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Davey Jordan
by Davey Jordan

I raced sports cars between 1959 and 1972. I started racing in 1959, driving my own Porsche Speedster. I raced it for 4 years, winning the Pacific Coast Championships in 1961 and 1962 in the "F" production class. In 1961 I was Cal Club "Driver Of The Year".

1963 I co-drove with Jerry Titus at Sebring in Hollywood Sports Cars Sunbeam Alpine. We finished 3rd in class after spending 1-1/2 hours in the pits. I finished out the season campaigning the Alpine in national events, ending up 3nd in the Pacific Coast Championship for " E " production.

1964, co-drove a Volvo P-1800 with John Christy at Sebring. The car was cosponsored by the Volvo factory, and Sports Car Graphic Magazine. D.N.F. after 4 hours. I also drove for Vasek Polak in Porsche Spyders (RSK and RS-60). I finished 1st in "E Modified" in all races entered, with a couple of 2nd place overall finishes. Co-Drove Otto Zipper’s Porsche 904 with Scooter Patrick in a 3 hr enduro preceding the Times Grand Prix at Riverside. Finished 1st overall. Co-drove a factory sponsored Sunbeam Imp with Jerry Titus from Los Angeles to New York nonstop in record time of 46 hrs, 45 min. Drove Otto Zipper’s Dolphin Porsche in the first ARRC at Riverside to a 2nd place finish in "E Mod".

1965 co-drove with Scooter Patrick in Otto Zipper’s Porsche 904 at Sebring. We finished 3rd in class and 10th overall. Continued driving for Otto Zipper with Scooter Patrick as teammate in twin Porsche 904’s. We finished 1st and 2nd in every race they were entered in the Manufacturers USRRC, with Scooter first and me second. I was entered in Haskell Wexler’s 275 LM Ferrari at the Riverside Grand Prix. Was a D.N.S. because of an excursion off turn 4 in the qualifying race, with damage to the front of the car.

1966 co-drove at Sebring with Briggs Cunningham and John Fitch in Briggs’s Porsche 904. We set a lap record in qualifying for GT Class 9. After 8 hrs into the race, we were a DNF. I was selected as one of ten West Coast drivers to go to Japan for 2 weeks to give racing demonstrations at Suzuka Raceway during Japan’s Spring Festival. Driving brand new Brabham F-3 cars. The trip was sponsored by Honda. I drove a factory B.M.W. 1800 TISA sedan, teamed with Jerry Titus in a twin car. I finished in a 3 way tie for 3rd place in the "B" Sedan class with Jerry Titus and Jim Adams.

I was awarded the Good Guys Sedans Racers trophy for BMW. I drove Haskell Wexler’s LOLA T-70, powered by a 289 Ford, at the Laguna Seca USRRC. Finished 4th overall. Drove Otto Zipper’s Carrera "6" at the Riverside USRRC. I set another qualifying lap record for the under 2 Liter class. The exhaust system broke with 5 laps remaining. I was running 2nd at the time of the DNF. Drove Haskell Wexler’s LOLA Ford at the Laguna Seca Can-Am. Engine blew after 38 laps, while running 10th. DNF

1967 drove Vasek Polak’s Porsche 911S in SCCA National races. I finished the season with 12 firsts, 3 seconds, 1 third and 3 DNF’s in "C" Production. I won the Southern Pacific National Championship for "C" Production. At the ARRC runoffs at Daytona I finished 2nd to Alan Johnson.

Drove Vasek Polak’s Elva Porsche in the Ken Miles Memorial Race at Laguna Seca for under 2 liter cars and finished 8th overall. (It was the worst race car I ever drove.) I was hired as a reserve for the last four Trans-Am races by Shelby American Racing, in their Mustangs. Although I practiced at all the races, I only competed at Crows Landing in Modesto, co-driving with Ronnie Bucknum where we finished 5th after the throttle linkage fell off. (Jerry Titus won the race for Ford) I did a couple of days testing the new Toyota 2000 Gt for Shelby Racing.

1968, Signed a contract with Shelby American to race the Toyota 2000 GT in selected SCCA National races. Signed a contract with James Garners American International Racing to run L-88 Corvettes at the Daytona 24 hr, and Sebring 12 hour races, co-driving with Scooter Patrick, another identical L-88 team car was to be driven by Dick Guldstrand and Ed Leslie. The AIR Corvettes qualified 1st and 2nd in class, at Daytona but the race didn’t go as well with the car DNFing with a blown head gasket at about 9 hrs. The team car finished, but far back because of rear end troubles. For Sebring AIR changed plans and bought two Lola T-70 coupes. While leading the race the left front hub failed, repairs were made but the engine failed at about 9 hrs.

