Ever since I saw the movie “Cars”, I’ve been enamored with the style of the early 50’s Hudsons. For several years, I kept a search going for just the right car, when one day this lovely cream yellow version popped up on eBay. This particular car was one of the last cars restored by famed Hudson expert (and purported last US Hudson dealer) Bill Albright. It is one of the few cars I have purchased from afar without an in-person inspection, based on thumbs up from several Hudson Club members who personally knew the car.
And, generally, the condition of the car did not disappoint when it arrived. As is always the case, ANY used car, regardless of claims of perfect restoration, will arrive with needs, and this was no exception. In fact, the car was so lacking on power when I attempted to drive it up the moderately ramped driveway to our garage, it just didn’t have enough power! Turned out to be a woefully incorrect ignition timing setting (you just have to wonder what sort of person would own a car like this and allow it to be so unusable!)
Other than the requisite air conditioner installation, the car needed little to be enjoyed. However, I never cared for the Hydramatic automatic transmission that came with the car, so when that tranny died one day, leaving me stranded in the middle of Highway 290W, I decided to convert to a manual transmission. I sourced a donor car which had the ubiquitous Borg Warner 3-speed with overdrive transmission, and over a period of about 4 months, ripped out the automatic, and replaced with the manual, which then made the car a joy to drive.
Further details on our ownership of this car can be found in another blog entry on this site: http://blog.auldridge.org/2010/07/28/driving-impression-1951-hudson-hornet-coupe/
After some 5 years of enjoyable ownership, my ADD kicked in, and I elected to pass the Hudson along to another custodian. To be honest, although the car always got lots of attention, it was a bear to drive. Incredibly stiff steering, marginal brakes, and a tendency to wander down the road made driving more of a challenge than I ultimately had bargained for.
I am now learning to set my sights on vehicles than not only are physically and mechanically beautiful and intriguing, but also can be enjoyable to drive!
During my ownership, I installed a much-needed-in-Texas air conditioning system in the Hudson. CLICK HERE to view documentation of that install.