In 1990, Eddie Jordan told the world that he would enter the Formula One in 1991 as constructor. The Irishman was in the 1970s a competitive driver himself, and in the 1980s a successful constructor in the lower Formulae series. Eddie Jordan Racing would debut the Jordan 911 in November 1990, but weeks later it would became the Jordan 191.
Before I continue the story I have to say this, I’ve heard many people speaking badly about Eddie Jordan, as he only entered the Formula One to earn money, for the fame, and live his Rock ‘N Roll lifestyle. Well, if you look up his racing records you will see he was excellent driver. He ended up testing the McLaren in late 70s before he decided in 1979, besides a lack of funding, to continue in the motor sports as a constructor, Eddie Jordan Racing was born.
After Eddie Jordan Racing won the F3000 championship with Jean Alesi in 1989, Eddie insisted it was time to enter the Formula One with his own team. Without sponsoring, he looked for personal to form Jordan Grand Prix in 1990. That same year Gary Anderson started designing the Jordan 911. Before Anderson joined Eddie Jordan, he used to work for Reynard in the F3000.
The Jordan 911 was completed in early November 1990, the car was designed with simplicity. The result one of the best-looking cars, if not the best-looking car ever, appeared on the grid. Thank you Gary Anderson! However, originally the car designed so it would fit the Judd V8 engine. Though Eddie Jordan managed a deal with Cosworth so the car would made it’s very first debut on Silverstone with an atmospheric Ford HB V8 engine. Until 1990 the engine was only supplied to the Benetton F1 Team.
28th of November 1990 is the day that the Jordan 911 made it’s debut on the track. Veteran John Watson was honoured to do the shakedown with the car at Silverstone. Watson managed
to complete 20 laps without any problems or major issues. During the testing, the car was Carbon Black. The team was during the shakedown in far going talks with potential sponsors. While I believe, the deal with 7UP was already on paper during that time.
Why did Jordan choose to use the 911 number? 91 stood for the season and 1 stood for Formula One. Therefore, the car’s name would be in 1992 921 and so on. However the Jordan 911 would never made it’s debut on the tracks. The Jordan 191 would, what was going on?
After the Jordan 911 made its debut successfully at Silverstone in November, the team received an telegram from Stuttgart, Germany. The telegram came from Porsche, Porsche wasn’t happy that Jordan named the car Jordan 911. From Mark-Gallagher’s testimony about this period he said. Eddie Jordan went to Stuttgart to discuss the matter with the executives. He ordered the team to change the stickers on the car and so on, which didn’t cost more than 25 pounds. However, he told the executives that rebranding the team would cost thousands of pounds. For compensation, he could drive a brand new Porsche 911 for 18 months.
Of course, we should not forget that Jordan Grand Prix with the Jordan 191 was one of the best constructors that debuted in the Formula 1. In 1991 only the top 6 received points. Ending in the constructor championship as fifth overall with 13 points is a neat result!