When high tech meets ol' school:

PopTops' Scott Gordon

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His First Model A in Vegas.

 A Las Vegas native, James Prescott Gordon loved hot Fords right out of high school. In the early 60s he hopped up a 3-window Coupe with money from his florest delivery job. He often delivered elaborate floral arrangements from love-struck guys to show girls backstage, many in various stages of undress. Not bad for a teenager.

Scott with is baby, the 3-window Coupe.

 Fresh out of Long Beach State College with a BS in Chemical Engineering, Jim Gordon went to work for Bill Lear in 1964. The company’s core business was high speed, high temperature, self lubricating bearings for defense and industry. Orange County’s aerospace industry boomed, the company prospered, and for 21 years Scott Gordon was Lear’s go-to guy for emerging technologies.

James "Scott" Gordon, circa 1966, ready to conquer the scientific world.

Corporate Years

Scott in 1966.

15th anniversary at Lear.

And when he retired they were gonn'a give him a gold watch. Scott got this nifty trophy for his 15th Anniversary with Lear in 1979. But you can't keep an itchy engineer for ever.

 When Scott left LearSiegler in 1987 his resume bulged with expertise in metal finishing, NC machining, composite lay-up, carbon pre-preg fabrication, product development, and management. Through the 90s he polished those skills with other high tech companies around SoCal.

 In 1983 Scott began developing state of the art bicycle components for the U.S. Olympic Team. And with his partner, Don Guichard, they founded AeroSports to take the technology to market.

 Aerosports was unique in bringing cutting edge materials and design to a tradition-bound sport. Though the French aviation industry rolled out a few carbon bicycle frames in the early 80s, their effort only replaced round steel tubes with round carbon ones. A few companies were experimenting with composite wheels, but the results were heavy and generally ugly. AeroSports combined eliptically bladed spokes with carbon rims, and introduced an all composite lenticular disk wheel of Kevlar and carbon which revolutionized aerodynamic component design.

 Later, at GT Bicycles, Scott perfected economicly viable production of carbon thermoplastic monocoque frames, rugged and incredibly light for racing mountain bikes.

Here's Scott stoking for his son, James, as the pair win Gold at the Southern California Regional Finals in 1987. James went on to the Olympics and Scott joined the OIC coaching staff in Colorado Springs.

Bicycle Years

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Regional track win, Tandem Gold.

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 All the while he nurtured his love of hot rods and high performance cars. See, in his youth, Scott was a Vegas wild child. Growing up in Bugsey Segalís town in the 50s and 60s he hung with the bad boys, raced cars in the desert, and generally ran amuck with the best of íem. Few in the squeaky clean world of Orange County saw this side of Scott.

 Looking his professional best in the 90s, Scott harbored hot rod ambitions.

 Until he moved to Hesperia in the high desert east of L.A. It was there-- while commuting 100 miles back to Orange County for his job at Flex Foot, where he designed and manufactured prosthetic feet for below-the-knee amputees-- that Scott built his first hot rod in 40 years. And he loved it.

And now, the Hot Rod Years

Scott's highboy.

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 Scott used carbon fiber to lay up the body. Built on an original '32 frame, his car weighs 1,600 lbs. wet.

 Flex Foot was purchased by the Islandic company, Ossur, in 2001, and Scott was among a handful of employees selected to move to that company's home office in Reykjavik. He took his severance and partnered in a start-up prosthetic company, Freedom USA, with new designs and patents.

 Still, the 200 mile a day commute was wearing him down, and he realized he could follow his hot rod muse into business just as he had with cycling. He decided making less money and loving your work was more important than making more money and hating life, and Scott Gordon Designs was born.

And thus we present this picture of a happy man.

Scott Gordon today.


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