2-Door Classic: 1949 Hudson Commodore Club Coupe

When the 3rd Generation of the Hudson Commodore was introduced in December of 1947, it was one of the first of the new designs of cars to emerge from a US manufacturer following World War II, and its advanced styling stole a march on the opposition. It remains a distinctive and interesting car, and this 1949 Commodore Club Coupe looks like it would be a great restoration project. Barn Finder Ikey H referred the Hudson to us, so thank you so much for that Ikey. The Commodore is located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking $15,000 OBO for this post-war classic.

The first thing that caught my eye about this Hudson is the interesting color combination of Brigantine Blue and Maroon Deep that is hiding under the healthy layer of dust. It’s an unusual combination, but it is a combination that seems to work quite well. The second thing that caught my eye was the fact that the car looks to be largely complete, with no obvious items or trim pieces missing. The third thing was how good it appears to be under that dust. The panels appear to be as straight as an arrow, and there is no evidence of any rust issues with the car. In addition, the owner says that it appears that the Hudson has been undercoated, which suggests that the underside of the car may well be as solid as the top appears to be. The owner believes that the car may have undergone a repaint at some point in the past, and I do tend to agree with his assessment that it would come up nicely if it was cleaned from top to bottom.

The interior condition of the Hudson is just as impressive as the exterior. Looking through the supplied photos, I can find a tear in the top corner of the front seat on the driver’s side, and that’s about all that I can fault. The rest of the interior looks to be in wonderful condition, and once again, some solid work with quality cleaning products would make the world of difference. Even the timber capping on the doors and the timber dash look to be in good condition. One of my favorite design features inside the Hudson is the attention to detail to make the dash appear to be symmetrical. The additional glove compartment in front of the driver completes the look perfectly and is also a great feature in itself.

There are no engine photos, but we do know that under the hood of the Commodore is the 254ci straight-8 engine, producing 128hp. This power is then sent to the rear wheels via a 3-speed manual transmission. The owner says that the Hudson doesn’t start, but given the fact that he acknowledges that all of the lights and interior items operate, it does indicate that he has made some attempt to see if the engine at least turns freely. Hopefully, it won’t take much to get the car running again, because it is a car that is just begging to be returned to the road.

This 1949 Hudson Commodore Club Coupe is a giant of a car, and this one really looks like it has the potential to be a great restoration project. It looks like there will be potentially very little work required to bring the body and interior back to life, and if the drive-train can be revived, I can think of fewer things finer than cruising down a country road on a sunny Sunday behind the wheel of this car. Can you?

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Comments

  1. Gaspumpchas

    What is with these guys? For petes sake wash it so you can see how nice it is. And one more movement of his lazy body, lift the hood and show us the mill. Anyhoo, looks sweet from what we can see, good luck to the new owner!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 39
    • SMS

      I loved my Hudson, this could be a great car. For this money I would think it would be running. L heads are simple beasts and not a lot of reasons keep them from running.

      Needs to be seen on a rack. Undercoating can help or hurt when it comes to rust. There are a few known areas where the unibody will decay and it is the devil to repair.

      When running well these glide down the road. If but easy to park and drive. The Coupes have a look that is so cool.

      Like 5
    • AMCFAN

      It’s funny people gripe about anything. In this case cleaning. There is a time and in this case with this slick black beauty a time to let it be.

      My guess is there will be very few surprises after the dust is cleared . It looks to have been loved and cared for. You can see it shine under the dust.

      So it’s setting in a garage on a concrete floor and parked without a car cover. She is sleeping in her natural state. It isn’t shined and posed with tire silicone dripping on the floor or in those fake garage looking retail showrooms you see some sellers use over and over with auto advertising all over like eye candy. It is in Mr. Averageman’s garage. I can let it slide.

      There is a time for natural environment and the seller nailed it. Nice presentation and fantastic Hudson. Not a high dollar piece just cool. Hope it doesn’t get an LS swap and 20″ swapmeet import wheels

      Like 13
      • ccrvtt

        “Slick black beauty”??? It’s so dirty you can’t tell the color.

        “You can see it shine under the dust”??? No, you can’t.

        You “guess” there will be very few surprises? Why should you have to guess?

        Dusty dirty ‘before’ pictures can set the stage for ‘after’ pictures that show what a gem (possibly) this car may be.

