1952 Hudson Cars Fact Sheet
1952 Hudson Facts, Figures, and Specifications
A new Hudson series, the “Wasp” was introduced in 1952. It was built on the Pacemaker Chassis and replaced the Super line. The intention was to make this Series a junior Hornet.
1952 Hudson – Running with the Success of 1951
The 1952 Hudson line was introduced January 1952, rather than September 1951, due to Korean War restrictions. Regardless, Hudson was determined to capitalize on the 1951 sales success by revamping names and juggling the lineup, but little else.
General Year Information – 1952 Hudson
The Korean War recession had bolstered sales of less expensive, more fuel-efficient cars and the Pacemaker helped keep Hudson’s head above water. Thus, in May 1952 Hudson announced that it was beginning to tool-up for production of a new compact-sized model for its 1953 line. This car would become the Hudson Jet.
A new Series, the “Wasp”, was introduced in 1952, built on the Pacemaker chassis and replacing the Super line. In styling, the Wasp, like the Commodore, and Hornet, featured “wrap-around” parking lamps in the front outer edge of the grille, whereas the Pacemaker did not. The side trim on the Wasp, Hornet and the Commodore now followed the body cut line rather than being some distance below it. All Hudsons went from vertical tail lights to horizontal units whose bezels wrapped slightly around the fenders.
Hudson decided that the Commodore Six and Eight should be a distinct line, rather than appearing to be merely an engine choice over the Hornet. Thus, the Commodore Six had fewer standard features than the Eight, with the idea that this would add a level of exclusivity to the Commodore Eight line. The entire 1952 Commodore line featured new “Hudson-Aire” identification and appointments to make them appear more upscale from the Hornet, which it was too similar to – except for the engine choice.
Because of the Korean War limitations, the shortened model year sales of 70,000 cars still moved the company’s sales rank up one notch to 14th position from 15th. See attached chart for production numbers.
1952 Hudson Factoids
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The “Wasp” series was introduced in 1952, built on the Pacemaker chassis replacing the Super line. In styling, the Wasp featured “wrap-around” parking lamps in the front outer edge of the grille, whereas the Pacemaker did not. 21,876 Hudson wasps were produced in 1952. See the 1952 Hudson Brochure HERE.
“Twin H-Power”became available mid-year with dual single-barrel carburetors atop a dual-intake manifold, and power rose to 170 HP. The hood featured a functional scoop that ducts cold air to the carburetors. The engine could be tuned to produce 210 HP when equipped with the “7-X” modifications. See the 1952 Hudson Brochure HERE.
1952 Hudson Facts – Models Offered
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PACEMAKER CUSTOM SIX – SERIES 4B. Reacting to the recession, the Pacemaker was moved down in pricing for 1952 and was trimmed even less than 1951. The twin-strut grille arrangement was deleted and fender skirts were optional. The “spear tips” had a staggered look and a boomerang shaped fin became the hood ornament. The rear fascia was spartan, with small oval tail lamp lenses, and only outer bumper guards.
Standard equipment included: Gray special-weave cord upholstery with red and brown stripes; ribbed rubber floor mats; dark brown painted dash; two-spoke, light tan steering wheel; friction, not cranked, front ventipanes; two assist straps in the sedans–one in the club coupe; a pop-out cigarette lighter; dash and seat back ash trays; windshield and window reveal moldings; twin horns; arm rests at front seat ends-plus at rear seat ends on sedan and club coupe; seat-back pockets; and woven trunk mat.
WASP SIX – SERIES 5B. The new replacement for the Super, the Wasp Six, was built on the Pacemaker platform, though the overall length of the Wasp was longer by 1″, due to the fitment of center rear bumper guards. In terms of market penetration, the Wasp was intended to replace the Super. In terms of market positioning, it was to the Pacemaker what the Hornet was to the Commodore Eight; a slightly more luxurious and more powerful version of the lower priced model.
Standard 1952 Wasp equipment included: Tan special-weave cord upholstery with red and brown stripes; rear compartment carpeting; dark brown leather-grain dash; door courtesy lamps; windup clock; three-spoke steering wheel with half-circle horn ring; arm rests at seat ends, except convertible and Brougham; robe hanger and hand grips on front seat back; friction, not cranked, front ventipanes; windshield and window reveal moldings; rear center guard with license lamp; woven fabric trunk mat; fender skirts; pop-out lighter; dash ash tray and front seat back type in sedans; distinctive Hudson triangle hood ornament; front fender-top ornaments; seat back pockets; side body rub-rail moldings; and twin-strut front grille guard.
