1953 Hudson Cars Fact Sheet

1953 Hudson Facts, Figures, and Specifications

1953 Hudson Facts Specifications Information Data

For 1953, the senior Hudson line was virtually unchanged, due the investment in the new small car, the Hudson Jet. This was a critical tipping point for Hudson.



1953 – Hudson Tries to Go Small

Hudson’s market share was shrinking. In an ill-conceived attempt to grow sales, Hudson doubles down on an all-new car – in a market that they don’t understand . This was at the expense of the full-size car that is the most popular with their buyers. The huge investment backfired.

General Year Information – 1953 Hudson Facts

A downsized Hudson arrived this year, called the Hudson Jet. It had styling that would be mimicked by the rest of the line in 1954. The Pacemaker was gone, replaced by a new, lower level Wasp. The upper level Wasp was now called the “Super Wasp,” and it moved into the former Commodore 6 slot that was also dropped. The Hornet now supplanted the Commodore 8 completely – retiring that nameplate along with the 20-year (from 1932 until 1952) old and out-dated L-Head 8-cylinder power plant.

The consolidation of lines and the removal of the Commodore Six and Eight allowed for less tooling in the Wasp-Hornet lines and should have saved money. The problem was that production kept dropping even though the cars were considered popular. Dated styling and the lack of an OHV V-8 were killing sales.

At the root of the lower production was Hudson’s lack of investment dollars when that trend to V-8s and almost annual and more modern styling was pulling the public toward  the Big Three. Inexplicably, Hudson was misreading their audience and thinking that these changes weren’t needed. Sending the Jet to salesrooms where Hudson buyers wanted a more modern Hornet was a recipe  for disaster. It was no surprise that with the introduction of the Jet, total production dropped.  Hudson’s racing victories had buyers wanting a slick Hornet, not a economy-minded Jet.

So the Jet, smaller in size with only a 105.0″ wheelbase, fully 19″ less than the Hornet and 14.0″ less than the Wasp arrived to a dull thud. Worse, it also had less standard features and a more Spartan interior. Who was the audience? No one knew.

Historical Footnotes

The 1953 Hudson line was introduced in November 1952. Rumors of an impending merger between Hudson and another independent manufacturer began circulating in Detroit.


1953 Hudson Factoids

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The Hudson Jet was unveiled in December 1952. It was available in either Standard or Super-Jet trim levels, in 2- and 4-door sedan styles. Unlike the fastback “step-down” bodied Hudson full-size cars, the Jet was designed like other vehicles. See the 1953 Hudson Jet Brochure HERE.

The Hornet “7X” race engine was a far cry from a production Twin-H Power Hornet I-6. Factory blueprinted and prepared as a crate engine – and supported by on-going upgrades, the 7X powerplant made as much as 220 HP and close to 300 lbs. ft. of torque. See the article on the 7X powerplant HERE.

1953 Hudson Facts – Models Offered

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HUDSON JET SERIES 1C SIX and SUPER JET SERIES 2C SIX. The new “Jet” was marked by slab sided styling, with then conventional, for 1953, lines. As such for 1953, the Jet looked different from other Hudsons. A faux air scoop was placed at the front of the hood. The grille had a flat oval appearance with a chrome molding highlighting the upper opening. There was a base model, simply called the “Jet” though no script identified it as such. “Super Jet” in script appeared on the fenders of the upper level model.

Standard equipment on the base model included: Hudson’s “Teleflash” idiot lights, along with water temperature and gasoline gauges; “Twin-Control” vacuum wipers; defroster vents; rotary door latches; theft-proof locks; push button door handles; lock buttons; dash ash tray; wing type front ventipanes; twin stop and tail lamps; front parking lamps; manual dome light; lockable parcel compartment; twin horns; twin visors; and a lighted ignition switch. Upholstery was done in Grey weave worsted striped red and brown.

Super Jets received the following additional standard equipment: oversize tires, wing type rear ventipanes, automatic dome lamps and front seat backs pockets, coat hooks, cigarette lighter, robe hanger and ash tray. Super Jets could be had in two-tone Blue or Green woven wool upholstery, with Durafab leather grain trim.

HUDSON WASP SIX – SERIES 4C. Both Wasp models were now the only mid-size Hudson with the 119.0″ wheelbase. All Wasps still offered the Company’s traditional step-down interior. For the most part, the 4C series Wasp was a badge-engineered Pacemaker.

Appearance changes included deletion of the twin-strut grille guard and the addition of a faux air scoop on the hood. Upholstery was in Tan weave cord with red and brown stripes and Durafab trim. This base Wasp was powered by the former Pacemaker 232 CID L-head six. Notable standard equipment included a plain steering wheel, plain top fenders and small hub caps.


