Live Auctions

Name that Car: Tree Find


We have seen some rather amazing finds over the years, but Henry L.’s find might be one of the most astounding sights we have ever seen. It’s not uncommon to find a tree growing out of an old car or truck, but this tree has actually grown around parts of the frame, steering column, and steering wheel. Henry left it up to us to identify and name this find, so be thinking of your best guesses for after the jump! Special thanks to Henry for sharing his tree find with us!


Henry didn’t give us much information about his find, but he did make one comment about it. Here is what he had to say in his own words, “Was running when parked, original paint, straight, minimal surface rust. I wouldn’t restore it, just refurb and drive it.” Let the hilarity ensue!


  1. Dick

    This is a Hudson or what is left of one.

  2. Lemble

    That is a mulberry tree with a Hudson frame clinging to it .
    What is it SAD .

  3. Derek

    I recognize that…see page 4 of this thread:

  4. adam s

    this is an early hudson terreplane 32-34??

  5. brandon

    OH MY GOD!! WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?!?!?…. this is just horrible to see

    Like 1
  6. Mark

    that is amazing how the tree has grow around it like that…..cannot even tell from what is left what body style it was.

  7. Steve Shaver

    Terraplane made by Hudson, were built from 1934 to 1938

  8. rusty

    A Terraplane Woody

    Like 1
  9. Robert J

    Hey, another “easy to restore” project car. Too bad it’s not a Porsche, it would be worth a million.

    Hudson Terraplane…but what year?

  10. Ron

    1937 Hudson Terraplane

  11. Mark Q

    I just looked it up and Hudson made the Terraplane car from 1932 – 1938. So if this is correct, then this is what this frame is from. Food for thought…..

  12. paul

    Amazing, & the chassis doesn’t look rusty , must be a dry climate.

  13. jim s

    do you A. cut the car to save the tree, B. cut the tree to save what is left of the car, C. try unbolting everything, or D. do nothing? that is starting to grow on me already! great find

    • Brian

      I vote do nothing. It’s too bad about the car, but at this point there is nothing really worth saving that is more valuable that the oddity of the situation. Even if the tree died or had to be removed for some reason, I would retain the section of the trunk with the steering wheel for display; not gonna see something like that everyday!!

  14. Dale

    There are several key items that narrow down the year pretty close. A column shifter, the tube shocks, big outside running boards, downdraft carb, can’t tell if that is a front brake hose or mechanical cable but that is another key. I would have to say in the range of 1936-1939.

  15. rusty

    This was a political activist from the movie CARS 4 ” Climate Change”

    this terraplane played the roll of an oil loving, save the old ways, tree hugger

    [there is always the wise old car that keeps the youth real in that cartoon franchise.]

    • Brian

      In CARS IV, the part of Ralph Nader will be played by a ’63 Corvair Spyder!!

      • rusty

        hee hee

      • Don Andreina

        he he he.

      • Dar

        What a hoot I drove a Corvair for a number of years. Never once came close to tipping. Rolling Ralph would be a perfect fit. I salute your wit.

      • paul

        you really know how to hurt a guys feeling’s…. hehe.

  16. DCS

    A real Shade Tree Mechanic’s Special………..just sayin….

  17. James

    Leave it as it is. It’s an art peice now.

    • Carguy

      You mean “leaf” it as it is.

  18. geomechs geomechs Member

    Definitely a later 30s Terraplane. If it was my choice, I’d be inclined to section the tree to liberate the car but then, I’m a car guy. Where’s my chainsaw?

  19. fiat128

    The weird thing is that it appears to be in someone’s yard and judging by the size of that tree it’s been there more than 50 years. Who can keep a junk car in their yard that long without code enforcement getting on their case?

    • David

      its in the backyard, code enforcement would have no jurisdiction

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        A person’s backyard should be HIS private property. Unfortunately some of our lawmakers are attempting to strip us of some of our basic rights. I’ve heard some horror stories from some reliable sources that say there are a growing number of communities enforcing bylaws on yard appearance that are extending into private backyards. Some have been busted by the community Gestapo, whose mules went into said backyards and attempted to enforce those bylaws.

        There was one story in particular where a guy was told to remove his (complete) unregistered car from his driveway and was later ordered to remove the three unregistered vehicles from his backyard. He retaliated by taking pictures of one of the town counselor’s driveway and backyard. He brought several blown up high-resolution color glossies of the counselor’s collection of motorhomes in various states of disrepair in his driveway and backyard to a meeting. Charges were abruptly dropped if I recall correctly.

        While the owner of this car/tree may have his rights to have whatever he wants in his backyard, someone might decide that it may have to go. Many of us certainly hope that it won’t come to that; a man’s home (backyard) is still supposed to be his CASTLE.

