The designer of the first Jordan F1 car was Ulsterman Gary Anderson. He went on to become technical director at Stewart Grand Prix and Jaguar before beginning a career in broadcasting. Gary is a big bloke. Like Raymond Chandler’s Moose Malloy, he’s “not more than six feet five inches tall and not wider than a beer truck” and it was his size and strength which landed him his first job in F1 on the basis that he could lift a Cosworth DFV engine on his own.
From Coleraine, Anderson was fascinated by motor racing in his teens and was involved in some less-than-legal road races before he decided to leave troubled Northern Ireland to become a racing driver in England. It didn’t work out as planned and so Gary found work as a mechanic with Motor Racing Stables at Brands Hatch, before moving to Brabham to build Formula 3 cars. As a result his heavy-lifting skills were noticed and he became an F1 mechanic.
He learned about F1 design by working with Gordon Murray before moving on to McLaren and then set up his own racing car company, called Anson. He ran a competitive European Formula 3 team, his bitter rival being one Eddie Jordan. Anderson moved in to engineer Roberto Moreno to the F3000 title and was then asked to design the Reynard Formula 3000 cars before being talked into joining Jordan by his loquacious ex-enemy. He designed the Jordan 191, one of the most beautiful F1 cars ever built.
Anderson was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Ulster in 2014 and today in involved with a company called Typhoon, manufacturing electric motor-assisted composite bicycles.