Founded in Detroit in 1909 by a group of eight investors, Hudson Motor Car Company got its name from one of their primary backers, a successful Detroit entrepreneur named Joseph L. Hudson of Hudson’s Department store fame. The founders believed that having a prestigious name attached to their automobile would give them an advantage in the marketplace, and from the earliest days, it seemed like their plan worked. But from the onset, Hudson was so much more than just a name. They quickly became known for their exceptional quality and value, rolling high-quality, technologically advanced automobiles out the doors of their Detroit works for most of their nearly 50 years in business.
Typical for many independent automakers, Hudson initially outsourced their engines from Continental. But in the 1916 model year, they began offering engines of their own design and manufacture, and their first attempt was a brilliant piece of work. The “Super Six” was a remarkably well-engineered unit, an inline-six that featured a counter-balanced crankshaft – the very first of its kind used in an automobile. Thanks to that crankshaft, the Super Six could run exceptionally smoothly at higher RPM, with the added benefit of a drastically lighter flywheel for increased response. Hudson had also developed such technologies as a dual-braking system, oil bath gearbox, and cork clutch, which proved durable and easy to operate. The resulting performance was outstanding, and Hudsons soon earned a reputation for punching well above their weight in competition.
In 1927, the already superb Super Six gained a new, highly advanced F-head cylinder head, which further improved the car’s performance. Buyers scrambled for a chance to own such a high-tech engine in a mid-priced car, and by 1929, sales jumped to 300,000 vehicles to put Hudson firmly in 3rd place of the sales charts. Despite its success, the F-head Super Six was complex and expensive to produce, and by 1930 it was replaced with an L-head eight. On paper, the eight should have offered the prestige at a lower cost, but it never seemed to recapture the magic of the legendary Super Six.
This lovely 1929 Super Six is a highly attractive example with rarely seen two-door, four-passenger brougham coachwork. This car was previously owned and restored by Eldon Hostetler, the late founder of Hostetler’s Hudson Automobile Museum - formerly the largest and most significant single collection of Hudson Automobiles. As with most of the cars in his collection, this one received a superb ground-up, nut-and-bolt restoration to exacting standards. It presents in a striking two-tone pastel blue livery with gorgeous chrome and intricate detailing. The two-door body features numerous accessories, including dual side-mount spares with chrome mirrors, cowl lamps, Pilot Ray driving lights, radiator stone guard, matching trunk, and a goddess mascot. Body-color caning on the beltline and faux landau irons add elegant, upscale touches to the coachwork. The brilliant chrome wheels wear wide whitewall tires to punctuate the sparkling presentation of this crisp and beautiful Hudson.
The same level of quality and attention to detail carries over to the interior, which is richly appointed in blue fabric, gray square weave carpet, and highly polished woodwork. Interior fittings are superb, with beautifully restored brightwork and correct switches and controls. Original instruments sit in a gold sunburst-pattern panel inset into a gorgeous wood fascia, and lovely details include a bud vase and woven grab handles for the rear passengers. The cabin shows little in the way of use or wear, having been part of the museum collection since its restoration, and only occasionally coming out for shows and events. Much like the paint and body, the interior remains in excellent condition, showing only the slightest signs of maturing in the time since the car was completed.
Hudson’s brilliant F-head inline-six sits under the hood and is fastidiously detailed as expected. The Super Six makes an impressive 92 horsepower from just 288 cubic inches, with the unconventional valve layout allowing for excellent high-rpm performance. In keeping with most restorations by Mr. Hostetler, the presentation is superb and highly authentic, with period-correct plumbing and fittings.
Thanks to the robust and refined drivetrain, this Hudson Super Six is a marvelous choice for touring, yet the superb restoration makes it equally at home on the concours lawn. This charming example is finished to a standard seldom seen on similar cars, and it presents a rare opportunity to acquire one of the finest of its type at a mere fraction of the original restoration costs.
Offers welcome and trades considered