1934 Hudson Special Eight Series, Model LT, 2-door Sedan
Original price: $725.00 (1934: Average annual household income, $1,600.00; average cost of a home, $5,970.00; average cost of a gallon of gas, 10 cents)
On loan from: Robert and Jeneane Johnson, Hastings, NE; car purchased in Kearney in 1961.
Number made: 27,130
Engine, etc.: Straight 8, L-head; 254 cu. in.; 108 hp; 3-speed manual transmission; 2,855 lbs.; 116” wheelbase. (Had mechanical brakes, now has hydraulic brakes)
Hudson was started in 1909 by a group of businessmen who combined resources to found the Hudson Car Company. One was Joseph L. Hudson who owned retail stores that continue today as Target stores.
The inexpensive Hudson Essex began production in 1919. They were a low-priced alternative to Fords and Chevrolets.
In 1930 Hudson introduced a flat head eight cylinder engine with the block and crankcase cast as a unit.
In 1932, Hudson president Roy Chapin decided to produce the Essex-Terraplane, a very light car in the bottom price class. The decision carried risk since this was during the Great Depression but the car was very successful.
Hudson had a new “112” line in 1938 almost identical to the Hudson Terraplanes but with a shorter wheelbase. Sales turned out to be disappointing.
After World War II smaller automakers found it hard to compete with the Big Three automakers – Ford, GM, and Chrysler. They could afford constant development and styling changes to make their cars look fresh. Smaller manufacturers could afford only gradual changes. The company was acquired by Nash-Kelvinator (made Nash and Rambler brands) in 1954. The merger created the American Motors Corporation in 1954.
The last Hudson came off the assembly line on June 25, 1957. By the end of 1957 both the Nash and Hudson brands had ceased production. The 1958 Rambler Ambassador did carry some design influences from Hudson in its grille and front-fender trim.
http://classiccardatabase.com/specs.php?series=3569&year=1934&model=9906 (“Coach” model)
Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1805-1942. B. R. Kimes, H. A. Clark, Jr. Kraus, 1985.
http://uniquecarsandparts.com/lost_marques_hudson.htm (Company history)
See also: http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Hudson/1933_Hudson/1933_Hudson_Super-Six_Owners_Manual/dirindex.html (Original 1933 owner’s manual)