The Hudson Motor Car Company came into existence in 1909 and produced vehicles until 1957. It was created by Howard Coffin, George W. Dunham, and Roy E. Chapin. Based in Detroit, Michigan, the company had it most successful year in 1929 when it produced and sold over 300,000 vehicles. From 1942 through 1945, the Hudson Corporation did its patriotic part by manufacturing war materials such as naval engines and aircraft parts, during the Second World War. After the war, the Company had its share of ups and downs before it merged with Nash Motors in January of 1954, when it became known as American Motors. The Hudson plant closed while the production of Nash vehicles bearing Hudson badges continued. The brand name ceased to exist after 1957.
The Hudson Motor Company introduced many technological achievements such as dual brakes and the automobile self starter. Their balanced crankshaft designed allowed the straight-6 engine to remain smooth while having a high rotational speed and ultimately producing more power.
Their early brand of automobiles was the Essex, built for the middle class and positioned to compete with Ford and Chevrolet. Their Terraplane, produced from 1938 through 1938, was arguable their most famous and popular model produced. The Hudson Hornet had great success both in the show rooms and at the NASCAR racing track in 1951, 1952, and 1953.
The demise of the Hudson Motor Company could be attributed to stiff competition mounting from Ford, GM and Chrysler. Hudson was not in a financial position to constantly restyle their vehicles and to continue development on new technology and innovations. The merger with Nash Motors to become American Motors provided a short lease on life, but by 1957 production ceased.