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The Volvo Parts Specialists Since 1963 The Volvo Parts, Accessories & Performance Specialists Since 1963
The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

Richard Gordon 1942-2014

2015-02-10 - ipd staff

It is with a heavy heart that the ipd family sadly announces the passing of ipd founder Richard Gordon on Saturday October 18, 2014, at the age of 72 due to complications related to Parkinson's disease. Richard's influence in the Volvo community has impacted the lives of thousands of people, with his visionary approach to treating people the right way and paving the way for people’s passion to be explored. He was admired and loved by all those who had the great privilege of associating with him. His accomplishments were great but his impact on those lives he touched was even greater.

Born in 1942 and raised in the Portland, Oregon area, Richard graduated from Franklin High School in 1960 and that same year, married his high school sweetheart, Judy Herman. Since 1963, Richard was the formidable leader and owner of ipd. With his dedication to customer care and old fashioned values, Richard built not only a company but an environment that fostered love and respect. This career, which suited Richard's passion for Volvos and people, extended into a lifetime of racing Volvos. He passed this legacy onto his children, working side by side with his daughter who helped run ipd and to his son, Robert, who took up racing and continues to race in the car that made history by being the first Volvo to win a professional road race in the United States. To Scott, he entreated his "try anything once" adventurous spirit. Richard's other passions included advocating for small businesses. Richard was a strong political supporter of the core values that built this country. A man of action, Richard had a strong belief in being informed and getting involved. He remained a man dedicated to the pursuit of excellence and he encouraged excellence in others. A man of compassion and grace, Richard had a great sense of humor and brilliant wit with an infectious charm that could make the most distant of strangers smile.

Richard is survived by his devoted wife of 53 years, Judy; sons, Scott and Robert Gordon; daughter, Suzanne "Suzy" (Gordon) Hart of Portland; and granddaughter, Taylor Gordon.

For all of your positive contributions and on behalf of the countless lives you’ve affected, we say thank you to Richard Gordon. You will truly be missed.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial contributions be made to the Parkinson's Resources of Oregon in memory of Richard Gordon, 3975 Mercantile Drive, Suite 154, Lake Oswego, OR 97035. For more information, you can reach them at 1-800-426-6806.

Richard Gordon truly was a class act. He was indeed a man of high integrity and morals. I was personally blessed to know him for over 30 years in the auto parts business. I was also privileged to purchase IPD from him with my partners this year.

Richard was very motivated to help his employees become more well-read and educated. As a result, my partners and I will be setting up a Richard Gordon Education Scholarship fund for the children of our employees that are getting good grades, but need some financial assistance towards their college expenses.

I wish his family strength and love during these very difficult times.

Stuart Hockman - See more at:

Stuart Hockman - Current President of ipd

"Richard Gordon truly was a class act. He was indeed a man of high integrity and morals. I was personally blessed to know him for over 30 years in the auto parts business. I was also privileged to purchase IPD from him with my partners this year.

Richard was very motivated to help his employees become more well-read and educated. As a result, my partners and I will be setting up a Richard Gordon Education Scholarship fund for the children of our employees that are getting good grades, but need some financial assistance towards their college expenses.

I wish his family strength and love during these very difficult times."

After hearing of Richard Gordon passing, Bill Webb asked me (Art Banks) to send this article to ipd and VSA about Richard Gordon. This article appeared in Bill’s Volvo Western States Magazine March/April 2003 issue.


Dedicated To The Preservation and Restoration of Volvo Cars

Richard Gordon - Entrepreneur, Businessman, Race Driver, Visionary and All-Around Good Guy

Portland, Oregon-the location of 28th and Broadway won’t mean much to many, but in December 1963, this is where Richard Gordon, along with Garry Small, opened the doors of ipd. There were no companies specializing in Volvo performance parts or racing equipment.  Ipd started the ball rolling with sway bars, exhaust headers, springs, engines and other trick parts of their own design. The word soon spread as to the quality and durability of their products.    