HUDSON SUPER WASP – SERIES 5C. The new “Super Wasp” models were, for intents and purposes, the 1952 Wasp. Super Wasps were powered by the 262 CID L-head six. The Twin H-Power option was also available on the Super Wasp.

The Super Wasps were upholstered in new Nylon combinations with special check weave and Durafab trim in two-tone Green was the standard interior with the six solid exterior colors and twelve two-tone combinations. Two-tone Blue was standard with four different solids and nine two-tones. Both upholstery choices switched with opposite exterior colors at no extra cost. Leather upholstery was also a no cost option on the Super Wasp convertible.

HUDSON HORNET SIX – SERIES 7C. The 1953 Hudson Hornet was similar to the previous year’s model, except that the strut bar grille look was eliminated and the air scoop hood was added. Since the Commodore 8 was gone, the Hornet now occupied the top-of-the-line Hudson position.

Hornets had the equipment used on Wasps as standard, plus front rectangular bumper guards, front outer bumper guards, electric clock, large hub caps, front and rear foam seat cushions, and hydraulic window regulators for convertibles. The rocket-ship shaped Hornet front fender and trunk ornaments returned. Special decorator check weave Nylon upholstery was featured in the same colors as Wasp interiors, and a slim three spoke steering wheel with specially positioned horn button was fitted.

The H-145 six-cylinder engine, with the “Power Dome” aluminum cylinder head was standard, with the Twin H-Power I-6 as optional.

1953 Hudson Facts – Engines

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Jet and Super Jet Standard Six: Inline L-head six-cylinder. Chrome alloy block. Displacement: 202 CID. Bore am stroke: 3.00″ x 4.75″ inches. Compression ratio: 7.5:1. Horsepower: 104 @ 4000 RPM (106 @ 4000 RPM with optional 8:1 cylinder head). Torque: 158 @ 1400 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter one-barrel type: Models WA1-2009S or SA.

Jet and Super Jet “Twin H-Power” Six: Inline L-head six-cylinder. Chrome alloy block. Displacement: 202 CID. Bore am stroke: 3.00″ x 4.75″ inches. Compression ratio: 8.0:1. Horsepower: 114 @ 4000 RPM. Torque: 160 @ 1400 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetors: Two Carter one-barrel type WA-I model 2013-S. (Twin H-Power became a factory-installed production option for 1953 Jets early in the 1953 production run).

Wasp Six: 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: 112 @ 4000 RPM. Torque: 175 @ 1600 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter one-barrel type WA-1 model 749S.

Super Wasp Six: 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: 127 @ 4000 RPM. Torque: 200 @ 1600 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: 2-barrel WGD Type Model 776S.

Super Wasp “Twin H-Power” Six: 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: 140 @ 4000 RPM. Torque: 200 @ 1600 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Two Carter one-barrel type WA-1 model 990S.

Hornet “H-Power Six”: Inline L-head six-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.

Hornet Twin H-Power Series Six: 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 968S.

1953 Hudson Facts – Chassis Features

    • Wheelbase: Jet 105″, Wasp 119″, Hornet 124″.
    • Overall length: Jet 180.69″, Wasp 201.50″, Super Wasp 202.50″, Hornet 208.50″.
    • Front tread: Jet 54.00″, All Others 58.50″.
    • Rear tread:  Jet 52.00″, All Others 55.50″.
    • Overall width: Jet: 73.50″ All Others: 77.656″.
    • Tires: Jet 5.90 x 15 Super Jet 6.40 x 15 Hornet Convertible 7.60 x 15 All Others 7.10 x 15.

1953 Hudson Facts – Significant Options

    • Backup lights, Super Jet ($18); Wasps and Hornet ($24).
    • Cigar lighter ($4).
    • Custom wheel discs Jets and Wasp ($20); Super Wasp and Hornet ($18).
    • Deluxe steering wheel ($20).
    • Direction indicator, Jets ($21); Wasps ($24); Hornet ($24).
    • Dura-fab trim ($53).
    • Eight-tube push button radio ($100).
    • Electric clock, Jets ($22); Wasps ($19).
    • Exhaust deflector ($2).
    • Front fender top ornaments ($7).
    • Front foam seat cushions, Jets ($13); Wasp ($14).
    • Front outer bumper guards ($15).
    • Front rectangular bumper guard ($24).
    • Glare-proof mirror ($5).
    • Hand-buffed genuine leather trim ($132-146 per body style). NOTE: leather trim not available on base Jet. Blue combinations not available on base Wasps.
    • Heavy-duty shock absorbers ($14).
    • Hydraulic window regulators for Super Wasp convertible ($67).
    • Large hub caps ($11).
    • Large plastic rear window for convertible ($10).
    • Orlon convertible top ($134).
    • Outside rear view mirror, Jets ($5); others ($6).
    • Outside sun visor with traffic light viewer ($33).
    • Rear foam seat cushions (same price per model).
    • Rear seat arm rests, Jet and Wasp two-door sedan ($4).
    • Rear wheel covers, (fender skirts) ($15).
    • Remote control Weather Control heater, Jets ($73); others ($74).
    • Six-tube manual radio ($82).
    • Solex glass with sunshade windshield ($42).
    • Special solid paint colors on Jets ($27); other models ($28).
    • Tire options for Jets and Super Jets included whitewalls, six-ply and Super Jet size on Jet at exchange prices from $6 to $50.
    • Tire options on other Hornets, Wasps and Super Wasps included 7.60 x 15 size, white sidewalls and special order six-ply choices at exchange prices from $22 to $72.
    • Tire options on the Hornet convertible included whitewalls at $41 exchange price, and six-ply black walls at $54 exchange price.
    • Two-tone paint combinations on Super Jet only ($27); on Super Wasp or Hornet only ($31). NOTE: Special and two-tone colors were not available on base Jet or base Wasp.
    • Wheel trim rings ($15).
    • Window and wing vent shades, except convertible and Hollywood hardtop ($18).
    • Windshield washer ($11).