The Toyota 2000 program found tough competition from Porsche and Triumph with Scooter 3rd in divisional points and me in 4th and only a reserve place for the ARRC to be held at Riverside.

1969, I signed driver contracts with AIR the 24 hrs of Daytona, 12 hrs of Sebring and a possibility of Le Mans, also for a drive in the F-5000 series, as member of a three car team including Scooter Patrick and David Hobbs. The cars would be the new Surtees TS-5. At Daytona the Lola ran great for about 13 hrs, while running 3rd OA, the right rear wheel bearing failed. It took 2-1/2 hrs to repair, we still managed to finish 7th OA. At Sebring the Lola Chevy experienced over heating and was a DNF in the first hour.

AIR received two Surtees TS-5s. The cars were supposed to run with AMC V8 engines, but they were not ready in time for the first test at Riverside, Chevys were used instead. After about 40 laps both cars twisted their left rear uprights, to end the test. About this time AMC decided they would cancel their racing contract with AIR. BUMMER, in the trickle down mode I became an unemployed racing driver. I’m glad I kept my day job. I drove one more race for AIR as I had known it, the BAJA 500. AIR was still committed to run ten AMC Scramblers in the BAJA. I was able to pick one of my best friends Fred Eltrich as co-driver.

We had many troubles along the way, some of which were self inflicted. The great experience ended with broken steering box at speed, and an abrupt right turn through a farmers wire fence. I decided I was too much of a candyass to try this type of racing again.

1970, We were able to get John Crean, one of the partners in the defunct AIR to sponsor a F-5000 Gurney Eagle on a race to race deal (low budget). The first race was at Riverside, and we managed to finish 2nd to a much faster John Cannon in a Mclaren. The 2nd race on our schedule was Edmonton, Alberta. We finished 5th and were the series points leader after two races. (Our season high point.) The next race was at Kent Washington, we should have been 5th, but I made a stupid mistake on the last lap that let Dick Smothers past and I wound up 6th. The next race was at Laguna Seca, a blown engine DNF. The next race was at Sears Point Raceway, another blown engine DNF. This was the last race for us this year in the Continental Championship (No budget).

1971, we took our aging Eagle Chevy, on the road with sponsorship from Bob Richman’s Highland Toyota. At the Edmonton L&M 200 we finished 8th, at Donny Brook we were up to 7th place before dropping out. Vasek Polak invited us to drive his Porsche 908 in the club races at Vaca valley (DNF) and Laguna Seca (1st O.A). We then ran the 908 in Can-Am races at Laguna Seca (lost brakes, finished 20th)and Riverside, ran the whole race and finished 13th.

1972, started out with the Highland Toyota Eagle to Laguna Seca, not sure of results. We then shifted gears and made a deal with Dick Caluette, who had just bought an M-14 McLaren F-1 car that had been fitted with a Chevy. We towed back to Lime Rock Park for the F-5000 race, but were a DNF. We then towed back to Riverside and finished 10th. I then was offered a co-drive with young Johnnie Crean in his 2 liter sports racer at the 6 hr race at Watkins Glen. The car was very fast, and we qualified 2nd to John Buffum in similar car. We led our class until after our drivers change, and then had an off course excursion, that ended our race. Again I was extremely happy that I still had my day job, time to go to work.

FOOTNOTE: In 1982 my old friend Vasek Polak invited me to drive his venerable Porsche 908 at the Monterey Historical Races, it sure was fun.

Davey Jordan 7/13/2000

The cars I have competed in are as follows,

  • Porsche 1600 speedster
  • Sunbeam Alpine
  • Volvo P-1800
  • Porsche RSK
  • Porsche RS-60
  • Dolphin Porsche
  • Elva Porsche
  • Porsche 904 (4 different cars)
  • Ferrari 275 LM
  • Porsche Carrera "6"
  • B.M.W. 1800 TISA Sedan
  • Brabham Formula III (in Japan)
  • Honda S600 and 800 (in Japan)
  • Lola T-70 MK 1 with Ford 289
  • Porsche 911 S
  • Mustang Trans Am Sedan
  • L-88 Corvette
  • A.M.C. SC/Rambler 390 (off road)
  • Toyota 2000 GT
  • Lola T-70 Coupe with 305 cid Chevy
  • Porsche 908
  • Eagle F-5000
  • Chevron B-19
  • Mclaren M-14 (converted to Chevy power for F-5000)

The cars I have done testing in are as follows,

  • Shelby Lola T-70 with 427 Ford (Shelby American)
  • AutoCoast Ti-22 Can-Am car (Peter Bryant)
  • Porsche 917 Can-Am non Turbo (Vasek Polak)
  • Surtees TS-5 F-5000 (American International Racing)

Davey Jordan's recollections of Vasek Polak

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