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Luxury Car: 1917

Luxury Car: 1917

The Bay Area circa 1917. "Jordan touring car." The tot-laden vehicle seen here yesterday, a Jordan advertised as the "Seven-Passenger Luxury Car," with the same driver but minus the kids. Note the literal NON-SKID tire tread. Glass negative from the Wyland Stanley collection of San Francisciana. View full size.


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The Brand That Changed Advertising

Ned Jordan, head of the company, revolutionized automobile advertising with his famous "Somewhere West of Laramie" ad for the Jordan Playboy roadster. This was the ad that marked the change from product description to "what you drive says who you are" image promotion. Here's the text, for you young 'uns:

        "Somewhere west of Laramie there's a bronco-busting, steer roping girl who knows what I’m talking about. She can tell what a sassy pony, that’s a cross between greased lighting and the place where it hits, can do with eleven hundred pounds of steel and action when he's going high, wide and handsome. The truth is - the Playboy was built for her. Built for the lass whose, face is brown with the sun when the day is done of revel and romp and race. She loves the cross of the wild and the tame. There's a savor of links about that car - of laughter and lilt and light - a hint of old loves - and saddle and quirt. It’s a brawny thing - yet a graceful thing for the sweep o' the Avenue. Step into the Playboy when the hour grows dull with things gone dead and stale. Then start for the land of real living with the spirit of the lass who rides, lean and rangy, into the red horizon of a Wyoming twilight."

Actually, it was a perfectly ordinary automobile, but with flimflam like that, who cares?

Probably Venetian Green

Hard to know for sure, but given the 1917 date and the likelihood the film used to make the photo was orthocromatic stock, if the car was "mahoghany maroon", it would render much darker in the photo.

[Emulsion, not film. This negative was shot on glass. - Dave]


The kids are laying (or is it lying?) in the road a ways back, tossed out by by the rough ride.

[Lying! - Dave]


I wonder what color it was. Appears to not be black.

[For 1917 the car was available in "a bright mahogany maroon or in a deep, soft Venetian green. Take your choice. Either shade is fashionable." - Dave]

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