Home Page About Us Contribute

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Escort, Inc.

Tweets by @CrittendenAuto

GM Icons
By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.


Vehicle Marque

External Links
Wikipedia: Hudson Motor Car Company
Page Sections
Article Index
A former American automobile manufacturer from 1909-1954. In 1954 the company merged with the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation to form the American Motors Corporation AMC, and the Hudson marque would be discontinued in 1957.

Vehicle names used by Hudson currently and throughout history include:  8, Commodore, Custom Eight, Hornet, Super Six, and Wasp.


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Hudson Motor Car Company page on 12 December 2015, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Hudson Motor Car Company made Hudson and other brand automobiles in Detroit, Michigan, from 1909 to 1954. In 1954, Hudson merged with Nash-Kelvinator Corporation to form American Motors (AMC). The Hudson name was continued through the 1957 model year, after which it was discontinued.

The name "Hudson" came from Joseph L. Hudson, a Detroit department store entrepreneur and founder of Hudson's department store, who provided the necessary capital and gave permission for the company to be named after him. A total of eight Detroit businessmen formed the company on February 20, 1909, to produce an automobile which would sell for less than US$1,000 (equivalent to approximately $26,337 in today's funds). One of the chief "car men" and organizer of the company was Roy D. Chapin, Sr., a young executive who had worked with Ransom E. Olds. (Chapin's son, Roy Jr., would later be president of Hudson-Nash descendant American Motors Corp. in the 1960s). The company quickly started production, with the first car driven out of a small factory in Detroit on July 3, 1909.

The new Hudson "Twenty" was one of the first low-priced cars on the American market and very successful with more than 4,000 sold the first year. The 4,508 units made in 1910 was the best first year's production in the history of the automobile industry and put the newly formed company in 17th place industry-wide, "a remarkable achievement at a time" because there were hundreds of makes being marketed. Because of this sales success a new plant was built on a 22-acre parcel at Jefferson Avenue and Conner Avenue in Detroit's Fairview section that was diagonally across from the Chalmers Automobile plant. The land was the former farm of D. J. Campau. It was designed by the firm of renowned industrial architect Albert Kahn with 223,500 square feet and opened on October 29, 1910. Production in 1911 increased to 6,486. For 1914 Hudsons for the American market were now left hand drive.

The company had a number of firsts for the auto industry; these included dual brakes, the use of dashboard oil-pressure and generator warning lights, and the first balanced crankshaft, which allowed the Hudson straight-six engine, dubbed the "Super Six" (1916), to work at a higher rotational speed while remaining smooth, developing more power for its size than lower-speed engines. The Super Six was the first engine built by Hudson, previously Hudson had developed engine designs and then had them manufactured by Continental Motors Company. Most Hudsons until 1957 had straight-6 engines. The dual brake system used a secondary mechanical emergency brake system, which activated the rear brakes when the pedal traveled beyond the normal reach of the primary system; a mechanical parking brake was also used. Hudson transmissions also used an oil bath and cork clutch mechanism that proved to be as durable as it was smooth.

On 1 July 1926, Hudson's new 10 million dollar body plant was completed where the automaker could now build the all-steel closed bodies for both the Hudson and Essex models.

At their peak in 1929, Hudson and Essex produced a combined 300,000 cars in one year, including contributions from Hudson's other factories in Belgium and England; a factory had been built in 1925 in Brentford in London. Hudson was the third largest U.S. car maker that year, after Ford Motor Company and Chevrolet.


Hudson Super-Six Phaeton Subject:  Hudson Super-Six Phaeton
Source:  Hand Book of Automobiles, 1919 Edition
View Hudson Super-Six Phaeton page of Hand Book of Automobiles, 1919 Edition - 620KB


In the third year of competition, Hudson was the second marque of a championship driver in NASCAR's top-level series, the series that would eventually become Sprint Cup (Oldsmobile was the winner's car the first two seasons).  The Hudson Hornet dominated three years of NASCAR Grand National racing, a series of accomplishments that was depicted by the Doc Hudson character in the animated movie Cars.

Championships Won in Hudsons

1951NASCAR Grand NationalHerb ThomasHornet
1952NASCAR Grand NationalTim FlockHornet
1953NASCAR Grand NationalHerb ThomasHornet


DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
Compilation: October 1911-June 1913The Hudson Triangle
- 102MB - 370 pages
1916Letters from a Successful Hudson Dealer to His Son
Hudson Motor Car Company
Topic Page - 99 pages
1948Hudson Operating Instructions
Topic Page - 4 pages

Article Index

12 December 1922HUDSON CUTS CAR PRICES.The New York Times
28 December 1922HUDSON MOTOR CO. PROFITSThe New York Times
21 September 1924FIRST SEDAN BUILT BY HUDSON MOTOR COMPANY IN 1913The Pittsburgh Press
3 November 1925AMAZING GROWTH OF HUDSON MOTORThe New York Times
25 December 1925HUDSON MOTOR'S BIG YEARThe New York Times
23 September 1947Hudson Motor Making Unique AutomobileThe Independent

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr

The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute