In our third installment this week of September’s 2016’s Ride of the Month nominations, we feature the 1935 Hudson Special 8 4 Door Humpback Sedan presented by nominee Mike Thurber. Here is some general information about the vehicle.
Note: This is not information about the actual vehicle nominated for September’s Ride of the Month, just general information on the vehicle itself. Please check the link at the bottom of today’s article to view all the actual vehicles nominated for this month’s Ride of the Month.
Hudson Motor Car Company was founded in 1909 by eight Detroit businessmen. Department store tycoon Joseph L. Hudson lent his name to the company to help create instant name recognition. The company was more successful than many in manufacturing reliable vehicles in the sub-$1,000 price range. In 1929, at the zenith of Hudson’s popularity, Ford and Chevrolet were the only U.S. automakers selling more vehicles. The 1935 Hudson Special 8 Humpback Sedan is one of the company’s best-known vehicles.
Advantages of the 1935 Hudson Special 8 4 Door Humpback Sedan
The distinctive lines of the 1935 Hudson Special 8 Humpback Sedan leave little doubt as to the origin of the “humpback” nickname. The bulging trunk lid provided significantly more storage capacity than certain competing vehicles. The five-passenger Special 8 Sedan retailed for $935, while the longer Suburban Sedan sold for $967. The 54-HT model had a 117-in wheelbase, while the longer 54-HTL had a 124-in wheelbase.
Hudson’s V8 Engine
The Special 8 engine was a flathead inline eight that the company introduced in 1930. The innovative power plant featured a crankcase and engine block cast as one unit. The crankshaft featured eight integrated counterweights, an industry first. Hudson engineers also included a Lanchester vibration damper in the design, along with a valveless oil pump that eliminated the previous splash lubrication system. The new Special 8 engine replaced the Super Six in all newer Hudson models. The standard compression 254 cu-in engine in the 1935 Special 8 generated 113 hp at 3,800 rpm. A high-compression design generated 124 hp at 3800 rpm.
A Hudson Special 8 could reach speeds in excess of 80 mph, and it could complete the zero-60 scamper in approximately 17 seconds. Hudsons were known for their durability and speed over long distances. For example, a standard V8-equipped 1937 Hudson averaged 88.9 mph in setting a 1,000-mile record in its class. Another Hudson V8 set a record when it covered 2,104 miles in 24 hours.
The body design of the Hudson Special 8 and the relative scarcity of the model makes it a novel choice for a resto-rod conversion. To add power to a Hudson street rod, some enthusiasts will swap out the engine for a modern 350 cu-in or larger V8. High quality restorations of the Hudson Special 8 can fetch $50,000 or more in today’s market.
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