Richard bought his first Volvo, a 122 in 1967. This led him into auto crossing and he started beating the pants off of cars with racing histories, such as Alfa, BMW and Datsun. In 1968, Richard picked up another 122 from one of their customers that Garry Small had built which was equipped with a hot ipd two liter big-bore engine.

Over the next two years Richard won many awards with this car, including auto cross and Rose Cup races. Between 1970 and 1978, Richard added 12 SCCA titles and two regional championships. Racing was a proving ground of technology for the company.

In 1974, the car was sold and a new 142E took its place. The ipd prepared 142E went on to win numerous races and set track records, including the first professional road race ever for Volvo in North America, the IMSA Champion Spark Plug Challenge at Laguna Seca in 1982.

Richard and his folks at ipd started to receive their share of well-deserved attention. Road and Track magazine wrote an extensive piece on ipd’s performance parts, which was also written up in Car and Driver.

Ipd employees are made up of honest, hard-working Volvo enthusiasts who offer their customers quality products, informative technical advise and how-to instructions.  We salute Richard and the entire ipd organization for 40 years of dedicated to the Volvo community.

Bill Webb Contributing VSA Editor

Richard Gordon

Richard needs no introduction to most of us. Personally, he, his daughter Suzie and son-in-law Scott Hart along with the company he founded were integral parts of every success that we had in our P1800 vintage racing effort. I valued our association greatly.  His name is synonymous with IPD. However equally important is the fact that he won the first professional race in the US driving a Volvo. I distinctly remember writing about the feat in these pages way back in the 80's. I likened it to the US amateur hockey team beating the professional Russian team in the Olympics. The assessment stands.  If fact since his passing, I have tried to recall a racing event that would be analogous. The only one that comes to mind is when Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti  drove 23 of the 24 Hours of LeMans by himself back in the 50s!

The recent success of the S60s in World Challenge pales in comparison to Richard's IMSA win at Laguna Seca. I have been around road racing for almost fifty years.  In that time I have tried to pay attention to all of the intricacies involved in the sport. My racing career started in 1974. One of the earliest observations was a political structure, hierarchy, or chrony network that existed ( and still does) in the sanctioning body. Long story short is that if you are "in" with the guys running the show your car might be allowed advantages or modifications or the rules may be adjusted for your benefit. I have experienced this first hand so it is not mere speculation.

Rest assured Richard did not benefit from any of this! He drove to victory a heavy, aerodynamic brick against much lighter , sleeker cars, some of which had six cylinder engines.

At the Ocean Race meet in Miami he told me of a time at a race when a competitor used a magnet on his fenders to see if they were fiberglass. I'm sure Richard, being the gentleman he was simply took it as a compliment. After all if you are going so fast that they are convinced that you are cheating then you must be doing just about everything right!

He won using the traits that made him a success in life. Determination, hard work, talent, intelligence and personality.

Godspeed, my friend,
Duane Matejka

We invite all those who feel inclined to share their thoughts and feelings for Richard to do so in the comment section of this blog or to submit your article to

