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The Automotive Chronicles

Monthly newsletter published by McLellan's Automotive History. Dedicated to literature collectors, restorers, museums, publishers, manufacturers and investors who collect and preserve automotive literature
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September 2007 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
The Innovative Hudson
By Robert McLellan
 

As this article was being written Dick Burdick and Wayne Bell of the Central Texas Museum of Automotive History took 4th Place, scoring 916 points, in a 1916 Hudson H Racer in the 2007 Great American Race. The June 30-July 14, 2007 4,000 mile cross-country race ran from Concord, North Carolina, to Anaheim, California.

 

Following the introduction of the revolutionary new Hudson Super Six in January of 1916 Ralph Mulford, a leading race car driver, recognized the unique advantages of the first fully balanced crankshaft and non-detonating, high compression cylinder head. In April of the same year Mulford set a new one mile-record of 102.5 mph at Daytona Beach, Florida, and, following this, a new 24-hour record at Sheepshead Bay, New York, where he averaged 75.8 mph. Next came a record set at Pikes Peak, a cross-country record and double-transcontinental record. Sales doubled!

A leader in design features and fine engineering concepts, Hudson, in its' first decade, created a car that made records that were unmatched even in the 1950s. In 1925 the company developed a six-cylinder, F-head engine of only 175 cubic inches which produced 125 h.p. at 5000 r.p.m. Later, when in production in a modified form after World War II, this engine was adopted by Rolls-Royce and Bentley. A close examination of prewar Hudson cars will reveal hundreds of differences in body and mechanical engineering and design from its' contemporaries n the road. Often subtle, owners noticed the differences and became repeat buyers. Less subtle was the use of powdered aluminum in paint in 1932 to achieve the metallic effect that later became very popular.

After building airplanes and landing craft engines during World War II, Hudson re-entered the auto market in 1946 with essentially 1942 models. Then, in 1948, Hudson did what it was best at - stepping out in front of the rest of the industry with an innovative design. Hudson was now a low, sleek, unibody car with a low center of gravity and exceptional handling. The "Step Down" design was due to the dropped floorpan. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, a peppy V-8 was not made available and the old six cylinder engine hurt sales. However, Tim Flock was the 1952 NASCAR champion in a Hornet and Marshall Teague won 12 of 13 AAA stock car events. In 1954 Hornets won 65 NASCAR events.

 
Hudson Sales Literature
 

1932

1936

1939
     

1940

1941

1942
     

1949

1951

1952
     

1953

1953

1954
     

Hudson merged with Nash in late 1954 and for 1955 Hudsons became restyled Nashs. On the upside, Hudson received a (Packard) V-8. Although it received a new (AMC) V-8 engine and numerous improvements in 1956, the last Hudson was the 1957 Hudson Hornet.

Sales Literature
 

1955

1955

1955
     

1956

1957

1957
     


Dealer Literature
 

1941/42

1948

1949

1952

1954
         

1949

1949

1949

1949

1949
         


Hudson Manuals
 

1950

1955

1956

1956

1957
         


 
Hudson Magazines
 
 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, September 2007
 
 
 
 
 
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