        There is a time for natural environment and this ain’t it. No one in their right mind would try to sell a used car covered in dirt.

        Like 17
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    From the pictures and description, this seems to be a car that is in really good condition. I think the seller didn’t help himself by not including pictures of the car after a good wash. Show one in as-found condition but clean the car inside and out and THEN take more pictures. Would have been nice to have an engine pic, too.

    That said, assuming the engine is free, and with a bit of luck, it may not take much to get it going. Freshen up the mechanicals, add new tires and enjoy. I think the ask is fair and the seller did add “OBO” so an interested buyer could get it for a little less.

    This is an impressive classic that possibly wouldn’t need a lot of money to make it presentable and roadworthy. Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 11
  3. canadainmarkseh Member

    2 door coupe Hudson what’s not to like. You know some people think if your to lazy to clean it what else are you to lazy to do.I’m one of those people. This is a rare car now and it looks to be pretty good. I’d bet if he cleaned it up he might get a few more k for it. Nice find though.

    Like 13
  4. Arnoud Jongensdroom NL

    Unbelievably beautiful. They design of this car is just amazing. Would like to see it washed and in daylight.

    Like 6
  5. Wayne

    The pictures, particularly the interior shots bring back a lot of good memories.
    I would love to own this car.

    Like 1
    • PatrickM

      I would, too. But, it is priced way out of my price range.

  6. Rodney - GSM

    Let’s start a GoFundMe page for this and the owner of the Packard Caribbean convertible for a wash and detail……

    Like 5
  7. Arby

    Oh no – don’t touch the dirt – it’ll drop the value by 50%….

    Like 4
  8. That AMC guy

    The Hudson six was actually the better engine. The straight-8 is an older design that still had splash lubrication.

    Like 6
    • Dave

      How about replacing the engine and transmission with a 258 six and four speed automatic? Don’t get rid of them, but give it something different. Heck, throw in a 292 or 300 inch six and transmission and head for the Mother Road.

      Like 2
      • SMS

        Agree that the 262 and later 308 were better engines. There are plenty of them around. Nothing wrong with this 8 cylinder. They were smooth and had enough torque.

        Why put an automatic in it? What would you gain?

        Doubt that there are many of these around. Have never seen one at any of the Hudson meets.

        Lots of Chevys and shoeboxes laying around that can be updated and have a slushbox added, but please not this one.

        Like 4
      • Dave

        I was thinking about the AMC six and four speed automatic that Jeep uses. Save the original, numbers matching powertrain and restomod the car.
        The 292 was a big Chevy six, while the 300 was Ford’s legendary six banger. But, if you’re bound and determined to keep it stock Hudson, by all means do so. When I was little my parents had a 52 Buick with a straight 8 and torque tube driveline. Many was the night my father would come home from working 4-12 and spend the night replacing the clutch and/or transmission. God rest his soul!

        Like 1
      • Little_Cars

        Funny you mention the Mother Road. I have a tin sign hanging in my shop depicting the Route 66 shield, a stepdown Hudson like this, fuzzy dice, and a sunset.

    • MikeH

      The six was at least a newer engine. The eight was a splasher, but maintained, was an excellent engine. It should be preserved not least because of its rarity. Out of 159,000 cars produced in 1949, only 28,600 were Commodore eights. Pull the engine and you’ve pulled the heart out of the car.

      Like 4
  9. 86_Vette_Convertible

    If you have kids or grandkids, put a pair of eyeballs on it and they’re sure to know it’s Doc Hudson from the kids movie Cars.
    What’s not to like about a 2dr Hudson? This is a great vehicle and should be heading down the highway. As long as the engine is solid – fix it up. Only if there was major drivetrain issues would I consider doing any modifications or changes to it.

    Like 5
  10. Jay

    Ypsilanti here we come

    Nice

    Like 1
  11. Bill Wilkman

    Preserve it…don’t restore it.

    • PatrickM

      I disagree. Clean and preserve AND restore/upgrade as necessary. Let’s keep it safe enough to drive, and stop, in today’s environment. The underside doesn’t look all that great. True, she is 70 years old, but, give her some real TLC. If I could get this one, I would keep it until forever.

