1937 Railton

Noel Macklin was an unusually prolific and surprisingly successful British entrepreneur who founded and successfully ran two automobile companies in Britain. Both were notable for the style and performance of their cars. The first was Invicta which Macklin started in 1925 and sold in 1933. Macklin then started Railton, taking its name from famed tuner and specials builder Reid Railton, and based it on American Hudson components, from 1935 using the 254 cubic inch 113hp Challenger engine, driveline and chassis with suitable modifications like faster steering and better dampers to adapt it to British enthusiasts' standards. Reliance on relatively low cost, rugged, powerful American components suited the Great Depression economy, enabling Railton to combine value, good looks and performance in an economical package efficiently sourced from Hudson's UK assembly plant and having the distinct advantage of an established UK parts and service network supporting Hudson's own production. This 1936 Railton Eight Sports Tourer is an older restoration in red-orange with cream upholstery and interior trim and a tan cloth top and top boot. It has silver painted wheels, black wall tires and a rear-mounted spare under a metal cover, dual outside mirrors, a folding windshield, center-mounted driving light and an imposing pair of tri-bar headlights in chromed housings. Bumpers, and other accoutrements adding performance-robbing weight, have been avoided, one of the reasons Railton’s like this were known to be capable of nearly 100mph with only stock Hudson Eight power. The engine compartment is nicely detailed, with Railton's addition of a cover over the cylinder head and spark plugs that give it the look of an overhead valve configuration. The folded top fits snugly behind the rear seats, complementing the sporting appearance of the car's cut down doors. Right-hand drive, as were the Hudson’s built in the UK, it is nicely done, straight, solid and runs and drives well as Noel Macklin intended three-quarters of a century ago. It is an unusual but highly effective combination of solid, cost-effective American construction with classic British sports tourer handling and appearance and a respected but infrequently seen name.

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