Hudson left such a big footprint in automotive history, that even though the last Hudson was built in 1957, today’s generation knows of the mighty Hudson legacy through movies and video games. The Grand Theft Auto game’s “The Hermes” takes many cues from Hudson Hornets. And no less a luminary than Paul Newman voiced the character Doc Hudson, a 1951 Hudson Hornet in the 2006 Pixar film Cars. Cars is very appealing to enthusiasts with its realistic references and stories. In the case of the Hudson Hornet, it, like Doc Hudson, has a storied past in stock car racing. The Hornet dominated NASCAR racing from 1951 – 1954, setting records that still stand today. These cars were proudly lettered with the words “The Fabulous Hudson Hornet.”
A big reason for the Hudson’s performance was that the company was big on innovation – the kind of innovation that makes a difference. The Hudson Super Six engine, the one that garnered all those NASCAR wins, had a balanced crankshaft that allowed the engine to run at higher rpm’s. More rpm’s is faster. It’s just that simple. Hudsons also had a sunken chassis design, called the step-down chassis, in which the body and passenger compartment were lower than in other cars. A lower center of gravity translated into better handling.
Hudson had plenty of success before the fifties. The company started in 1909 and by the late 20s they were the third largest American manufacturer behind Chevrolet and Ford. It should be noted too that there were literally hundreds of auto makers in the early days. During World War II, when automakers were part of the war effort, Hudson could take pride in the engines they built for vehicles that were deployed at the Normandy Invasion.
After the war, the automotive market exploded with new products and enthusiasm. Hudson was again ahead of its time with a new line of trucks showcasing many features from their car lines, including styling. Today, of course, some of the most popular vehicles on the road are luxurious trucks. And the sky’s the limit in terms of modifications and personalization.
At MAXmotive, we have not just one, but two 1947 Hudson pickups. One is wild, the other is just over the top. The bright blue truck gets its motivation from a 383 cubic inch small block stroker motor and an easy-shifting Turbo 350 automatic transmission. Inside is a hand-crafted custom interior with some of the most beautiful wood seen on any vehicle whether it’s a high-end luxury car or a custom. Even the pickup bed is a wood working masterpiece. And yes, the body is the real thing. It’s all steel. The long hood and long bed impart a regal look. Another striking attribute is a wheelbase that stretches more than 10 and half feet.
The yellow and white pearl truck is also of 1947 vintage. But the designers and builders back then would never have envisioned something like this! A 500 cubic inch big block Chevrolet with a BDS blower and advanced electronic fuel injection demands attention just sitting still. The sound alone is incredible. The body and interior are almost entirely hand-formed, and the chassis, the adjustable air-ride suspension, and even the exhaust system gleam to a highly polished luster.
There are many, even among car enthusiasts, who have never seen a Hudson pickup. It is indeed a rare sight. The experience of seeing two side by side is usually reserved for exclusive events. These trucks take the Hudson heritage of performance and innovation to modern extremes.
By: Bobby Martin