Hudson introduced their 'step-down' unibody models in 1948, allowing the placement of the passenger compartment down inside the perimeter of the frame that was an integral part of the body. Passengers stepped down into a floor that was surrounded by the perimeter of the car's frame. This design made the car safer, gave more passenger comfort, and increased the handling of the car due to the lower center of gravity. The car was a foot lower than many of its contemporaries.
In 1954, the company was merged with Nash-Kelvinator to form American Motors Corporation.
This 1949 Hudson Commodore Six Convertible completed a 19 month restoration in April, 2009.
In 1948, Hudson, one of the few independent automakers remaining in the late 1940's, introduced its post-war models featuring some of the hottest new ideas. A new Super Six engine purred under the hood, a hood was now attached to an all-new idea in auto construction. The 'unit-body' Hudson's had the lowest center of gravity of any American production car, achieved by suspending the floor pan from the bottom of the chassis frame. The resulting car had a lower profile than its competition and was dubbed the 'step-down,' since one stepped down into them when entering rather than up. With the lower center of gravity helping hug the road and the straight Six engine propelling the car along, Hudson outpaced many of its competitors in 1948 and 1949. An updated version of the new engine became well known on NASCAR circuit wîth the Hudson Hornet was introduced in 1951 and went on to many victories.
Only minor changes were made of the 1949 model year, one that built on the success of the step-down models. The Brougham convertibles had been released late in 1948, so 1949 was their first full year of production. Fewer than 1300 of the Convertibles were made (half wîth the inline Six engine and half wîth Hudson's inline 8), so they remain rare today. This car has only undergone minor repairs and is in original condition.
Collection of Bill AlbrightSource - SDAM
One of the first new postwar design, the Hudson commodore was introduced in 1947 and gained instant popularity by virtue of its road-hugging appearance and smooth power. Hudson wowed the public with its all-new 'step-down' 1948 models, which continued nearly unchanged into 1949. The cars featured a box-perimeter frame, with the floor pan attached at the bottom so that passengers actually stepped down to enter. As a result, its center of gravity was low and handling was excellent. The 1949 Commodore Eight Brougham Convertible was the apex of the Commodore lineup, offering a 262 cubic-inch inline flathead engine, 3-speed manual transmission, and exterior upgrades.
Finished in beautiful Cornish Cream with burgundy interior and a black top, this car has traveled a documented 70,000 miles from new. It underwent a recent professional ground-up restoration including engine, transmission, paint, interior, chrome, convertible top and mechanics.
The options include: Overdrive transmission, power windows, power top, Hudson radio and heater, and electric clock.
High bid of $60,000 at 2014 RM Sothebys. (did not sell) The Hudson Commodore series were introduced in 1948 and featured their 'step-down' design, which involved mounting the floor of the car to the underneath of the chassis, allowing for a very low center of gravity and plenty of interior space. Powering the top-of-the-line convertible brougham was a 254 cubic-inch, inline eight-cylinder engine. Just 596 examples of the Commodore Convertible Broughams would be built for the 1949 model year.
This particular example has been completely restored and finished in Cornish Cream over a burgundy leather interior and has a black convertible top. The eight-cylinder engine is mated to a three-speed transmission. At all four corners are hydraulic drum brakes. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014
This Hudson Commodore Custom Six Convertible Brougham has been given a recent-, multiple award-winning restoration with cost no object. This revolutionary 'Step Down' model is powered by a NASCAR-bred 'Twin H-Power' engine, has a manual overdrive transmission, hydraulic power top and windows, radio, and equipped with leather upholstery. It wears one of the first new postwar American automobile designs, despite the supply shortages and labor disputes. In order to meet the fierce demand for new cars, existing prewar automobile designs were often put back into production with few, if any updates. The independent automobile manufacturer from Detroit, Hudson, was one of the first with its innovative new 'Step-Down' models with design work led by Frank Spring. The 'Step-Down' concept was a departure from the traditional body-on-frame construction, which forced occupants to step-up and into their vehicles. Instead, Hudson engineers placed the floors down inside the chassis. It was given a sturdy perimeter frame which encircled the passenger compartment and rear wheels, and the bodies were now of rigid semi-unitized construction. Along with ease of entry and exit, their low center of gravity enhanced performance and road holding.
