1949 Hudson Commodore

The Hudson Motor Car Company is one of a scant few independent car manufacturers that managed to survive both the economic disaster of the Great Depression and the production moratorium of World War II. Since its inception in 1909, Hudson’s range of thoughtfully engineered, high-quality mid-priced cars earned the company a fiercely loyal client base that sustained them through difficult times. As Ford, GM, and Chrysler grew, consolidating their holds on the market, independent manufacturers like Hudson, Studebaker, and Nash felt the squeeze and had to do everything they could to stand out in a crowded market.

Just as virtually every other manufacturer had done, Hudson rushed back to the market in 1946 with a hastily facelifted version of their prewar offering. By the 1948 model year, Hudson revealed a revolutionary new post-war design, well ahead of Ford and GM. Based on an entirely new platform, the fresh new Hudson Super Six/Commodore featured advanced unibody construction, gorgeous styling, and specially tuned suspension to optimize handling. Frank Spring’s clean and aerodynamic slab-sided design was light years ahead of a contemporary Ford, Chevrolet or Studebaker. The Hudson was unlike anything else on the road; sleek and unadorned, with graceful lines and a low, wide stance. Hudson achieved a comparatively low ride height through the trademarked “Monobuilt” construction, which incorporated a perimeter frame into the body shell. The design allowed designers to lower the floors, which earned the car the “step-down” nickname. Light and robust, the Hudson Commodore offered superior comfort compared to nearly every vehicle in its class.

Hudson’s line of proven L-head inline six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines carried over with revisions for the new Commodore. Powerful and virtually bulletproof, these were the engines of choice in the early days of Grand National Stock Car racing in the south. The low center of gravity and low weight gave the cars exceptional performance and handling, and few sedans could touch them on the track or the road. Step-Down Hudsons were well ahead of their time, and they have earned a proud standing as a post-war design icon.

This 1949 Commodore Six sedan is one of the finest restored Step-Down Hudsons we have ever encountered. According to the previous owner, this car belonged to a long-time Hudson Club member out of Tennessee who enjoyed the car since the 1970s. Thanks to years of maintenance and care, the Commodore was in remarkably solid and original condition when it found its next and most recent owner. Shortly after acquiring it, the new owner commissioned Penn-Dutch Restorations to perform an exhaustive, no-expense-spared restoration, finished to a standard seldom seen on four-door Hudsons of this era. Finished in classic black over a gray broadcloth and leather interior, this outstanding Hudson displays high levels of fit and finish quality. Body alignment is excellent, with superb straight panels and gorgeous paintwork. All body fittings and trim are exceptional, with concours-quality plating on the bumpers, grilles, and moldings.

The Commodore Six was a step up from the Super Six in terms of luxury and equipment. This car is finished true to factory standards of the period, with gray broadcloth panels and leather-upholstered seats, which was an available factory option on the upscale Commodore. For a mid-priced car, the Commodore is quite luxurious, offering generous seats, built-in rear footrests, and extensive woodgrain trim on the dash and door caps. Rear passengers also enjoy a fold-down armrest and opening rear quarter-lights. This car includes a factory original radio, heater, and even a chrome tissue dispenser under the dash. The column shift 3-speed manual gearbox allows for three-wide seating in the front, with generous legroom for all passengers. Thanks to the rigid structure and well-tuned suspension, the Commodore is a delight to drive, with exceptional comfort and refinement for its class.

The high-quality detailing continues under the hood, with the original 262 cubic inch inline-six presenting in fine order with excellent paint, correct fittings and hardware, and period-correct decals and labels. As part of the restoration, the numbers-matching engine received a full teardown and rebuild to factory specs. The undercarriage is well-detailed and shows some signs of light use on the road while remaining very clean and orderly. The goal of the restoration was to have a car that performs as well as it looks, so no detail was overlooked in the process.

Following the restoration, this Hudson rightfully earned both AACA Junior and Senior awards and has received warm receptions at Hudson club events. This Commodore would no doubt be a welcome addition to any concours event, as we rarely see sedans so exquisitely restored. The sale of this Hudson Commodore represents a rare opportunity to acquire an icon of post-war American design, needing virtually nothing to enjoy for road or show.


Offers welcome and Trades Considered



Stock number 7709

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