auto / moto mix.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Hudson Commodore

Hudson Commodore

Founded in 1909, Hudson was a manufacturer of mediocre motor cars. Until 1948, that is - which is when their new Step Down range was launched. Overnight, Hudson became a byword for 'cool'. Even the bottom-of-the-range 'Pacemaker' was sought-after. The 'Commodore' was positively coveted!

Hudson's styling department had been working overtime. The curves of the Commodore's bodywork presaged shapes which would dominate '50s automotive design. Certainly, the Commodore's 'low-rider' profile was ahead of the game. Hence, the 'Step Down' tag. That was due to 'Monobilt' - a unitary-construction process Hudson had developed. The floor-pan was beneath the chassis. Passengers, then, stepped down into the cabin. But Monobilt was more than aesthetically pleasing. It was safer, too. Passengers were surrounded - and protected - by a robust perimeter frame.

As 6-seater saloon cars go, the Commodore was pretty quick. The 8-cylinder engine version made 128bhp - which was good for 93mph. Half a million Commodores were sold. But unfortunately for Hudson - and other small car companies - the automotive sharks were circling. They were small fry, compared to the big fish in the Detroit pool. With Ford, GM and Chrysler nearby, Hudson were always going to be struggling. In '54, the firm bowed to the inevitable. They merged with Nash, in order to stay afloat. Hudson, though, had had its day in the sun. Its 'Step Down' cars - and most notably the Commodore - were stylish, functional, fast and safe. Which is what you want!

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