• 1952 Hudson Hornet

More then 40 NASCAR wins must count for something, between 1951 and 1955 this was king car, not only on the race track but also on the streets of you’re back home alee.

  • 1952 Hudson Hornet
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    3-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    5048 L

Created by Howard Coffin, George W. Dunham, and Roy E. Chapin, The Hudson Motor Car Company came into existence in 1909 and produced vehicles until 1957. First, in 1941, rejected by the conservative thinking of A.E. Barit’ the companies president, the prototype sat on the factory roof for the duration of World War II. Then, after the war ended, the cars engineers brought the radical design again before Barit, this time the car’s handling won him over and he ordered it into production for 1948.

Hudson called the design "step-down" because the floorboards were lower than the doorsills and you stepped down to enter the car.

1952 Hudson Hornet
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Although normal today, this was the first mass-produced car to mount the floor at the bottom of the frame rails instead of on top of them. This simple change made a lower car without sacrificing headroom, and gave the car a cavernous interior.

The car sat low, giving it an excellent center of gravity. Its flowing, curvy lines and enclosed rear wheels gave it aerodynamic features. The new Hudson used a form of unit-body construction. The passenger section of the body and frame were one unit. This construction was new to Hudson, only a few automakers used unit-body in the 40s, and they didn’t want the structure to have any weak points. Engineers added extra steel and braces until the car was as strong as a bridge. It even had girders that wrapped into the roof to form a safety cage. Rough roads couldn’t break it; a crash would only shake it.

This feature with a low center of gravity and a stiff structure made the step-down Hudson the best-handling American car of its time. The heft and a long wheelbase also insured a comfortable ride.

1952 Hudson Hornet
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The Hornet was based upon the Hudson Commodore Eight model line and available in two and four-door sedan, convertible coupe and hardtop coupe. For 1951, the car was powered by Hudson’s H-145 high compression in-line L-head six 308ci engine with two-barrel carburetor producing 145 hp at 3800rpm. This engine, combined with overall road-ability, plus the fact these cars were over engineered and over built, made them unbeatable in competition on the dirt and the very few paved tracks of the 1950s. Hudson was the first automobile manufacturer to get involved in sports car racing.

The new Hudson was priced in the Buick price range and had a comfortable, well-appointed interior. Styling was very much in the late 40’s fashion with rounded, flowing lines. The fact that Hudson was lower and wider than other cars in ’48 made it a sensation at auto shows. Hudson had more orders than they could fill—the future looked bright.

In 1952, the "Twin-H" version of the engine was introduced with dual one-barrel carburetors which produced 170 hp. The engine could be tuned to produce 210 hp if equipped with the factory 7-X modifications. And with help of Marshall Teague, Herb Thomas and Tim Flock driving skils,the Hudson Hornet won 27 NASCAR races. In AAA racing, Teague drove a stock Hornet to 14 wins during the season, bringing the Hornet’s season record to 40 wins in 48 events, a winning percentage of 83%, a remarkable feat for a six-cylinder car.

1952 Hudson Hornet
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Mechanix Illustrated’s Tom McCahill explained it this way: "Hudsons are ripping the feathers out of the other brands on one simple, but oh so vital, point. They are America’s finest road cars from the very important standpoint of roadability, cornering, and steering...To stay with the Hudsons on a race course, these other cars must literally pull themselves apart in the corners, while the Hudsons sail around with effortless ease."

In its final year before the Hudson merger with Nash-Kelvinator, 24,833 Hornets were produced.

Constantin Cheptea
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Show Comments


  (458) posted on 10.10.2011

It is like looking back to the things we didn’t know but because of this cars, we could go back with better knowing for what’s the concept of the past people and how they deal with their vehicles.

  (501) posted on 08.19.2011

The historical figure of the car is very famous. I’m not familiar with this one but base on your comments. I can say that this car really made a memorable history. It became famous because of the show you were talking about.

  (324) posted on 03.2.2010

@ Nic_walsh - i think so too nic. because there are only one hudson hornet in the world

  (442) posted on 02.18.2010

Isn’t it the hudson hornet is feature in the Disney movie Cars? is he the Blue Hudson hornet that teaches the Corvette how to drift?

  (1) posted on 11.13.2009

Larry Kinney, you were a lucky dog. I recently "discovered" the Hudson Hornet in a car show here in Albert City, Iowa, and immediately fell in love with it, though it’s doubtful that I’ll ever own or drive one. It’s hard to imagine a better looking car.

  (1) posted on 03.15.2007

Actually, the car pictured in the movie and on this site is a 1951 hudson hornet, as any Hudson fan would tell you. The 1952 had a different hood ornament and parking light bezels.
Check it out!
Roger C

  (1) posted on 03.5.2007

Great Article on The Hornet !
One of my most thrilling rides as a 12 year old was in a Maroon 1952 Hudson Hornet.. My step-father owned & raced several different Hudsons But this Hornet was his favorite.. Now if you are old enough to rememeber what the south was like in the early 50s.. then this story will ring true..
Dub (my step-father) and I set out to drive from Crestview, Fla. to Mobile, AL.. at nite..around 8PM on a late fall Sat. nite,,
Dub took me for a ride...in more ways than one.. My mother was working late that nite and didn’t know anything of Dub’s plans with her 12 yr old son..
Back in the day..it was quite fashionable for a southern gentlemen to avail himself to a fine (sic) pint of local hash as he drove down the highway..
Now this Hudson was the smoothest and fastest car I have EVER been in..including many hot cars in the 70’s.. Handled curves like a Souther Pacific train on tracks !..I digress..
We are running through the NW corner of Florida ,,passing thru Pensacola and heading for Mobile, AL.
Speeds of around 70-80 mph on a curvey 2 land road,,up and down rolling hills.. Fun stuff at night..
turning the headlights off for a few seconds was thrilling..remember 1954 in the Alabama country-side with NO street lights for miles and miles..Well, as we flew past a side road that was on our right at an angle at us..There was a pair of headlights waiting for us to pass.. As we flew by, I happened to noticed that those head lights suddenly made a very sharp right turn towards us...(easliy seen due to the fact that the headlights were NOT parallal anymore).. I expreesed to Dub what I had seen...It looked like someone was suddenly after us..This became more evident every time we crested a hill and noticed the headlights were a bit brighter and larger... Dub knowing that this was possibly a local lawman..proceded to FLOOR it ! Now we are approaching 100, then 110 and then 115..then 120..Now Hudsons had the Round Speedos..and the peg at the bottom was both 0 and 120..
The needle was bouncing off the peg...the right side of the peg..
And then a few minutes later, we suddenly see another pair of headlights approaching us from the rear and t was a Ala. State Trooper in a hopped up new 1955 Ford V8..Now remember this a curvey hilly two lane road..The cop slowly caught up to us but could not pass us..or chose not to pass us...since again, two lanes, Sat. Nite..around 1030pm..126 MPH was the speed noted on the ticket that night..And While we all were discussing each others Rods..(friendly Trooper,,and a quite impressed trooper as well).. A Ford (1954, stock) driven by a local sheriff, pulled up behind us,,with steam comin’ out of both the underpowered ford AND the driver.. Words were shouted about for a few minutes and then
Dub was given a WARNING and told to keep it under 100 the rest of the nite and so off we went to Mobile. We made it safely even though I had to drive the last 50 miles due to Dub having enjoyed abit too much Whiskey that night.. I barely could see pass that giant hood..being that I was 12 and the car was a good 5 inches lower then any stock car made in this era..Again, Fun Stuff..
And oh yeah, I got it up to 95 a couple of times while Dub was sleeping....
Larry Kinney 64 yrs young

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