The lists of “firsts” introduced by Hudson is a lengthy one that includes the first mass production of closed, all weather sedans, and the use of balanced crankshafts. They were also the company that pioneered the mass production of “step down” body construction with a recessed floor pan, a concept utilized in almost every car manufactured in the past thirty years.
Engineering made manifest in vehicles driven to record setting performance was another hallmark of Hudson. First, there was the 1912 Model 33 “mile a minute” roadster and awe inspiring Super Six that debuted in January of 1916, the car that catapulted Hudson to prominence.
In September, Mulford, with two co-drivers, drove a Super Six seven passenger touring car from San Francisco, California, to New York City in a record breaking five days, three hours, and thirty one minutes. They immediately turned and headed west back to San Francisco completing the first double transcontinental trip by automobile.
The Essex, introduced in 1919 continued the companies’ tradition of well-engineered vehicles even though it was the low priced companion model. At the Cincinnati Speedway under AAA supervision a sedan averaged 60.75 miles per hour for fifty hours without mechanical failure. In August of 1920, four cars, two from each coast, set a new transcontinental record with an average of four days, twenty one hours, and thirty two minutes.
Even during the dark days of the Great Depression, and the years that followed, Hudson held firm to this commitment to quality even though sales plummeted. In 1940 alone, John Cobb captured almost every AAA Closed Car record with a stock sedan.
From 1950 to 1954, cars built by this company dominated NASCAR and were the vehicles of choice for a number of legendary drivers such as Marshall Teague and Tim Flock. The amazing performance of these cars did not end with cessation of production. In the summer of 2007, Andrew Fulton of Apollo, Pennsylvania, drove his 1919 Model 6A Essex touring car in the grueling Peking to Paris Motor Challenge completing the 6,882 miles course in thirty-five days!
In spite of low production numbers, Hudson was a diverse company. In addition to the traditional array of sedans, coupes, and convertibles, the company also produced a series of stylish pick up trucks and taxis.
All of this is the legacy of the legendary white triangle.