The Hudson Motor Car Company is best known for its “Fabulous Hudson Hornets” that were produced from 1951-1954, but their roots go way back to the dawn of the Automotive industry. Hudson got its name from its first financial backer, J.L. Hudson of Hudson’s Department Store fame. The initial goal of this new car builder was to produce a quality car that cost under $1000. The first Hudson Model 20 rolled out of the Detroit plant in July of 1909, and in 1910, 4,500 units found buyers – a remarkable achievement for the first full year of production! Hudson enjoyed steady success through the 1920’s, but was hit hard by the Great Depression. Sales ebbed and flowed over the years, but the success of the ‘20’s was never repeated.
In the late 1940’s, Hudson found themselves in need of a car to compete with the might of GM’s Buick division but they had a limited budget for development. Thankfully, they had a creative team of designers working under the guidance of the eccentric, but highly innovative Frank Spring. Spring and his team looked overseas for their inspiration and found a great deal of it in the Czechoslovakian Tatra T87; an advanced unibody machine with an air-cooled magnesium V8 in the rear and a dramatic aerodynamic body. Drawing upon the influence of the Tatra, the Hudson design team of Frank Spring, Arthur Kibiger and Bob Andrews drew up a sleek, low slung body that called for an advanced unitary construction, eliminating the need for a separate frame and giving the new car excellent handling characteristics. Hudson execs were worried about this risky endeavor, but in the end, the “Step Down” Hudson was born, taking the fight to Buick on the sales floors and winning races on the oval tracks of America.
The Pacemaker was a junior model to the larger Commodore, riding on a slightly shorter wheelbase and with a 112 horsepower, single carb 232 cubic inch inline six. But make no mistake; this was still an exceptionally well-built and well-appointed automobile. Outstanding in every respect, this 1950 Pacemaker Convertible is one of the finest examples on the market today. Treated to a comprehensive restoration from top to bottom, the results are simply breathtaking. The pale yellow paint work has been expertly laid down, with excellent panel gaps and straight, clean reflections in the body. Hudson’s are distinct for their lack of excessive chrome adornment, but they still feature a prominent grille and neatly faired-in chrome bumpers. In keeping with the overall quality of the restoration, the chrome is in show condition.
Contrasting the pale yellow body is the magnificently restored dark red leather interior and a maroon canvas power top. If there ever was the ideal color combination for a Hudson, this may well be it. The red leather has been beautifully trimmed, and has been very lightly used – now showing an inviting, slightly broken-in quality. More red leather covers the door panels and capacious rear seat and the upholstery is rounded out with dark maroon rugs. The exquisite dash is finished with period correct wood graining. Dark walnut-colored top and bottom sections contrast with a blonde face panel with stunning results. Excellent chrome bezels and trim are fitted on the restored instruments. Original accessories include a heater, clock and in-dash radio, all restored to near perfection.
No bolt was left untouched on this fantastic Hudson, and the engine bay is correctly detailed with proper finishes, hardware and even period correct cloth-braided wiring. The flathead six runs strong and smooth, breathing through a single carburetor and is mated to a manual transmission with column shift. A look at the undercarriage reveals the extent of this restoration – everything underneath is as nicely prepared as the rest of the car. An original jack and lug wrench reside in the detailed trunk. Few Hudsons of this era have been treated to such a lavish restoration. This is a fine opportunity to acquire one of the most fascinating and advanced American cars of the era, in a condition that is certain to please.