In 1929, when America was driving off the economic cliff, Hudson Motor Car Company was riding high. While America would climb back out of the nosedive, Hudson's ride gradually descended until it disappeared from view.
Hudson often times is forgotten. And, in 1929, what is often forgotten, or, merely not known, was that Hudson Motor Car Company was the third largest automotive company in America. Often times, this car company, like so many others, simply gets lost in the wake of the big three automakers, Ford, GM and Chrysler.
Eight Detroit businessmen founded Hudson Motor Car Company in 1909. An entrepreneur department store owner Joseph Hudson provided the capital to start the company and was given the honor of having the company named after him.
Less than five months after coming into existence the company produced its first car called the 'Twenty'. The Twenty was offered as a low-priced car and would end up being quite successful. In its first year, over 4,000 Twenties were sold.
In its early years, Hudson became known for a number of innovations, among them were dual brakes and a balanced crankshaft. The balanced crankshaft would become a hallmark of Hudson and would allow its smaller straight-six engine to develop more power because of its ability to run at higher rotational speeds. The balanced crankshaft enabled the higher rotational speeds precisely because it helped the engine to run smoother, and therefore, have a longer life. This powerful and smooth-running straight-six engine, when combined with the company's lightweight coachwork, helped to make Hudson one of the fastest cars in America—another hallmark that would stay with Hudson up into the early days of NASCAR.
Hudson had one important constant working against it in the United States. The constant was that the big three automakers had the capital and the means to make numerous body styles available each and every year, and, had the means to make changes and incorporate innovations each and every year. Hudson didn't have the funds to be able to do that on the scale the others were.
Despite its heavy involvement in manufacturing during World War II, and the success its models had after the war, Hudson couldn't keep up with the pace of Ford, GM or Chrysler. Sales for Hudson models began to slip. Therefore, in 1954, Hudson merged with another company to become American Motors. But then, in 1957, the Hudson name disappeared altogether.
Back in Hudson's prime, the motor car company made some wonderfully popular cars. One of the company's popular models was the one offered at this year's RM Auction in Arizona, the 1929 Hudson Cabriolet. Since the Hudson name lives on only in history it is easy to forget the company had factories in Belgium and England, in addition to the United States. Its influence was far-reaching and the model offered this year was a prime example of that influence as it was originally ordered by and delivered to a customer from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
After it made its way back to the United States, the Cabriolet underwent a complete restoration. Everything, down to the bearings, rings, pistons, camshafts and crank were restored. No expense was spared, including the use of brand new ash and maple fitted into the body of the chassis. Even the brightwork was restored to show standards.
This CCCA Full Classic automobile was restored with a Hudson Model R 92 bhp, 288 cubic inch L-head inline six-cylinder engine with a sliding gear, three-speed transmission. It features four-wheel mechanical brakes and a solid front and semi-floating rear axle.
Numerous and meticulous hours had been spent on the car's exterior finish. Highlighting the flowing fenders and rectangular windscreen is an overall white finish with maroon trim. The Cabriolet's top is a matching maroon color and sets off the look of the car wonderfully. The car comes complete with a matching maroon externally mounted rear trunk and another surprise.
This '29 Hudson comes with Graber designed doors. These doors feature a special mechanism that allows the door to be opened either forward or backward. This enables ease of access for either the backseat passenger or the front seat passenger.
Chassis 589717 offered numerous little surprises just waiting to be discovered. Crowned 'Best in Class' at the Rose Bowl Concours in Pasedena, California, this one-of-a-kind custom '29 Hudson provides an incredible journey back in time and helps to rediscover Hudson's car making quality and lineage.
'Hudson Motor Car Company', (http://www.hudsonclub.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46:hudson-motor-car-compnay&catid=37:car-history&Itemid=71). Hudson Car Club. http://www.hudsonclub.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46:hudson-motor-car-compnay&catid=37:car-history&Itemid=71. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Hudson Motor Car Company', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 November 2010, 16:17 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hudson_Motor_Car_Company&oldid=398266829 accessed 13 January 2011