This handsome 1936 Hudson Stratton Saloon is a highly unusual car with a fascinating history. It wears a wonderful coachbuilt body built by Coachcraft, Ltd, of London. A lesser known company, Coachcraft (not to be confused with the Los Angeles based company of the same name) was a late-comer to the coachbuilding business, formed in the early 1930’s. The company was perhaps best known for being the most prolific supplier of bodies for Railton; and with fewer than 2000 ever built, is likely the same reason why Coachcraft remain in obscurity. But that relationship with Railton is important to note, as Railton was one of the very first examples of an Anglo-American hybrid (sometimes referred to as a pre-war Shelby Cobra) and relied on Hudson and Terraplane engines and chassis. With the 113 horsepower Hudson Eight engine in a light coachbuilt body, performance from this Hudson is surprisingly brisk.
The main body is somewhat conventional, though it is certainly attractive, particularly finished in its current dark green and black combination. Dual enclosed side-mount spares provide an element of luxury and style while the spectacular spectacular grille stands out from the rest of the bodywork, a bold combination of mesh and strakes and fine example of high-deco style. Sitting atop the grille is an equally spectacular mascot, and chrome headlamps, horns and fog lamps round out the front end.
Little is known about its early history, but previous owners believe the car was originally supplied in the UK, and then it found its way half way around the world, where it was used by the Governor General of Hong Kong. We imagine it would have certainly had quite a presence at that time. Early photos show the car was most likely a two-tone gray, but when it was most recently restored, the owner chose a much more attractive green/black combination which suits the lines quite well.
The cabin is cozy and attractive, very British in its style and finish, and can cause you to forget you’re in a Hudson. Duo-tone beige and brown upholstery covers the seats and door panels while large expanses of wood line the dash, door panels and window frames. The wood is in good condition and is quite attractive. The upholstery work has been done very well with good quality stitching and fitment. It is of course, in right hand drive configuration.
The mechanicals appear well sorted and thoroughly restored. This example features the desirable Firedome straight 8 that produced a rather remarkable 113 horsepower. The engine bay is well detailed and nicely finished and all appears very functional while still maintaining a pleasant period feel. This pre-war Hudson combines interesting history and beautiful coachwork in a usable, very well-restored package. This is a fine and unusual Anglo-American classic.