Why Did Hudson Stop Production After Nearly 50 Years of Carmaking?

When it first started, Hudson cars quickly became a classic. With their classic style, Hudsons became icons on and off the track.
Written by Hannah DeWitt
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
car brand
can last forever. Sometimes, they fail to catch on in a market and fade away. Other times, the parent company makes an executive decision.
And then there is what happened to Hudson. The iconic American car company flourished and wilted away, and you have to ask where it all went.

History on the Hudson

Hot Cars
reports that the company's name did not come from the famous river, but from its main financial backer, Joseph L. Hudson. He was one of eight businessmen who created the company in February 1909.
The company's mission statement was to sell cars for under $1,000, and this helped them stand out in a crowded market. They were the 11th largest car company that year, and by their second year they sold 4,000 units.
Hudsons sold more by being some of the first cars with roofs, and they also adopted the GM self-starter to make their cars easier to start. Other innovations included moving the steering wheel to the left and the gears to the center, adding a balanced crankshaft, installing generator and oil pressure warning lights on the dashboard, and designing a cork clutch.
By the 1920s, Hudson was famous for its Super and Special Sixes and their six-cylinder engines. They coasted through the 1930s with cutting edge features such as using longer and softer leaf springs in their suspension.
In 1942, the company introduced the Drive-Master transmission, which gave drivers a choice between manual shifting, automatic shifting, or a combination of the two. These innovations allowed Hudson to become one of the major car companies in the U.S. 
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Types of Hudson

The 1919 Essex was a steel-bodied four-cylinder car that Hudson created to compete with Chevrolet and Ford. It did incredibly well throughout the 1920s, and it even sold through the 1930s. 
Of course, it was most famous for its Super and Special Sixes. However, it did eventually make a car with an eight-cylinder car line called the Great Eight, though it was not as powerful as other V8s.
Hudson’s most beloved car was the Hornet "Step-Down." It came out in 1948, and it had a unitized construction, flush-fender sides, 124-inch wheelbase, and fully skirted rear wheels. 
The recessed floorpan surrounded by strong frame girders was its most memorable feature. It gave the Hornet a low center of gravity that handled well on city streets and racetracks. Between the spacious interior and the safe construction, drivers got a smooth ride.
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What happened to Hudson?

Many car historians blame Hudson's lack of a proper V8 engine for Chrysler and Ford gaining on them when they came out with suped-up V8s in 1951. They tried with the Great Eight cars, but those didn't catch on in the 1930s.
Another problem was that the Hornet "Step Down" was expensive to change, and they had to stick with the same model until 1954. Other manufacturers produced newer models, and Hudson lost money. 
Hudson merged with Nash, another car company, to take advantage of the bigger bank account. They introduced new Hornet and Wasp models, but they looked too much like the old Nash models to sell. 
Chrysler gobbled up Nash-Hudson in 1989 and brought the engineers from Nash-Hudson on board. Thus, Hudson the company died, but their engineering spirit lives on.
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Insurance never gets discontinued

Hudsons may not be getting anymore upgrades, but they will still be around used car lots and sales pages as people turn them in for newer models. These used models will need insurance to get on the road.
has no problem getting a Hudson insured because it has over 50 carriers such, as Nationwide and Allstate, and Jerry's experienced team of agents can advise you about insuring any car at all.
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