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1942 Hudson Super Six news, pictures, specifications, and information

Station Wagon
Chassis Num: 2118122
 
Sold for $231,000 at 2007 Gooding & Company.
With only a few wood-bodied station wagons created that bear the Hudson nameplate, this example been well shown by its former owner, Jim Fritts. In the early 1990s, it was treated to a restoration which still shows well in modern times. It is one of only four known surviving 1942 Hudson Woodies, and this example is the most accurate and true to its original form.

This wagon features new mahogany body panels and the original ash framing. It has the optional electric overdrive, AM radio and turn signals. Under the bonnet is a 212 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine rated at 102 horsepower, which is the larger of the two six-cylinder engines offered by Hudson in 1942. Though this wagon weighed a staggering 3,315 pounds, it was still lighter than its competition. The six-cylinder engine and overdrive transmission were more than capable of carrying the load.

There are Triple-Safe brakes, which activate the mechanical emergency brake should the hydraulics fail. There is also a smooth-engaging oil-filled cork clutch. On the tailgate and above the split rear bumper is a spare tire.

After the cars restoration, this vehicle has earned nearly 20 awards, including Antique Automobile Club of America National Junior, senior and Preservation Awards. It was Best of Show and People's Choice at the 1993 Wave Crest meet in Encinitas, California. In 2003 it was shown at the Amelia Island Concours and attended the Campbell Body Reunion in Waterloo, New York.

In 2007 this vehicle was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held at Pebble Beach, California. Auction estimates assume it would fetch between $250,000 - $300,000. It is a very rare Hudson Wood Bodied Wagon that has had only four owners since new. The estimates were proven nearly accurate, as the lot was sold for $231,000 including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | May 2008
Station Wagon
Coachwork: Campbell
 
Hudsons were built in Detroit beginning in 1909, closing up shop in 1954 when the brand was merged with Nash-Kelvinator to form American Motors, or AMC. The Hudson name vanished in 1957.

The 1942 Hudson Series 21 used a 212 cubic-inch L-head six with 102 horsepower in a 121-inch wheelbase frame. Hudson mostly stamped their own bodies except for the woodies. Campbell's Mid-State Body Co. of Waterloo, New York built woodies for Chevrolet among others, as well as Hudson, sending each finished body by rail car back to Detroit. By 1947 the market for woodies had collapsed.

This woodie Station Wagon is one of 18 built (with only four known to exist) and carries Campbell's Mid-State body number 6873.
The Great Depression was a very difficult time for the economy and automakers. Many creative tactics were performed to help stimulate sales such as reducing costs, offering a host of options free, and many other incentives. Hudson introduced a low-price Terraplane line meant to challenge Ford, Chevrolet and Plymouth as the Depression continued. In 1932, the Terraplane focused on lightweight construction, weighing barely 2000 pounds, and selling for $425, a full $35 less than a Ford V8. The following year, the Essex name was dropped and a new eight-cylinder Terraplane was introduced.

Terraplane sales continued to escalate, and by 1934, had effectively saved the Hudson Motor Car Company. The lightweight features of the Terraplane were adopted by the rest of the Hudson vehicles.

Hudson was not known for their station wagons. Their early wood-bodied cars were created by outside contractors, such as J.T. Cantrell, and done a per-client basis. The first wagon in the company catalogues appeared in 1936 where it was listed as a 'Business Car' in the Terraplane line. The early Hudson wagons were bodied by Baker-Raulang. From 1937, most of the work was handled by U.S. Body & Forging Co. of Indiana. By 1939, a wagon appeared in Hudson's entry-level 112 series.

The Wagon would become a stronger part of the Hudson line-up during the 1940s. A long-wheelbase Bid Boy sedan was substituted for a station wagon in 1940. The following year it moved up-market to the mid-sized segment where it was built atop a 121-inch wheelbase, offered as a Super Six or Commodore Eight.

The wagons were certainly growing in popularity, as were the wooden bodies that were first seen many years earlier on 'Depot Hacks.' Wealthy estates often owned one or many station wagons as work vehicles for their gardeners and staff. Thus, over the years, the wagons became a sign of prosperity and a symbol of high-society.

Many surviving Hudson wagons carry maker's plates from Mid-State Body Company of Waterloo, New York.

In 1942, the only model line offering a station wagon body-style was the Super Six. Production continued for a short time, ending in February, as all automobile production ceased to focus on support the Second World War.

When production resumed in 1946, only six wagons were built for company use. It is believed that none have survived. A station wagon would not appear again in the Hudson model-line until 1955; it was a rebadged Nash Rambler.

By Daniel Vaughan | May 2008
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