Hudson introduced the Wasp for the 1952 model year. It shared the same 119-inch wheelbase platform as the Hudson Pacemaker, which had been moved slightly down-market for 1952. The Pacemaker was powered by a six-cylinder L-head engine displacing 232 CID and offering 112 horsepower. The Wasp was fitted with a larger 262 CID six offering 127 horsepower. Wasp's had center rear bumper guards that protruded out, making the Wasp 1-inch longer than the Pacemaker. Wasp bodystyles included a two- and four-door sedan, convertible, and a 2-door hardtop called the Hollywood. They had the company's unitized, 'Monobilt' step-down chassis design with a perimeter frame which offered a low center of gravity, rigid structure, and side-impact protection for the occupants.
After Hudson merged with Nash Motors, the Wasp name continued. It was then built by American Motors Corporation in Kenosha, Wisconsin, using the Hudson name, for 1955 and 1956. After the end of the 1954 model year production, Hudson's Detroit manufacturing facility was closed. As Hudson model production shifted to Nash's factory, all Hudsons were based on the senior Nash models, but given Hudson styling. So the 1955 Wasp was based on the Nash Statesman platform and came equipped with Hudson's 202 cubic-inch inline-6 previously used in the Hudson Jet compact sedan and the Hudson Italia. With the twin H-Power, the engine offered 120 horsepower.
Sales were sluggish for the Wasp in 1955, dropping to 7,191, so AMC executives decided to task designer Richard Arbib with helping to boost sales. He applied the unique 'V-Line Styling', where he took the traditional Hudson triangle and applied its 'V' form in nearly every conceivable manner on both the interior and exterior of the car. This attempt at making a better Hudson identity ultimately failed, and it failed to attract buyers. Available only as a four-door sedan, sales fell to 2,519 units for its final year of production. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2019