Jerry Gordon at Road America, Wisconsin
Jerry was an internationally recognized hairdresser to the stars for 60 years, but was equally proud to call himself an amateur race car driver and rabid car aficionado.
If you live in Chicago, you probably already know that Jerry Gordon passed away, at home, Thanksgiving eve last year.
When I hear of someone’s passing, I invariably wonder the cause of death (COPD), but personally knowing Jerry so long, I think of the effect he had on me, rather than the cause.
Jerry and I had hundreds of conversations about cars over the time I knew him, and on a number of occasions, I rode shotgun at Road America, laughing about taking the Kink flat in touring or going one last lap just to piss off the corner workers.
Jerry took classes from top schools around the world, including Skip Barber, Bondurant and Paul Ricard.
He raced sport cars at numerous tracks around the United Sates, even at LeMans, ending his racing career two years ago with a first place finish at Road America in a Crusader.
One of my favorite racing quotes from him was, “people always think you need to drive fast to win, but what you really need to do is learn to win at the slowest possible speed”.
Passionate about Ferraris, Jerry owned six Ferraris over his lifetime, including a 246 Dino. His last Ferrari was a yellow 360 Modena F1, with factory sunroof, of which only 22 were made.
In talking with his good wife, Karen, she’s keeping the Ferrari, and is going to drive it and enjoy it the way Jerry did. When you see their Giallo Ferrari 360 somewhere, make sure to say hi to Karen and maybe share a story about how you knew Jerry.
Jerry, your effect on me was to do as you did and never miss a drop of life! Cheers to you, buddy…