COMMODORE SIX – SERIES 6B. The “Hudson-Aire” trim found on the Six included: double rub-rail moldings that ran along the body contour line from the front fenders to the rear fenders, with a downward sweep towards the back bumper; twin-strut grille and arrangement; front and rear center bumper guards; front fender nameplates; rocker sill beauty panels; large DeLuxe hub caps; and taillights styled to form a continuous horizontal trim line. The front fender ‘spear tips’ on Sixes were decorated with a number “6.” Also fitted was the Hudson triangle hood ornament and front fender top ornaments.
Standard equipment on Commodore Six was markedly different than on Eights. It included: six-tone Bedford cord upholstery with tan and brown stripes; leather-grain Durafab trim; rear-compartment carpets; dark brown leather-grain dash; windup clock; three-spoke, half-ring steering wheel; arm rests at ends of all seats, except on the convertible and Brougham; center rear-seat arm rest in sedan, club coupe and Hollywood; pop-out lighter; ash trays at seat ends; dash ash tray. Additional features included: friction, not cranked, front ventipanes; leather-grain window garnish moldings; reveal moldings; woven fabric trunk mat; fender skirts; seat back pockets; front dome lamp–two side lamps in Hollywood hardtop; rear quarter dome lamps in sedan, club coupe and Hollywood; robe hanger and hand grips on seat back.
HUDSON HORNET SIX – SERIES 7B. The 1952 Hornet was once again based on the Commodore Eight – except it was powered by the awesome, high compression 308 CID Six, now available with the dual carb, “Twin-H Power” as a factory installed option.
Special features for the Hornet included: dark Blue or Brown leather-grain window garnish moldings; Hornet “Flying-H” logos on the side of front fenders and rear deck; gold and chrome hood ornament. “Hornet” identifiers were found on front door valance panels. All other interior trim and specifications like the Commodore Eight.
COMMODORE EIGHT – SERIES 8B. As on the Commodore Six, the Eight’s Hudson-Aire trim also included: double rub-rail moldings that ran along the body contour line, from the front fenders to the rear fenders, with a downward sweep towards the back bumper; twin-strut grille and arrangement; front and rear center bumper guards; front fender nameplates; rocker sill beauty panels, as in the Six; and large DeLuxe hub caps and taillights styled to form a continuous horizontal trim line. The front fender ‘spear tips’ on Eights were decorated with a number “8”.
The Commodore Eight had the following upgraded standard equipment from the Commodore Six: Nylon three-dimensional weave upholstery in Tan-Brown with gold stripes or Blue-Gray with blue stripes; foam rubber seat cushions; front and rear carpets; cord type, Durafab covered robe hangers in all models; instrument lighting dimmer switch; DeLuxe steering wheel; electric clock; crank type front ventipanes; printed jute trunk mat; and, of course, the inline eight-cylinder motor.
Of note was that the Commodore models weighed 30 pounds more than Hornets, due to the higher weight of the venerable 8-cylinder L-head engine, now noted for smoothness rather than for performance.
1952 Hudson Facts – Engines
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- Pacemaker 232 CID I-6
- Super/Commodore 262 CID I-6
- Hornet 308 CID I-6
- Hornet Twin H-Power 308 CID I-6
- Commodore 254 CID I-8
Inline L-head six-cylinder. Chrome alloy block. Displacement: 232 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.5625″ x 3.875″. Compression ratio: 6.7:1. Horsepower: 123 @ 4000 RPM. Torque: 175 @ 1600 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter one-barrel WA-1 type Model 749S.
Inline L-head six-cylinder. Chrome alloy block. Displacement: 262 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.5625″ x 4.375″. Compression ratio: 6.7:1. Horsepower: 123 @ 4000 RPM. Torque: 195 @ 1600 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: 2-barrel WGD Type Model 776S with L-shaped air horns.
Inline L-head -cylinder. Chrome alloy block. Displacement: 308 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.8125″ x 4.5 inches. Compression ratio: 7.2:1. Horsepower: 145 @ 3800 RPM. Torque: 257 @ 1800 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter two-barrel type WGD model 776S.
Inline L-head -cylinder. Chrome alloy block. Displacement: 308 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.8125″ x 4.5 inches. Compression ratio: 7.2:1. Horsepower: 160 @ 3800 RPM. Torque: 260 @ 1800 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetors: Two Carter one-barrel type WA-1 model 749S.
NOTE: The “7X” race engine began to be available in this year – learn about it HERE.