The new Hudsons were unveiled in December of 1947. For 1948, they were built along two distinct lines - the Special with six- and eight-cylinder power, and the top-line Commodore Six and Eight. The 1949 models were essentially unchanged, with the Commodores renamed 'Commodore Custom.' By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2015
Introduced in 1941, the Hudson Commodore was produced by the Hudson Motor Car Company until 1952. The Hudson Motor Company was established in Detroit and has a long and lucrative history. The Commodore model was the most lush and exquisitely luxurious Hudson model ever produced and the first generation introduced the 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan and the 2-door convertible. The largest Hudson model also, the Commodore model rode on Hudson's 121 ' wheelbase, while the Commodore Custom's rode on the same for their coupes, or 128 ' wheelbase for sedans. The Hudson Commodore's were powered by either Hudson's exclusive 202ci I6 that produced 102 bhp or Hudson's 254.4 I8 that produced 128 bhp.
The largest model range that was introduced for this year, Hudson lineup was attempting their biggest lineup of all times. The Commodore lineup consisted of coupes, convertibles and sedans. A forward hinged hood that opened from the rear was continued to be in use by Hudson body styling, while at the same time the hood slid downward over the grille.
1940 and '41 models received a snazzy new up do for the 1942 year that included new concealed running boards, external trim arrangements and enlarged front grilles. The 1942 model year was ended in January as Hudson promoted its economy over luxury in its all new shortened model for U.S. war production.
The second generation of the Hudson Commodore began in 1946 and lasted until 1947. This new range included 4-door sedans as well as 2-door convertibles. On August 30, 1945, Hudson began its postwar automobile production and the body-styles were trimmed down to Sedan, Convertible and Club Coupe. Keeping the models strongly based on the '42 model Hudson, these models only received small cosmetic updates. The biggest update did include the car's grille now sporting a concave center section.
In comparison to other similar model makes, Hudson automobiles were much more fully trimmed and all Hudson models received flashy accoutrements. They included ashtrays, twin air-horns, and arm rests on the doors, windshield wipers, locking glove box, stop lights, sealed beam headlights and deep pile carpeting. Both the Commodore and Commodore Customs received air-foam seat cushions; as Hudson is famous for being the original automaker to unveil foam seat cushions. Other new innovations were rear arm rests in the sedans, door-step courtesy lights and gold etched lettering on the dash board panel.
Hudson's top-of-the-line series, the 1948-1949 Commodore Eight came in three body styles including a convertible, and was a much more popular model than previous versions, due to its innovative ‘Step-Down' design. For these two model years alone, nearly 60,000 units were sold.
The third generation of the Hudson Commodore was unveiled in 1948 and lasted until 1952. An all-new ‘step-down' automobile body was released by Hudson for the 1948 model. The Frame vehicles place the body of the car onto the chassis and then the two units were bolted to each other. Since the height of the vehicle was now much higher, passengers needed to step up into the car; and this was the major need behind the running boards. The passenger compartment was now placed inside the chassis, and the vehicle's perimeter frame now encircled the passenger compartment. This is how Hudson passengers ‘stepped-down' into the vehicle. The step-down allowed Hudson to take advantage of serious weight-saving techniques through uni-body construction. The Hudson vehicles were now even safer since surrounded by the car's chassis; all of this combining to make a well-performing and all-around safe vehicle.
Only one series was available for the 1948 Commodores, and were available in either I8 or I6 powered versions. The body styles offered for this year was a convertible coupe, and two and four door sedans. On the inside, the Commodore was upholstered in leather for convertibles and in broadcloth on sedans. A variety of standard features were also included on the Hudson line in the same fashion of the history of their line, for no additional up-charge options. A total of 35,215 units were produced of the Commodore Eight.
The Commodore lineup gave birth in 1949 and now included a much more luxurious Commodore Custom line. Only minor trim changes on the outside of the vehicles were made for the 1950 through 1952 model year for the Hudson Commodore.
For the last year of the Commodore, the model was split into an Eight series and a Six series. The outside of the vehicle received yet another trim change. Unfortunately the design behind the Step-Down bodies began to look faded and outdated by the end of the 1951-1952 model years. Rather than redesign the older model, company President A.E. Barit chose instead to replace the Commodore with a compact Hudson. Starting in 1953, Hudson would only offer the Hudson Hornet and the Hudson Wasp line.By Jessica Donaldson
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