  12. 02Anders

    Ouuuhh… want this one quite badly!
    But buying something like this and then adding shipping to Europe on top. Hmmm… heart says: “Go on…!!”, but brain says: “Too risky…”

  13. Thomas Allen

    If a person was to bring cash, I’m sure the seller would throw in a car wash. Arm chair qtr-backs comes to mind.

    Like 3
  14. Rustytech Member

    I think if the seller wants to enter pictures on the unwashed barn find that’s fine, but then wash it and add some after pictures. This may very well be worth the asking price, but who can tell? Some underbody, and engine picks would help too.

    Like 2
  15. Tom S.

    Where can I buy dust in a spray can to perfect that Barn Finds look?

    Like 2
    • Dickie F.

      Wear a pair of overalls, headgear and breathing mask – then take the angle grinder to the garage brick wall and cut it inch deep for 5 minutes.
      There you go – evidence of 30 year storage.

      Like 3
  16. zemario

    Adam you can not post lazy cars that you hide from photographs. Your publication will be discredited and I will not be signing for more years if I do not believe it.

    Like 1
  17. Will Owen Member

    Every time I get all nostalgic for the cars of my early youth, I have to remember what pigs they could be to park. I was lucky enough to have been able to borrow a ’56 Chevy convertible with its top down when I took my Indiana driving exam … and to have gotten an examiner who had me do it at a totally empty curb!

    This behemoth with its little cab perched atop acres of Hudson would be a great road-trip car – I bet you could sleep in the trunk! – and the few I remember were wonderfully comfortable to ride in. It’s just too bad, and not a little ironic, that the design features that made these so great also made the chassis prohibitively expensive to update, with the perimeter frame wrapping outboard of the rear wheels. So they were stuck with that structure until their last version, as an ugly retrimmed Nash.

    Like 1
  18. Bill McCoskey

    If I’m not mistaken, Hudson referred to the 2-door closed cars as a “Brougham”, not a club coupe. Great car, if I was younger I would grab this car and work hard to keep it all original. Not only is the “top of the line” Commodore Eight a rare car, Hudson sold very few 2-door cars, so a Commodore Eight Brougham would be quite rare. Probably only a handful of these left in the world.

    Like 4
  19. Del

    Nice car but presentation sucks .

    Another non runner which is even more likely to affect price.

    The way this is, the price is to high.

    Like 1
  20. Bill McCoskey

    A big concern for a non-running Hudson Eight motor is the fact that ALL Hudson straight 8 motors had Babbitt bearings for both the main and rod bearings. If not prepared properly before attempting to start the motor, severe damage can be caused to the bearing surfaces, and that means a total engine overhaul, as it’s not like pulling the pan & replacing bearing shells. This has to be done by a qualified machine shop specializing in Babbitt bearings.

    Like 3
  21. charlie Member

    The front fenders rusted through just behind the headlights – was told by an owner who showed me his (in 1957) that the stamping of the sheet metal for that part of the fender resulted in its being excessively thin. Look at the picture, but what a great smooth, fast, ride it was.

    Like 1
  22. Bruce Fischer

    She is a beauty!Bruce.

    Like 2
  23. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    nice….

    Like 1
  24. Mike Michael

    But please don’t chop it

    Like 2
  25. paul oberman

    wow, that’s a creampuff

    Like 1
  26. Bob McK Member

    The interior looks nice. However for 15 large, it would be nice to see the paint, engine and the bottom of the car. Just because the interior looks nice does not mean there are not problems. Plus for 15 large, it should be running.

    Like 2
  27. Little_Cars

    @Mike Michael, these cars are pretty much already chopped. Don’t recall seeing one chopped further (even by dudes in the bonehead-redneck club). As far as a good wash, I’m on the fence. One thing I don’t like on these low cars is a two-tone treatment on the lower sweep. Totally unnecessary–breaks up the lines. Would love to see just the Brigantine blue all over. The Hudson Terraplane club met in Nashville a few years back, and the stepdown models do not benefit IMHO from anything but solid colors top to bottom.

  28. charlie Member

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, notice how many models have emulated the much despised Pontiac Aztec, 15 years later. There is one of these with the same color combo and treatment near Carson City, NV, and it, to me, is just beautiful. I suppose it was to counter the slab side design when designers thought people were not really ready for the slab side – GM and Studebaker had suggestions of front and rear fenders, and the Ford Crestline had a paint treatment on its slab in ’51.