Commodore Series Eight: L-head eight-cylinder. Chrome alloy block. Displacement: 254 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.00″ x 4.50″ inches. Compression ratio: 6.5:1. Horsepower: 128 @ 4200 RPM. Torque: 198 @ 1600 RPM. Five main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter 2-barrel WGD Type Model 773S with L-shaped air horns.
1952 Hudson Facts – Chassis Features
- Wheelbase: Pacemaker and Wasp 119″, Commodore and Hornet 124″.
- Overall length: Pacemaker 201.50″ Wasp 202.50″ Commodore and Hornet 208.50″.
- Front tread: All 58.50″.
- Rear tread: All 55.50″.
- Overall width: Pacemaker/Wasp: 77.063″ Commodore/Hornet: 77.656″.
- Tires: Commodore and Hornet Convertible 7.60 x 15. All Others 7.10 x 15. The 7.60 x 15 available as an option on all others.
1952 Hudson Facts – Significant Options
- Optional on Pacemaker and Wasp –
- Center bumper guards.
- Fender skirts.
- Five solid colors standard, six special hues optional at extra cost.
- Front fender ornaments.
- Large hub caps (Pacemaker and Wasp).
- Windup clock.
- Standard on Commodore Eight and Hornet – Optional on Wasp or Commodore Six
- Electric clock.
- Hydraulic window lifts in Wasp convertible
- Optional All Series –
- External windshield sun visor.
- Oversize tires.
- Paint: Convertibles available in solid colors only.
- Paint: Wasp, Commodore, and Hornet were available in seven solid colors or fifteen two-tone combinations, plus four solid colors that were optional at extra cost. See “Additional Files – Two Tone Color Combinations” at the last page of this document for a list of the available combinations by paint code.
- Plastic rear window for convertible.
- Radio antenna, roof mount type.
- Side window sun shields.
- Wheel trim rings.
1952 Hudson Facts – Body Paint Color Codes
Click on the Paint Code Name to See the Mix Codes for the appropriate color:
|P Symphony Blue Green Dark|
|K-5 Ebony Black|
|B-96 Broadway Blue|
|G-95 Jupiter Gray|
|H-27 Texas Tan|
|J-97 Southern Blue|
|M-64 Toro Red|
|N-92 Boston Ivory|
|P-63 Naples Green|
|S-62 Jefferson Green|
|CC-93 Symphony Blue Green Light|
|Q-115 Gulf Green|
|RR-72 French Gray|
1952 Hudson Facts – Hudson in Racing
Hudson Hornet was stunning the racing public once again, by winning 27 NASCAR races out of a total 34 Grand National events held this year. Hudson drivers in NASCAR included Herb Thomas and Tim Flock.
Marshall Teague drove Hudsons in AAA competition, after taking the 1952 NASCAR Daytona stock car race in a Hornet. The car was torn down after the race and proved to be 100 percent stock. In AAA racing, Teague took 14 checkered flags, while other Hudson drivers captured a total of five. For the year, the Hornets had captured 40 wins in 48 major stock car races – quite a feat!
Click HERE to learn more about Hudson’s stock car victories.
Click HERE to learn about the “7X” race engine.
1952 Hudson Facts – Powertrain
- Standard Transmission Ratios:
- 3-Speed Manual Overdrive Transmission 1st: 2.571:1, 2nd 1.68:1, 3rd 1.0:1, Overdrive 0.70:1, Reverse 3.489:1
- 3-Speed Manual 1st: 2.571:1, 2nd 1.68:1, 3rd 1.0:1, Reverse 3.489:1
- Automatic Transmission Ratios:
- GM Hydra-Matic Transmission: 1st: 3.8195:1, 2nd 2.634:1, 3rd 1.45:1, Fourth 1.0:1, Reverse, 4.3045:1
- Rear Axle Ratios:
- All Models: 4.55:1, 4.09:1, and 3.07:1
1952 Hudson Facts – Performance and Powertrain Options
- Overdrive transmission ($111).
- Hydra-Matic Drive ($158).
- High compression engine option for the Pacemaker Six utilizing the aluminum 7.2:1 compression cylinder head.
- Super High-output H-127″ option for the Wasp/Commodore Six using the same optional head,
- “High-output Super-Eight” engine with a “Power Dome” cylinder head.
- The “Miracle H-Power” Hornet engine was available with either the 7.2:1 aluminum cylinder head or a 7.2:1 iron alloy head, and also a 6.7:1 iron alloy cylinder head.
- The dual-carburetor, dual manifold induction system was a factory installed option for the Hornet engine called the “Twin-H Power” package.
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