Community Comments

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 1:08 PM - "CH"
As a new owner of a 1997 Volvo 850 I have to say there is nothing more fulfilling, nothing more joyful than repairing and maintaining your own vehicle. It is specialty companies like IPD that make it all happen. Whether your a bloke in the UK or a street kid in America you're out there on the weekend spending your cash and working on your ride. It's in our blood, it's what we live for. When I order a seal, a light, a performance part from IPD and it comes in the mail I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Richard made it all happen on such an elegant and grand scale with IPD. So the next time you turn over your Volvo give it some gas and rev it up for Richard Gordon just a little. His spirit is in the throttle, it's in pistons, it's in the very soul of a Volvo engine. Volvo for life, Volvo forever. IPD Pride. God Bless you Richard Gordon. The spirit of motoring lives on in your honor.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 10:22 PM - "QH"
We have owned a lot of Volvos over the last 25 years and the parts we ordered through IPD always made our Volvos special. More importantly, even safer. Thank you for the great service, and the company and products you built Richard Gordon. Our condolences to your family and employees.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 7:19 PM - "MG"
Raced with Richard in the 70's and 80's with our 140 both in SCCA and IMSA, he helped us in so many ways with his experience and Volvo equipment, eg close ratio tranny, fiberglass body parts, and many more. Hallet, Riverside, Portland, Kent WA. Laguna, Portland, Sears Point, and Westwood BC. Lots of fine memories. Judy, Mollie and I express our condolences. Wish you and your family our best best." Volvo for life".
Monday, November 10, 2014 10:31 PM - "RF"
I have bought parts from IPD since 1969. I met Richard in person at their old store in 1971. They always had the parts you needed. I think Richard invented the words CUSTOMER SERVICE. He was a super nice person who will surly be missed RIP
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 1:33 PM - "RW"
Quality in an organization comes from the top. IPD has always represented quality and fairness in my dealings with them. This undoubtedly came from Richard Gordon's business and personal philosophy. Gone before his time. Condolences to his family and many friends. Bob Wilson
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 1:42 PM - "JH"
Been an IPD regular since P2 Volvos, but have known Richard much longer. He ran our 1985 & 1986 Alcan 5000 Rally in a Rockwood motorhome with IPD suspension, and was delightful company plus a huge help to other teams be it mechanical help & advice, encouragement, or just hot microwave coffee & donuts on a cold afternoon. Business & family kept him from our later events, but Rich will long be remembered by the many he competed with. Here's an old related post, will make a better copy:
Thursday, November 20, 2014 3:15 PM - "A"
Richard Gordon and his creation, IPD, has greatly helped my life's work of servicing the Volvos of Portland. The customer service at IPD, that I'm sure Richard's friendly nature invoked, has been wonderful. When I first moved to Portland, in my 122, my good friend told me that I would be fine, as I would be near Gordon's IPD; I had no idea. Seventeen years later, I know that "idea," and can trust that Mr. Gordon's life's work, will better mine. My condolences go to his family. God bless.
Friday, November 21, 2014 7:43 PM - "ED"
After my Mom bought a new Honda at the end of 2013, she sold me her 96' Volvo 850GLT. At that time, it had 275,000 miles. As of right now (11/21/14), my 96 Volvo 850 GLT has 298,840 miles and still going strong. I happened upon IPD earlier this year while searching for Volvo parts. I intend on being an IPD customer for life, as this won't be my last Volvo. I appreciate what Richard Gordon and his family have built, in IPD, USA. Ya'll need to keep this company running for ever. IPD ROCKS!!! E. Dennis- Volvo Enthusiast and IPD customer.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 1:46 PM - "GJ"
I am sorry to read of the passing of Richard Gordon. Through the years I passed up a lot of parts stores to order my parts from IPD. I have been a client of IPD since Y2K, and have been real thankful for their parts availability and assistance. I wasn't real happy when I read that IPD was sold. Now I know why. Best wishes to all of you and especially to Richard's family. And Keep up the great work
Thursday, December 4, 2014 6:35 PM - "MB"
I have been purchasing from IPD since the early 80's, after my great-uncle gave me a'66 122. I don't know what I would have done without them. My son and I now own 7 Volvos in various conditions. His mother says it's a condition that needs help. We say it's a passion. Have enjoyed the yard sale whenever I have gone. Richard will be missed, but IPD will hopefully continue on.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 3:50 PM - "OB"
Although I live in Mendoza, Argentina and did not have the chance to meet Mr. Richard, I would like to thank him and his family for such a great company IPD was and is. Always on time supplying our family Volvo s spare parts needs. Our deepest sympathy from Argentina. Gabriel Baigorria

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IPD is the Volvo Parts, Accessories and Performance Specialists Since 1963.

We offer a wide variety of high quality replacement, maintenance and restoration car parts plus our own line of heavy duty and performance products. Our custom built online parts catalog features Genuine, OE, OES, OEM, Aftermarket and IPD branded replacement auto parts.

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