    Like 1
  29. Fred Alexander

    If I remember correctly these had polished stainless steel fender skirts – – if so hopefully they exist cause they’d be hard to find.
    Still you’d have to go to SMS Upholstery to see if he has the original upholstery material to do the front seat because of the wear on drivers side back rest – – then you;d have to do the rear seat too to have it match.
    Red Green would Duck Tape it – – –

    • Little_Cars

      Doubtful stainless steel. If you mean the skirt continued with the body molding design to the rear that may be true. Tooling costs for stainless steel would have been immense in the immediate postwar era.

      • Fred Alexander

        I owned a 1942 Mercury (American Built) which was sold new here in Canada in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. That was the last year of production before all vehicle manufacturing went to the war effort. That vehicle’s trim was SS as well as all my 50’s Pontiac’s. My 56 Pontiac Laurentian Convert, had SS fender skirts also. (GM dealer option)
        It would be nice if we could find a sales brochure to see if skirts were actually on these cars as many large luxury vehicles had them. Many fender skirts were tossed once a person had to deal with mud or frozen ice removing them to change a flat tire, The car looks like it “should” have them as a neat way to continue the look. Regardless, she’s a beauty.

      • Fred Alexander

        I just googled the car and came up with the Hudsons of the era and voila – – – fender skirts – – so that part is OK now we have to establish the material – – – it doesn’t have the shine or look of chrome in the picture more like my 56 skirts – – had a great shine but not the brilliance of chrome,
        Now we’ve got something to research – – – hmmmm – – -polished aluminum? naw – – –

        Like 1
  30. Bill McCoskey

    Fred A . . .

    Red Green was a very creative guy. He would have pulled the back seat bottom out of the car, locate a good section of upholstery cloth from an unseen part of the cushion & cut it out, THEN use duct tape to hold the cloth patch in place!

    Like 1
    • Fred Alexander

      Now you must be the absolute GURU on Red Green – – – good point –
      Would he have used a felt marker to blend in the silver to the upholstery color??? (lol)

  31. Bill McCoskey

    On the subject of Stainless Steel fender skirts:

    I started a vintage car parts business in 1969, and in all these years I’ve never heard of, or seen a US manufacturer’s factory made SS fender skirts. All were painted & stamped steel.

    That said, there were several aftermarket accessory parts makers who offered polished Stainless Steel fender skirts. A quick look in an old 1962 J.C. Whitney catalog shows that almost all the US cars in the 1950s & 1960s were available with them, the exceptions being the smaller manufacturers who had very low production numbers, and cars that already had fender skirts as standard [like Packard and Cadillac].

    Like 1
  32. Little_Cars

    Since it seems I stirred the pot regarding the skirts, wouldn’t the rest of that lower trim on the Hudson be something like plated pot metal and heavy as hell? Folded/molded pressed steel? As far as the old JC Whitney catalogs, they were still selling SS skirts long into the late 1970s. I bought a couple for my 59 Galaxie in 1978.

  33. Little_Cars

    PS: look at the additional photos on Craigslist. The driver’s side has its skirt, the passenger side does not. The seller even included an earlier photo of the car, clean, and with a body-colored skirt on the driver’s side. Mystery solved?

    • PatrickM

      …therefore, lowering the price even more. Sad.

      Like 1
  34. Tempo Matador Ray

    Cool! Hudson-Mania on “Barn Finds.” Back in the ’70’s while walking to school, I would alway’s pass a small yard enclosed in cyclone fencing that housed two early Hudson’s that had been professionally converted to custom pick-ups. The work was so well done it looked factory. This yard butted up to the original Arlen Ness shop located on E.14th Street in San Leandro California. I remember always being awed by the custom bikes they were fabricating. I wonder if Arlen had anything to do with those early Hudson customs…keep on innovating not duplicating.

  35. Gaspumpchas

    Ray- sorry, off topic- When in Vegas for the SEMA show years ago, we visited Arlen’s bike shop there. The very friendly salesman took us in the shop and introduced us to Arlen’s son. After exchanging pleasantries, He told us to go thru the double doors behind us- Arlen’s car collection! These guys are the real deal. No hype, just good friendly camaraderie. One of my favorite stories!
    Cheers
    GPC
    RIP Arlen.

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