A Pictorial Glimpse of Hudson Motor Cars Through the Years
Hudson Motor Car Company manufactured Hudson, Essex and Terraplane autos from 1909 to 1954 in Detroit, Michigan. In 1954, Hudson merged with Nash-Kelvinator Corporation to shape
American Motors (AMC). The Hudson name lasted through the 1957 model year, which it was then discontinued.
The "Hudson" name came from Joseph L. Hudson, a Detroit retail chain entrepreneur and originator of Hudson's department store, who gave the vital capital and gave consent for the organization to be named after him. On February 20, 1909, eight Detroit businessmen founded the organization to create a car which would sell for less than $1,000 (around $26,381 in today's dollars. One of the primary "auto men" and coordinator of the organization was Roy D. Chapin, Sr., a youthful executive who had worked beside Ransom E. Olds. (Chapin's son, Roy Jr., later became president of Hudson-Nash, in the 1960s (a descendant of American Motors). The organization immediately went into production, with the first auto driven out of the small Detroit factory (the former Aerocar Plant) on July 3, 1909.
Essex - 1919-1932
The Essex was a manufactured by the Essex Motor Company between the years of 1918 and 1922 and then by Hudson Motor Company of Detroit, Michigan between the years of 1922 and 1933.
Amid its production run, the Essex was viewed as a small car and was priced affordably. The Essex is for the most part credited with trend away from open touring cars and toward cars with enclosed passenger compartments.
Initially, the Essex was produced by the "Essex Motor Company," which in reality,
was a wholly owned Hudson entity. Essex Motors even leased the Detroit Studebaker factory to build the car. The Essex Motor Company was dissolved by 1922 and the Essex formally became what it always was, a Hudson product.
1919 Hudson Essex
1928 Hudson Essex
1930 Hudson Essex
Terraplane - 1932-1938
Terraplane was manufactured by the Hudson Motor Car Company, between 1932 and 1938. In its first year, the auto carried Essex-Terraplane brand; in 1934 the auto simply became the Terraplane. They were powerful, although inexpensive vehicles and both autos and trucks bore the Terraplane name.
Hudson had produced the inexpensive Essex from 1919 as lower-priced vehicles. In 1922, the company consolidated Essex into itself. The Essex is for the most part is credited with making the fully enclosed car affordable. The low-priced Essex coach "had advanced the amazing recovery of Hudson" in 1922.
Declining Essex sales, together with the impacts of the Great Depression forced Hudson to convert the Essex with a re-designed vehicle with a lower production expense and sales price. Roy D. Chapin chose to repeat the effective 1932 strategy building "a light auto in the base price class, a vehicle which combine comfort, style, and reliability". Although it took fortitude to launch an auto amid the Great Depression, Chapin believed the Terraplane name would have "mass public appeal" and it also connected with general society enthusiasm for avionics that was so common at that time.
The Terraplane contributed significantly to Hudson Motor's sales amid the Depression 1930s. Terraplane sales outpaced Hudson vehicles during the late mid-1930s and it has been said that Hudson management was not enamored with that reality and that was mostly why they disposed of the auto as a brand. A unique feature was "Duo Automatic" brakes. Terraplanes had double brake systems—both hydraulic and mechanical. If the hydraulic brakes failed, the mechanical brakes would be utilized to stop the car.
1932 Hudson Terraplane Coupe
1934 Hudson Terraplane K Coupe
Hudson Eight - 1930-1936
Hudson launched a new flathead inline eight cylinder motor for the 1930 model year, featuring crankcase and block cast as unit and fitted with a pair of cylinder heads. Featuring A 2.75 inch bore and 4.5 inch stroke displacing 218.8 cubic inches with 80 HP running at 3,600 RPM with the standard 5.78:1 Compression proportion. The 5 Main bearing Crankshaft had 8 counterweights, an industry first and also utilized a Lanchester vibration damper. Four rubber blocks utilized at motor mount points. A valveless oil pump enhanced the splash lubrication system.
The new eights were the only motor available in the 1930 Hudson lineup, replacing the Super Six, which lumbered on in the Essex models.
1930 Hudson Eight
1931 Hudson Eight
1932 Hudson Eight
1933 Hudson Eight Roadster
1934 Hudson Eight
1935 Hudson Special Eight
1936 until World War II
1937 Hudson Eight
1939 Hudson Pacemaker Series 91 Coupe
1942 Hudson Business Coupe
1946 Hudson Commodore
Hudson launched their "step down" bodies in 1948, which were manufactured through the 1954 model year. The term step- down reflected the placement of the passenger area down inside the frame; passengers stepped down onto a floor that was surrounded by the frame of the car, resulting in a safer car with enhanced passenger comfort. Additionally, the lower center of gravity created a great handling car. Over the years just about every U.S. automaker embraced the design
car building. Car writer Richard Langworth depicted the step-down models as the best cars of the period in Consumer Guide and Collectible Automobile articles.
1949 Hudson Commodore Sedan
1949 Hudson Commodore Sedan
1950 Hudson Commodore Convertible
1951 Hudson Pacemaker Coupe
1952 Hudson Hornet
1954 Hudson Super Wasp
American Motors - 1954-1957
The merger of Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson in 1954, and the creation of American Motors, was driven by George W. Artisan to receive advantages from the strengths of the two firms to take on the much bigger "Big Three" automakers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler).
On June 25, 1957, the last Hudson rolled off the assembly line in Kenosha. No ceremonies were held
as there were still expectations of proceeding with the Hudson and Nash badges into the 1958 model year using the Rambler platform as longer-wheelbase deluxe models
1954 Hudson Hornet
1957 Hudson 2 door
Hudson Jet - 1953-1954
1954 Hudson Jet
Personal Luxury Coupe
Hudson Italia - 1954-1955
1954 Hudson Italia
Pickups - 1929-1946
The first Hudson production truck, called a commercial car, the Dover was a light hauler based on the chassis of the Hudson Essex. Dovers were available in panel deliveries and pickups. The Dover truck was reconfigured as an Essex in the early 1930s, and based upon the Essex Terraplane auto platform.
The Essex name was discontinued in 1934, and Hudson's trucks were named
Terraplanes until 1937, when they were Hudson-Terraplanes for a single year. The Terraplane name was then eliminated in both autos and trucks, and the trucks wore Hudson identification.
Hudson presented what might be its best known truck, in 1937, the three-quarter ton Terraplane "Big Boy" pickup with a wheelbase extended from the standard 117 inches to 124 inches. Although production was low, Hudson offered a confounding cluster of models, somewhere in the range of 19 models. In 1939, this was reduced to 14 in, 10 in 1940, and eight in 1941.
Amid the 1930s Hudson produced an unusual combined auto and truck. In 1937, Hudson called it the utility coupe.
1936 Hudson Terraplane Pickup
1939 Hudson Big Boy Pickup
1946 Hudson Pickup
1949 Hudson Hornet Pickup
Hudson Motor Cars Through the Years
Reviewed by Gene Wright on