The Hudson Automobile Archive
What’s in the Hudson Archive
The Hudson Archive contains a compendium of model information, illustrations, specifications and factoids. Significant in the archive will be the increasing development of Car Models Fact Sheets for each model and year – a one-stop shop of all the critical information on that brand’s year and model. The Car Models Fact Sheets are a single page for each model where we gather all the information on that vehicle that is available. It will not be a static page, but rather a living document that we will add to as information comes to light.
Please click the Tabs below and select any available model and year to see what we have collected to date.
- About Hudson Fact Sheets
- 1946 - 1950 Hudson Fact Sheets
- 1951 - 1955 Hudson Fact Sheets
- 1956 - 1957 Hudson Fact Sheets
Fact Sheets Contain the following Information:
- General Year Information
- Models Offered
- All Engine Specifications
- Power Trains and Power Train Options
- Chassis Information
- Significant Options
- Body Paint Colors & Mix Codes – all Paint Companies
- Direct Link to Hagerty Valuation for the Specific Brand/Model
- Racing History (if available)
- Downloadable Brochures Specific to that Year/Model
- AMA Specifications Sheets (if available)
- Road Tests (if available)
About The Hudson Brand
This 1928 Hudson Super Six was considered a performance car in that day.
Founded by Roy D. Chapin and financed by J. L. Hudson in 1909, the Hudson Motor Car Company pioneered modestly-priced cars. The company made some profit during the World War II years building airplanes and landing craft engines, and re¬entered the automobile market in 1946 with face-lifted 1942 models. Hudson retained both its prewar L-head Six and Eight engines with the “Super Six” from 1928 accounting for two-thirds of Hudson’s 1946 production. Except for exterior chrome, Hudsons were unchanged for 1947. Hudson registered sales profits both years.
The 1939 Hudson Convertible was a sharp, good-looking ride. Body styles would change in the next year.
The 1936 Hudsons were also considerably larger inside than competitive cars. The 1936 engines were powerful for the time, from 93 to 124 HP. The 1939 models joined other American cars in the use of a column-mounted gearshift lever.
In 1948, Hudson would stun the world with their “pontoon” style cars. They received awards for their efforts.
In 1948, Hudson introduced one of the great postwar designs – sleek “pontoon” styling and unit-body construction which was to continue through 1954. Being low and sleek, it had a low center of gravity and handled exceptionally well. It was offered in four models — Commodore Six and Eight and Super Six and Eight — and sat on a 124 inch wheelbase. Also in 1948, Hudson introduced a new L-Head engine, a 262 CID I-6 called “Super Six” which developed 121 HP at 4000 RPM.
In a bid to attract more economy-biased buyers, Hudson introduced the Pacemaker model in 1950. It used a destroked version of the Super Six – a 232 CID unit called the “Pacemaker Six”. This model sold over 60,000 units, making it one of Hudson’s best years.. The Commodore Six and Eight and the Super Six and Eight were continued. In 1951, the 262 evolved into the famous 308 CID Hornet power plant. The 308, from 1952 through 1954, was the king of stock car racing.
Even though the Hornet (top) was popular and sold well, even the introduction of the Jet small size car (bottom) was not enough.
In 1953 Hudson offered “factory severe usage options” for the Hornet which were actually designed for racing applications. These included the street version of “Twin H-power” carburetion and as well as the “7-X” racing engine which combined Twin H-power with other high-performance options to produce about 210 horsepower.
Although the Step-down proved to be one of America’s most road-worthy cars from 1948-1954, Hudson lacked sufficient funds to add new designs to the series, and this, combined with a lack of innovation in that period, had sales dropping from 1952 on. Hudson’s ill-fated compact Jet appeared in 1953. Regardless, Hudson created a two-passenger Grand Turismo on the Jet chassis called the “Italia”.
The 1956 Hudson was a re-skinned AMC Rambler. The look did not encourage purchases and by 1958 the brand would be gone.
By late 1953 Hudson sales were deeply slumping and the company chose to merge with Nash. As a cost-cutting operation, they closed their Detroit plant on October 2, 1954 and moved production to American Motors’ Kenosha, Wisconsin plant. The 1955 Hudson was really a restyled Nash using Hudson’s 1954 dashboard instruments. Wasps were powered by the former 202 CID Jet engine and the 308 was retained for the Hornet. A Hornet V-8 was available and it used a Packard 208 horsepower engine.
In 1955-56 the Rambler badge-engineered Hudsons with little advances at a time of innovation and rapid changes in the industry. This contributed to sales of less than 25,000 units in 1955 and less than 12,000 in 1956. Hudson’s last year was 1957.