Total Production: 26 1953 - 1955
Produced by the Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, the Hudson Italia was a compact car with limited production capacity. It was designed by Frank Spring and in cooperation with Carrozzeria Touring of Italy, during the 1954 and 1955 model years.
Toying around with the design for an Experimental Sports Car, Frank worked closely with Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni, the chief designer of Touring Body Works of Milan, Italy.
The all-aluminum prototype was displayed to dealerships across the country in 1953 and met with enthusiasm at first.
Though it came with its own unique body and interior, the Italia was still based on the Hudson Jet. Passed off as the 'Super Jet' at first, and featuring more updated features and advancements the Italia came with a aluminum body, wrap around windshield and vinyl bucket seats.
Powered by Hudson's 202 in³ L-head Six, produced 114 hp, and came with a 3-speed manual column-shift transmission.
Lower than the Jet by 10 inches, the low-slung Italia came with a price tag of $4,350.
Stylish and sleek, the Italia featured 'V' shaped scoops over the headlights on the front fenders. The front bumper also sported a large inverted 'V' overlapping the grille work and angling upwards over the front. The rear quarter panels featured scalloped cut-outs and the rear quarter scoops cooled the rear brakes.
Unfortunately, the Italia lasted through production with only a mere 26 vehicles. Hudson Motor Company suffered financial difficulties and went bankrupt in 1954. Of the 26 models that were built, 21 have resurfaced to date.
.The Italia was truly one of the most uniquely designed American sports cars produced during the '50s, which is no doubt why so many survived.By Jessica Donaldson