Jet Age: 1954 Hudson Jet

040316 Barn Finds- 1954 Hudson Jet - 1

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The Hudson Jet was only made for two years with 14,224 of them made in the US in 1954. This car, a 1954 Hudson Jet found on craigslist in Ventura, California, is said to be mostly original and the seller is asking $6,500 for this green two-door sedan.

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The car is said to be the original colors, but I’m guessing that means that it’s been repainted at some point. They do mention that there is minimal “rot on front hood edge, but otherwise very solid vehicle.” They also mention that the odometer reads 13,270 but they are unsure how accurate the reading is. I’m guessing 113,270 would be more accurate.

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A person may think that these older cars are so much heavier than new cars are, but this Hudson Jet is about 800 pounds lighter than a new Ford Fusion is. A two-door sedan has to be more popular, and valuable, than a four-door sedan is, but I could be wrong. The seller says that the fuel tank is currently being cleaned out and the car is “currently being worked on to ensure drivability.”

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The interior looks great in this car. You could fit six people in here comfortably; well, in both the front and back seats. And, depending on the modern definition of “comfort”, which usually includes a fair-sized bubble of personal space, it may be a four-person car these days.

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This is Hudson’s L-Head, inline-6, 202 cubic-inch engine with 104 hp; a fair amount of power for 1954 in a “smaller” car. The seller has recently tuned it up and had the battery replaced, now it’s ready for you. Do you like these smaller Hudson Jets or do you prefer the full-sized Hudsons?

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  1. Wayne

    These cars were the begining of the end for Hudson as an independent. You couldn’t give me one.

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    • Ed P

      The money Hudson spent to develop the Jet was a complete waste. It would have been better spent restyling the big cars. Hudson is another example of how one expensive mistake took down so many independents. If Nash, Hudson, and Packard had merged by about 1950, things may have been very different.

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  2. Rick

    That looks more like a 13,000 mile car than a 113K miler. Cars bullt in the 50s seldom went more than 100,000 mles (with few exceptions)

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  3. Fred

    Styling wise, reminds me of early 50’s Mopar products. Hudson must have had the same requirement for hat wearing roof height.

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  4. Jay

    It appears to be a Jet Liner, the top of the line model

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    • Eric

      Judging by the chrome trim it would make it a jet liner

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  5. geomechs geomechsMember

    I’ve always liked the styling of these. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a big fan of the ’52 to ’54 Fords. The Jet was always lean and looked like it could really go, albeit not in the classy style of its older siblings. I never was a big fan of the early 50s Hudsons. I’d hear about the Hornet or Wasp and then be shown something that reminded me of the fat lady at the circus. Mind you, those big frumpy Hudsons have grown on me over the years, and I sure wouldn’t turn one down if it was offered to me for sale. But the Jet? I really like them too.

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  6. HoA Howard AMember

    This car, while similar to the Fords, seemed like a combination of all cars. I have no doubt this is original miles. Like Rick sez, few cars this age had that kind of miles, and looked like this, anyway. Really a shame, to watch an auto maker slowly lose it’s zing. Hudson was such a nice car, and not that this isn’t, it’s just a shred of what they used to be. What a cool find, and the price is right. Can’t go wrong here.

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  7. rustylink

    these were quite the performers in the day – they had a great power to weight ratio- in the early days and would beat much bigger beat V8’s off the line

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  8. John P

    The description leaves a lot to be desired.. I say that as I’ve been on the lookout for one of the baby Hudson’s for quite awhile and at first glance–it’s not bad.. However the description about the front of the hood is an indicator of the persons irresponsibility when it comes to describing a car.. The hood is in horrible shape and there’s evidence in the headliner of rust over (inside) the rear window.. Being in Ventura and assuming the car has lived near the coast for most of it’s life–all interior spaces of bare metal have likely been subject to salt air… Sadly–I think there’s some stuff hiding and I’m betting it’s an old restoration beginning to show it’s age..

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    • Tirefriar

      John, I agree. Having dealt with Alfa Romeos for quite a while I’m always on a look out for the tell tale signs of the car’s true condition. One of the bikes in my collection spent some time living in Pacific Pallisades, CA. It’s ended up with some corrosion due to spice an salt in the air. I’m afraid that the hood rot is just a tip of the iceberg here.

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  9. DLM

    My Dad bought a new Hudson Jet, his first new car, to replace, I believe, his Terraplane. He liked performance cars and I remember him saying that he thought Hudson was ahead of its time with a performance ‘compact’ car, with the compact car not showing up in the big 3 until the 1960s. I can only barely remember the car.

    Like 1
  10. Eric

    Lower miles wouldn’t surprise me… I’m sure I. 1954 people weren’t driving 25+ miles one way to work… and I seriously doubt that people then did a bunch of useless ramming around… like we do nowadays… I personally don’t know much about the jet but I have seen a couple in the museums… but in the 1950s… the auto manufacturers were trying to entice the lady folks into a second car… Dodge put the La Femme together in about 55-56… so I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if hudson was trying the same approach… back the it wasn’t about gas mileage… like today… maybe I’m wrong

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  11. Blodgett

    The Jet was as well-engineered as any Hudson, and it was a good performer. In terms of handling, acceleration, ride and braking, I would be comfortable driving it in today’s traffic. The styling wasn’t appealing, and it was introduced at a time when Americans weren’t interested in small cars; and, because economies of scale weren’t possible for independents, they weren’t particularly cheap. In addition, in 1953-1954, Ford and Chevrolet started a price war that undercut the independents – buyers could get a full-size Ford or Chevy for less than they would pay for a Hudson Jet.

    Like 1

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