previously commented, decide what year you want to represent, then study as many race car photos of those years as you can find. Then use appropriate parts and materials to create the look of that era. I hope to see you and your car on the road in years soon to come (besides, that would mean I would have a car on the road again myself!).

 

One of the really fun aspects of speedsters and racing cars, in addition to experiencing the thrill of open speed, is being able to drive considerable distances to meets or tours without taking all day to do so (our modern life often doesn't allow for extended slow drives). A good speedster/racer should be able to handle freeway speeds for hours. Just be well aware of the safety and braking issues!!!! Drive accordingly.

 

I have always enjoyed both aspects of the hobby, era speed cars, and common era transportation automobiles. I love them both, and have had and enjoyed both over the years. 

 

A couple of 'regular' antique automobiles I restored.

 

 

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Edited by wayne sheldon
I hate leaving typos! (see edit history)
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Reading the "Period images to relieve some of the stress" thread, page 247, reminded me of something. When researching speedsters and racing cars of the era, always remember that they very often were run for a period of years, and changes were often made. So, in photos, one needs to consider not only the car's claimed model or build year, but also where in the progression of changes a photo was taken. There is a photo of a car in that thread said to have been originally built in 1923, however the photo is of a restored version of the car more or less how it had been rebuilt after 1930. Later, after it had become a collector car, it was owned for a time by Ralph Stern, famous collector and author of many automobile books.

 

When carburetors were being researched, one fly that kept getting into the ointment was a couple very famous model T racing cars built in the mid 1920s,and raced into the '30s, that had numerous famous photographs showing the downdraft carburetors on them. The problem was, that the carburetors were changed to downdraft in 1929, among the first cars so equipped. Careful examination of earlier photographs show that the cars had been equipped with updraft carburetors. Some years ago, there was a rather extensive debate on a model T forum about the downdraft carburetor timeline. 

 

Similar changes were often made to cars. Wheels and radiator shrouds would be changed along with carburetion. Famous racing cars often have to be restored back to a specific year, usually one when the car was well photographed. The year such a car might be restored to, may or may not be the first year it was built or raced.

One of the racing cars I resurrected, I often said was 1919 by chassis, but about 1926 as it sat. And that was because it had a late replacement model T engine and transmission, that had been originally major modified as a flathead racing engine.

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An observation. You don’t need to make an absolute choice between updraft and downdraft (After 1929) carburetors. My teens and twenties Kissels use sidedraft Stromberg carburetors - LB and OS model Strombergs. A custom Locomobile racing car I am aware of have three Stromberg OS-2 carbs mounted her. These are very very good feeding carbs. 

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Side draft carburetors go way back to the beginning. Forerunners of Holley were made in 1899 if I recall correctly. I have one (probably about 1902/03) that came with my early gasoline carriage project. Downdraft carburetors were used on military aircraft during World War One, and later. A WW1 aircraft downdraft carburetor was tried on a racing car about 1920, but was problematic and never really raced that way. This was reported in one of the automotive magazines of the day, and is the one best known trials before the Winfields of 1929. I had the information on this bookmarked on my old computer several years ago. But when that computer crashed (maybe five years ago now?), I lost nearly two thousand bookmarks. (Fortunately though, more than half my few thousand photographs were recovered.)

 

Side draft carburetors can be totally correct, and work very well. However, sometimes updrafts are easier to plumb in, especially with intake and exhaust manifolding on the same side. Just more to consider.

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The 8s has a 2 7/8 bore 4 3/4 stroke. The radiator shell is not Jordan.  There's a great book on Jordan, by McFarland publishing and also a register/club. The club is a great source for parts and info. Looks like a great project!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/28/2020 at 10:33 AM, motoringicons said:

I remember the Pickard from Harrah's. That is a really neat old car. It is an air-cooled four cylinder if I remember correctly?

And the Jordan is going to be a lot of fun to drive when finished. Keep up the progress. 

Good memory sir, the gentleman I purchased the Pickard from bought it at one of Harrahs auctions!  

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