This 1954 Hudson Italia Coupe with coachwork by Carrozzeria Touring is number 11 of the 26 built. It is an 'Italo-American' hybrid that has an Italian body with Hudson mechanical components. Much of the design was done by Hudon's design chief Frank Spring. Spring had been schooled in Paris and had an fascination with European designs. He was an aeronautical engineer with the U.S. Army during World War I and later became general manager of the coach-building Walter M. Murphy Company in California in the 1920s. In 1927, he was tasked with designing a series of bodies for Hudson. By 1931, he had become Hudson's 'Style Engineer' which gave him charge of all Hudson exterior and interior styling from the 1933 models until the merger with Nash in 1954.
Spring worked closely with Touring staff in the creation of the Hudson Italia. A Hudson Jet was sent to Milan, and an aluminum coupe body hand-formed on its chassis over a tubular superstructure. It had a one-piece wrap-around windshield with vertical A-pillars, functional scoops over the headlamps and ornamental exposed 'organ pipes' that resembled exhaust stacks. The Italia had seating for two with a large area behind the bucket seats reserved for luggage. Mounted under the bonnet was a dual carburetor 'Twin-H power' version of the Jet's 202 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine. There was a three-speed overdrive transmission and Borrani wire wheels.
In the summer of 1953, the prototype was completed. Spring went to Europe to supervise its completion. Upon completion, Hudson dealers were invited to place orders for the car with the suggested sale price at $4,800.
Dealer response was low, so Hudson ordered 25 production models. The cars followed closely to the design of the prototype, though there were subtle differences. The production cars had an ordinary Hudson instrument cluster, leather-and-vinyl upholstery in place of all leather, and elimination of overdrive.
The struggling Hudson Motor Car Company was combined with rival Nash-Kelvinator to form American Motors Corporation on May 1st of 1954. Though the merger was of equals, the union was dominated by Nash, the stronger partner. Hudson became a re-trimmed Nashs with Hudson and even Packard engines.
This Italia was once part of the legendary Harrah collection. It has been repainted in the current silver color and upholstered in red and black leather.
In 2008, the car was offered for sale at the 'Quail Lodge, A Sale of Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia' where it was estimated to sell for $275,000 - 325,000. As the auction came to a close, the car had been unsold.
The car was then given a comprehensive cosmetic restoration, including a fresh exterior finish in the original and correct cream-yellow color. It was also given a new and correct red and tan interior.
In 2009, this Italia Coupe with coachwork by Touring of Mila was offered for sale at the Automobiles of Amelia Island auction presented by RM Auctions. It was expected to sell for $275,000 - $350,000. It sold for a high bid of $275,000, including buyer's premium.Also photographed at :