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Factor Auto Body Co.
Facto Auto Body Company, 1929-1932; Cleveland, Ohio
Associated Builders
Jordan Motor Car Co.

The Facto Auto Body Company was formed by William Chester Colburn to manufacture automobile bodies for their Cleveland neighbor, the Jordan Motor Car Co.

The firm was organized on February 20, 1929 and took over a portion of the former American Auto Trimming Co. plant which was located in northeast Cleveland at 12910 Taft Ave., a little over a mile away from Jordan, who was located at 1070 East 152nd St.

Bodies for the 1929 Jordan Model U Sunshine Sedan were most likely the first constructed by Facto. At the 1930 New York Automobile Show, Jordan introduced their Model Z Speedway. Offered as a Sportsman sedan and Ace roadster, it featured a 5.3-litre 114bhp Continental eight, 4-speed gearbox, aircraft-type fascia with altimeter and toggle controls for accessories and matching Woodlite headlamps, running lamps and single rear taillamp.

According to the January 11, 1930 issue of Automobile Topics: "A new type car arrived at the New York show in the Sportsman, evolved jointly by John McArdle, vice-president of the Jordan Motor Car Co., and W.C. Colburn, head of the Facto Auto Body Co."

The February 1930 issue of Autobody magazine made special note of the Model Z Speedway’s coachwork which exhibited some of the old Jordan dash in its unusual lines. Built by Facto both the close-coupled 4-door Sportsman sedan and the 2-door Ace roadster rode on a special 145” wheelbase double drop chassis that gave the cars a low-slung racy appearance.

Also included were thermostatically operated radiator shutters, slat-type horizontal hood louvers, airfoil-shaped running boards complete with read and green running lights and extra-wide fenders with a sculpted leading edge.

In the Ace roadster, the rumble-seat passengers entered by sliding forward the front seats and lifting a hinged panel that led to the rear rumble position. A small trunk was even included just behind the rear-mounted spare tires.

With prices starting at $5,500 Model Z Speedway failed to sell, with only 14 examples built. Only one example is known to exist, a 1930 Ace roadster, owned by a Cleveland, Ohio automobile collector named Jim Stecker.  

By March of 1931 the Jordan Motor Co. had suspended production and on May 8, 1931, it was granted voluntary receivership at the request of its vice-president, John McArdle.

Facto likely suspended production at the same time and was officially dissolved on December 20, 1932

© 2004 Mark Theobald - with special thanks to Karl S. Zahm 






James H. Lackey - The Jordan Automobile

Edward S. Jordan - The Inside Story of Adam and Eve (pub 1945)

Tim Howley - Ned Jordan, Jordan Cars; The spell he wove - Automobile Quarterly Vol. 13, No.2

Jordan Model Z Speedway Ace - Autoweek, August 24 1998 issue

Angelo Van Bogart - Long Hidden Jordan Speedway Ace Revealed, Old Cars Weekly, March 17, 2008 issue

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

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