The Hudson Motor Company formed on the idea of making the American motor car affordable to the general public. The company’s strategy to compete in the car market was to build a car for less than $1,000. The public’s response was to buy over 4,000 cars in the first year. It might not sound like a lot but the 4,508 units sold was the best first year production in the history of the automobile industry, a major accomplishment for the newly formed small company.
The Hudson Commodore was introduced in 1941 to moderate success. Following the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the United States entered World War II and production stopped in the Hudson plants to assist in war production. Following the end of the war, Hudson resumed production of Commodores like this in 1946. However, today this Hudson Commodore sits a lot different than when it left the factory in ’46. The beneficiary of a complete 8-year resto-mod restoration, it’s a very capable cruiser thanks to a legendary Chevy power plant and a ton of upgrades.
Sure this ’46 had a grand beginning, however at some point someone parked it in the Mississippi swamp and left it to rot, thankfully the previous owners saw the potential of this Commodore and started an 8 year restoration to its current condition. It starts at the front of the body where a chrome body-width front bumper hangs below a massive chrome grille that sits between two large round headlights. Up front you''ll find little hood lights that illuminate when the lights are turned on. As you make your way down the body you’ll pass the Hudson chrome emblems that sit just before the start of the front doors. The two strips of chrome trim that passes over the length of the car, including the suicide rear doors, is separated by a small strip of tan paint that accents the cream body and chrome trim very nicely. At the rear of the car a chrome rear bumper hangs just below the spacious rear trunk that is flanked on either side by the rear taillights.
Tilt the hood forward on this ’46 Hudson and you’ll see that gone is the original six cylinder, and in its place is the near bulletproof 350ci Chevy V8. The engine has a vintage look thanks to an Offenhauser intake manifold and Hudson stamped valve covers. At the top of the engine, a small air filter rests on an Edelbrock 4-barrell carburetor that shoves the air fuel mixture into the aforementioned Offenhauser intake. Spark arrives in the cylinder via Accell super stock spiral core wires that are fed by an Accel HEI supercoil distributor. The amazing Commodore carries two batteries so you can show off all the amazing features at a local car show without having to worry about whether or not it will crank after the show. The dual-battery setup is controlled by a panel on the passenger side of the engine bay. In front of the engine is a BeCool radiator that ensures this Hudson can take on any long trip without having to worry about overheating.
At the front of the undercarriage you’ll find the familiar Chevy orange of the 350 shining bright. Bolted to the 350ci V8 is a durable 350 turbo 3-speed automatic transmission that sends power to 3.0 gears. As far as suspension goes, the front suspension utilizes a double a-arm style suspension while at the rear a typical leaf spring setup provides a decent ride. Stopping power has been increased thanks to a front disc brake upgrade, while on the rear you’ll find drum brakes. In front of those brakes you’ll find chrome 80-spoke wire wheels with the original Hudson hubcaps.
Up to this point the restoration has been pretty incredible, but the interior might be the real winner of this build. Open the doors to this Commodore and you’ll find a blend of modern convenience with styling of yester-year. Between the doors, you’ll find a tasteful and luxurious interior that kicks off with classy, tufted seats. Front and center, a stylish dash frames rebuilt gauges above a factory radio and hidden CD player. In front of the driver, a vintage steering wheel spins a wide-diameter rim around a chrome horn ring. Throughout, there is small touches that catch everyone’s eye. For instance, the power windows are controlled by pushing the original window handles forward or backward. You’ll also find power steering, two speed electric wipers, and custom black walnut garnish moldings.
The sale of this incredible Hudson resto-mod includes a ton of documentation as well. The purchase includes a book by J.C. Long about the Hudson history, a booklet of restoration photos, two issues of Mike Kelly’s Cruise News where the Hudson is featured in it, an appraisal from Barry Sterneck, a ton of receipts, instruction manuals, Hudson mechanical procedure manual, Commodore owner’s manual, and an original certificate of 60 shares of the Hudson motor company.
When it comes to maximizing the amount of car your money buys, you can’t go wrong with a purpose-built Hudson resto-mod. Thanks to its thorough restoration, this awesome Hudson is a great driving piece that’s fun, historic AND reliable. And if you’re looking for a stylish classic that commands respect on both the boulevard and the show field, it’s just your style! Don’t miss your chance to own this one-of-a-kind Commodore.