Hey, Big Boy! 1946 Hudson C-28 Pickup

This pickup will be quite a project, but once you’re done you’ll have one of the most unusual and beautiful trucks ever made. This is a 1946 Hudson C-28 3/4-Ton Pickup and it’s on eBay with a current bid of just over $1,200 and there are four days left on the auction. This big boy is in Bangor, Pennsylvania. The 3/4-ton Hudsons were nicknamed “Big Boy”, but you probably knew that already.

This is one rough Hudson pickup. It almost looks like it’s been dropped from a helicopter, like it’s bent in the middle? This project pickup will require your A-game, there’s no question about it. They are really nice, unique pickups when they’re restored, though. This truck was stored for 30 years and it’ll need to have every square inch gone over, including the stuck engine. This pickup has great surface rust! I mean, great patina!.. (crickets)

I don’t see an embossed “HUDSON” on the tailgate, shouldn’t there be one? There should be, but the seller mentions that he doesn’t have it. It’s also missing the rear bumper, radiator, and the keys, among most likely quite a few other things. Some of them are fairly important, like a floor for the pickup bed..

And, missing floors in the cab. In 1948 Hudson went to unibody construction. These were fancy pickups, especially for the 1940s, and parts of this pickup were penned by the first woman designer, Betty Thacher Oro. They had basically the front portion of Hudson’s Commodore sedan so it has features like a heater, gauges, radio, etc.

Here’s the stuck engine, the one that used to look similar to this. It’s Hudson’s Super-Six and it put out 102 hp. The seller says that this engine is stuck but they have access to another one for extra $$$. Hopefully it can be freed up without having to change it. This truck deserves to be restored although, as you can see, it’ll be quite a task. Is this rare Hudson Pickup too far gone or can it be saved?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Well, it’s rare, no doubt. The most beautiful pickup? Sorry, I feel that goes to the similar Studebaker Coupe Express. ( ’38 was my favorite) This is a sway backed ol’ mule, something doesn’t look right. I don’t think that’s an original box ( could be off an older Hudson), but the rear fenders do look correct. On these years, the fenders were below the box some, on the one’s I’ve seen. Lot of work here, they seem to go for $50g’s. Depending on the route one would go ( resto or original) gonna have a lot into it. One thing for sure, it will never go down in value. Unbelievable find! Apparently, they are still out there.

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    • Howard A Member

      Oops, one correction, (I think) Hudson pickups after the war were called series 58, (’46-’47) 28C was 1942, according to this database. http://classiccardatabase.com/specs.php?series=9168&year=1946&model=26922

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      • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Staff

        Howard, you are correct, sir. They were a Series-58 Commercial vehicle and, from what I understand, the C-28 denotes a commercial series 3/4-ton with a 128-inch wheelbase. According to Road and Track, the C-28 was made from 1939 to 1942 and again after the war from 1945 to 1947. Thanks for the clarification!

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    • geomechs

      Hi Howard. I tend to agree with you in regard to the Stude. They were one of the most stylish trucks ever made. Too bad the buying public wasn’t ready for it. Oh by the way it must be getting to that time of year again. Have a great day!

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    • Puhnto

      I think the 1937 Studebaker pickup is the prettiest, but I believe we’re on the same page!

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  2. Jay E.

    Pull the body, put it on a late model Dodge chassis with a Cummins!

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    • Jay M

      I too would be very tempted to drop the body on a modern chassis.
      Hard to justify the money required for a proper restoration on one this rough.

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  3. Rich

    If you did most of the work yourself, and didn’t go overboard on restoration, this would be a great weekend driver and you could still haul stuff in it without stressing out about scratches. Would hate to see this get over-restored and never be driven again.

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  4. Dave Wright

    These are interesting. I looked closely at one in a junkyard south of Corning (California) maby 15 years ago. Decided against it after considerable study but that had more to do with room at my boatyard at the time. The bed looks loose, i would build it from the frame up anyway. They are not a complicated vehicle and shouldn’t be that tough to restore. There is an active owners group to help with parts and technical advise. In my experiance, unless an engine is left open…like the head being off……a stuck engine is not that difficult a problem. Pull the head, you will find a stuck valve and maby some corrosion in one cylinder. In the course of a rebuild not tough problems to deal with. They have always looked to me like a sedan cut down to a pickup by some ambitious soul.

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  5. geomechs

    This would be an ambitious project for sure. But if you took your time it could be brought back to its original glory and enjoyed to the max. Stuck engines never bothered me; I’ve unstuck some doozies. It all depends on what’s actually causing it to be stuck.

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  6. cliffyc

    Being a Brit,this lovely truck brings to mind the 1953 Morris 8cwt Pick-Up,a derivative of the Morris Minor from 1948. It’s a scaled down lookalike to me!.

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  7. Dave Wright

    I like these a lot…..but not many around. Mack JR

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    • Puhnto

      Oh, that is a nice little truck!

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    • Howard A Member

      Rebadged REO. Love it.

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  8. Guggie 13

    A guy in Northville NY has a Hudson pickup like this one , on the road and a daily driver , better shape , but mostly stock , kinda a cool truck

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  9. Dan Ouellette

    I think the 1939 studebaker coupe express is a nice truck

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  10. Ralph Robichaud

    The first picture says- ” sad”, practically cartoonish,

    Does anybody else see that.?

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  11. Rex

    This is another ‘eye of the beholder’ thing, but I have always believed these were the least good looking trucks ever made (trying not to be negative). It is very unique though, so it would be fun to put it back on the road.

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  12. Rustytech

    Well it’s in better shape than the one sitting next to a barn about 5 miles from here. That poor thing is sitting in the mud halfway up the bumpers, in about another 10 years it will be an archaeology project. I hope this doesn’t have the same fate.

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  13. Glen

    I like to see vehicles restored to original, so why do I see ratrod when I look at this truck?

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  14. Van

    The El Camino never had this much style. I imagine if Harley Earl had built the El it might have been like this. A restomod would be great, but I don’t think it would get any more use. That is becoming a problem now, modifying a vehicle for drivability and then not driving. At most I’d say add front disc and a hidden radio. Although with southern summers can you hide AC?

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  15. chad

    3 or 4 co made these “the 1st of the el caminos / racheros” – car fronts w/p/u backs (20s – 80s). Any 1 remember the others?
    Austin is a Brit 1, but I mean the usa 1s…

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  16. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Staff

    Auction update: this Big Boy sold for $5,400.

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