In the wake of Dick Jordan’s passing, we went into the Sprint Car & Midget archives to revisit this story on Jordan and his incredible collection of racing memorabilia. In honor of D.J., this story is free for everyone to read.
Motorsports museums and halls of fame are sprinkled across the nation, addressing different types of auto racing and their histories.
But, one fine collection of racing memorabilia actually exists in the basement of a private owner – the collector/statistician who purchases much of the memorabilia on display.
His name is Dick Jordon, known to many of his friends as DJ, and the exhibit is located in a housing community in suburban Indianapolis. Since his display is not open to the public, there are no signs that would indicate the treasures contained in this house. The focus of this fascinating display is the history of open-wheel racing, including midgets, sprint cars, Champ cars, and Indy cars. The commonality of these types of racing is that they were all, at one time or another, under the sanction of the United States Auto Club (USAC).
Dick Jordan is celebrating his 50th anniversary at USAC, where he holds the title of Vice President of News and Communications. And, as such, it is sometimes difficult to determine where the occupation ends and the hobby begins.
The organization of this vast vault of racing data is immaculate. For example, his collection of track and event programs is kept in perfect order. And, Dick will tell you that it really digs at him when he knows one is missing. Of his vast collection of race programs, he’s most proud of his copy of the program from the first Indy 500 in 1911.
Being that keeping statistics has been such an important part of Jordan’s work at USAC, it’s not surprising that statistics also play a big role in his basement collection. There are an amazing number of collections that can provide older data. From scrapbooks to the aforementioned programs, to historical paperwork, and on and on. One piece of interesting paperwork provides the details of the transition of racing as the AAA was transferred to USAC starting with the 1956 season.