Sold for $42,900 at 2009 RM Auctions. Sold for $71,500 at 2015 Bonhams. The Hudson Commodore was introduced in the early 1940s, was halted during World War II, and resume production beginning in 1946. It would remain in production until 1952.
While most other manufactures used the traditional body-on-frame forcing their passengers to climb up to enter them, Hudson designers placed the passenger compartment down inside the chassis. A sturdy perimeter frame encircled the passenger compartment providing additional safety and rigidity. The Hudson design allowed passengers to step down into the car and it provided a lower center of gravity and vastly improved handling.
The new Hudsons were unveiled to the public in December 1947 and were priced from $2,448 making them an excellent value. They were available with six or eight-cylinder engines along three body styles.
This 1950 Hudson Commodore Six Convertible was the top-of-the-line model for 1950 in the Hudson model line-up. It was once owned by the legendary actor, racing driver, and automobile and motorcycle enthusiast Steve McQueen. It is one of four Hudsons owned by McQueen. At some point in its life, the original engine was replaced by a high-compression, 308 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine, with a mild camshaft and a 'Twin H-Power' induction system with dual carburetors. The car was sold just shortly before McQueen's death, to a friend, who placed the car into long-term, dry storage in a San Bernardino, California warehouse.
Due to its careful preservation, the Commodore remains mostly original, with the exception of an older repaint in white with a dark gold lower section. The inside has its original maroon leather upholstery and is well equipped with working power windows and a power-operated convertible top, driver's side spotlight, clock, accessory gauges mounted under the dash, and an original pushbutton-operated AM radio.
In 2009, this Commodore Six Convertible was offered for sale at the Automobiles of Arizona auction presented by RM Auctions. The car was expected to sell for $75,000 - $100,000. As bidding came to a close the lot had been sold for the sum of $42,900 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2014
Only five feet high, the new Hudson had the lowest center of gravity of any US built car of the time. The back seat was wider than the car was tall, a first in any American automobile. Since the floor was at a lower level than the door openings, the passengers stepped down into the car and not up into it.
The Commodore was the upper-level model fo the Hudson. In 1950, Hudson ranked 13th in the US, with model year sales of 121,408.
This car is currently on display at the National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States located in Auburn, Indiana, on loan from the Hudson Historical Society.
Sold for $44,000 at 2012 RM Auctions. In 1948, Hudson introduced their streamlined 'step-down' range. Hudson was also one of the first automakers to advertise on television. The new model was only 60 inches high and its center of gravity correspondingly very low. The basic shape of the step-down Hudson persisted for six years, until 1954, when the company merged with Nash to form American Motors.
This Convertible has been given a frame-up restoration. Painted champagne pearl silver, it is fitted with a maroon leather interior, a new top, carpet and boot. It has a three-speed unit with overdrive and is powered by a 262 cubic-inch L-head six-cylinder engine. At all four corners are hydraulic drum brakes.
In 2012, this vehicle was offered for sale at RM Auctions sale in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $65,000-$85,000 and was offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $44,000 inclusive of buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2012
High bid of $57,500 at 2013 RM Auctions. (did not sell) This Hudson Commodore Six Convertible Brougham has been treated to a restoration. It is highly accessorized and equipped with a correct maroon leather interior, bumper guards, door handle fingernail guards, dual spotlights, fog lights, back-up lights, an overdrive transmission, power windows, a power top, and an under-dashboard tissue dispenser. The car has wide whitewall tires and chrome wire wheel covers. It is finished in Cornish Cream finish and a tan cloth convertible top. Powering the car is an inline six-cylinder engine displacing 262 cubic-inches and offering 123 horsepower. It has a 124 inch wheelbase and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2013
Sold for $46,750 at 2014 RM Auctions. In 1948, Hudson introduced a new direction for the company with their Step-down cars. The drivers and passengers literally stepped down to enter a Hudson, but of its partially unitary design which put the floor pan on the bottom of the frame rather than the top. Under the bonnet was an all-new six-cylinder engine. Buyers could purchase the optional legacy straight eight, which had come into existence in the 1930s.
This particular Hudson Commodore has been given a recent restoration, in which the semi-unitary body was completely sandblasted and repainted in Champagne Silver Pearl with a black canvas top. Inside is a new brown leather upholstery. The car has a power top, power windows, directional signals, a sun visor, a radio, a heater, and Borg-Warner overdrive. It is powered by an L-head inline eight-cylinder, 254.5 cubic-inch engine offering 128 horsepower.
The Commodore Eight Convertible Brougham was the most expensive 1950 Hudson, with a list price of $2,890, which put it in Series 61 Cadillac territory. It is believed that just 425 examples were produced. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2014
Sold for $82,500 at 2014 RM Auctions. This Hudson Commodore Eight Convertible Brougham is finished in Cornish Cream and has chrome and stainless trim. The interior is maroon leather upholstery, with correct waffle-pattern door insets, and has a tan stay-fast power convertible top. The floor is of a matching red carpet. Power is from a 254 cubic-inch, 128 horsepower straight-eight engine and a column-shift manual transmission. Options include a radio and clock, power windows, front and rear bumper guards, fender skirts, and full wheel covers.
Since new, the car has been given a frame-off restoration.
The Commodore Eight Convertible Brougham was the most expensive Hudson in 1950, as it was listed at $2,893. It is believed that 425 cars were built.
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