HUDSON HORNET

1955 Hudson Hornet

Hudson is another brand that is no longer produced. Although it started in 1909, by the early 1950s the brand had been acquired by Nash and went into limbo. If Hudson is to be remembered for anything it should be for their innovative engineers who were able to produce good designs with very limited budgets.

In 1954 Hudson launched its Hornet which replaced the aged 1948 model that had proved unable to compete with the V8s from other manufacturers. Although the Hornet had only an L-section six-cylinder 5.0-litre engine which developed 120kW, this was one of the fastest six-cylinder cars of the period.

The engine had a hot camshaft with an alloy head and was fed through a Carter two-barrel carburettor. Amazingly, Hudson never offered a V8 version which no doubt hastened its ultimate downfall.

The car was available as a two-door coupe and a convertible as well the popular four door sedan which looked rakishly low and modern. These Hudsons were known as Step-Downs’ because of their low-slung construction. This lower body position gave the car excellent handling and many of them were raced in competition during the early 1950s.

Front and rear drum brakes were used and the suspension comprised typical coil springs at the front and rear leaf springs. A three-speed manual transmission came as standard with an optional Hydra-Matic automatic transmission also available.

The sloping back on the four-door model was very different from the conventional shape of the two-door and the rear fins swept back holding the tail lights. Now, unlike the previous model, the windscreen was a one-piece unit.

The interior of the car was quite modern with a distinctive half circle speedo and was adorned with many chrome fittings, to match the chrome trim on the exterior.

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