1953 Hudson Facts – Body Paint Color Mix Codes

Click on the Paint Code Name to See the Mix Codes for the appropriate color:

1953 Hudson           

  K-5 Ebony Black
  B-96 Broadway Blue
  H-27 Texas Tan
  J-97 Southern Blue
  M-64 Toro Red
  G-128 Pearl Gray
  N-135 Honey Cream
  P-136 Blue Grass Green
  Q-133 Surf Green
  S-132 Meadow Green
  CC-134 Robins Egg Green
  RR-137 Seal Gray


1953 Hudson Facts – Hudson in Racing

A special “7-X” engine package was released for “severe usage”, but was really about high-performance stock car racing. This power plant was a crate engine that was not factory installed and could only be ordered by serious racer, over the counter. Horsepower ratings were never released as exact numbers because each engine was hand assembled (“blueprinted”) and continuously modified based on previous race results. It was generally agreed that 210-220HP was about right.

The 7-X package helped Hudsons capture 22 (out of 37) major NASCAR races, with driver Herb Thomas winning championship honors for the season. In AAA competition 13 (out of 16) races went to Hudson. In all, the Hornets took checkered flags in 35 of 53 contests.

Click HERE to learn more about Hudson’s stock car victories.

Click HERE to learn about the “7X” race engine.

1953 Hudson Facts – Powertrain

  • Standard Transmission Ratios – Full Size:
    • 3-Speed Overdrive Ratios 1st: 2.571:1, 2nd 1.68:1, 3rd 1.0:1, Overdrive 0.77:1, Reverse 3.489:1
    • 3-Speed Transmission 1st: 2.571:1, 2nd 1.68:1, 3rd 1.0:1, Reverse 3.489:1
  • Standard Transmission Ratios – Hudson Jet:
    • 3-Speed Overdrive Ratios 1st: 2.605:1, 2nd 1.630:1, 3rd 1.0:1, Overdrive 0.70:1, Reverse 3.536:1
    • 3-Speed Transmission 1st: 2.605:1, 2nd 1.630:1, 3rd 1.0:1, Reverse 3.536:1
  • Automatic Transmissions All:
    • GM Hydra-Matic Transmission (Commodore and Hornet): 1st: 3.8195:1, 2nd 2.634:1, 3rd 1.45:1, Fourth 1.0:1, Reverse, 4.3045:1
  • Rear Axle Ratios – Full Size:
    • Overdrive Transmission: 4.55:1
    • 3-Speed Transmission” 4.09:1
    • Automatic Transmission: 3.07:1
  • Rear Axle Ratios – Hudson Jet:
    • Overdrive Transmission: 4.27:1
    • 3-Speed Transmission” 4.10:1
    • Automatic Transmission: 3.54:1

1953 Hudson Facts – Powertrain Options

  • Oil bath air cleaner ($8).
  • Two oil bath air cleaners with ‘Twin-H’ power package ($16).
  • Aluminum cylinder head, Wasps ($14); Jets ($12).
  • Twin H-Power setup for the Jet ($50)
  • Special 127 horsepower “Super Wasp Six” for Wasp ($37).
  • Hydra-Matic Drive ($176).
  • Oil filter ($14).
  • Overdrive for the Jet ($102); for Full Size ($111).
  • Combination fuel and vacuum pump for base Wasp ($12); for Jet/Super Jet ($11).
  • Twin oil bath air cleaners mandatory on Wasp 4C with “Twin-H Power” ($85.60).
  • Available rear axles for Full Size cars included 4.09:1, 4.10:1 4.55:1, 4.27:1, 3.54:1, 3.31:1 and 3.07:1 gear ratios. Specific applications of axle ratios varied with models and transmissions, but optional ratios were no extra cost.

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