      • Mike B.

        Yeah, our HOA tried passing a clause about “eyesore vehicles”. I told the wife if it passes and someone complains about my project vehicle then I’ll just complain that I find the HOA Reps’ daily driver to be an “eyesore” as well :-)

      • jim

        thats where your wrong. they have jurisdiction over any part of your property that is outside

  20. David Reeves

    I’m going to take a stab at it, I think it’s a 1937 Hudson Terraplane.

  21. rusty

    only a sap would restore this car

    • Brian

      Careful there Rusty, your humor is starting to sound like mine and that can’t be a good thing!!!

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Ah, good one!

  22. rusty

    its been there that long because his wife said to leave it alone

    • Horse Radish

      .. LEAF it alone ?

      • rusty

        yep either hee hee

  23. rusty

    jesse said “Was running when parked, original paint, straight, minimal surface rust. I wouldn’t restore it, just refurb and drive it.” Let the hilarity ensue!”

    come on guys Jesse wants some laughs… dont leave it to me.

    well i laughed? hee hee.

    • Don Andreina

      he he he

  24. rusty

    take a wood plane to the terraplane

  25. rusty

    ok ok

    for the Aussies only

    Hudsons …Hudsons with a “H” for all your timber [ lumber] & hardware

    [advertisment slogan for Hudsons in a Home Depot ]

    • Don Andreina

      Must be a New South Wales thing. he he he.

      • rusty

        ahh Don ..yeah never thought of that..
        thought they were bigger..Aussie wise…
        hmmm that limits my audience..ha ha

      • Don Andreina

        We had Tait Timber (Tait are the Tops for Timber)

  26. Dolphin Member

    This is past being just a tree or a car.
    It’s natural / industrial / historical art.

    • scot

      ~ leave it just as you found it.

    • Chris Bater

      I,ll second that. This is international art prize stuff, worth a fortune on the open market Anyone contacted Sotherbys. CB

      Like 1
  27. ArtinOz

    Here are some more photos taken in 2010 and the story about the preservation of the garden art.

    Scroll up or down the story is here for all the photos.

  28. Gary Fogg

    That garage was featured in Hot Rod a while back too.

  29. swm

    Ran when parked.

  30. shane

    its a hudson frame and drive train

  31. rusty

    And so we can see on the Hudson family TREE

    that Hudson begat the Essex

    which begat the Terraplane

    which begat the last Hudson in 1957

    and so on till we see AMC belated but somehow begatted by Hudson but only in history and not in name

    But although the name doesnt exist anymore The Hudson Family tree is alive and growing as seen above and maybe thats why we still have the last Hudson dealership in the world apparently officially operating still? Ie: Miller Motors in Ypsilanti, Michigan, [this museum tidbit from wikipedia]

  32. Guy Loveridge

    When this one is restored, it will be a shoe-in for Goodwood………Good Wood?!?! Sorry……

  33. David

    Comon Guys! This is obviously a Woody!!

  34. Mel

    Definitely a tree hugger..

  35. Mark E

    Well, here’s ONE Terraplane they’re not gonna make a street rod out of!! ^_^

  36. marcos ambrose = cheat & liar

    Its got a woodrim steering wheel now……………………………

    And you could easily bark you knuckes undoing those rusty bolts……

    Enough groan worthy ‘jokes’ from me.

  37. Tom

    That would be a cool engine in a Hot Rod. I even just want the head hanging on the wall of my garage.

  38. Peter

    It’s a 1930s Hudons Terraplane!

  39. Bryan

    Reading through the blog of his garage restoration, the owner said it himself…”the original three on a tree.”

  40. Bobinott

    Hey guys, maybe we have this wrong. I think the tree is evolving into a higher life form before our very eyes. Does anyone have Charles Darwin on speed-dial?

  41. Grant

    The ultimate in recycling, or an enthusiasts version of “performance art”…..just love it!! Would just leave it be, to RIP. Not much left to be used anyway!!!

  42. Jerry

    Hey, it’s got patina and a great stance.

  43. Humptydank

    For Sale — Hudson Terraplane, all original, spacious trunk.

    • rusty

      ohh Humpty that got me..haa haa.
      Best one yet. That one was unexpected..thanks

      [even if here in Aussie we call a trunk a boot. We Aussies see enough Yanky TV to get it ]

  44. Mike B.

    How many restoration projects do you know of that require an Arborist? Or a chainsaw?

  45. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Great comments guys! I loved this one from our Facebook page, “gives a far more literal meaning to the term three on the tree.”

  46. Mike Sims

    It’s obviously a Hudson Terraplane. I know where there is at least one wire wheel for an early Terraplane, within a three mile radius of Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield Ca. It has the Terraplane Script on the hub cap. It seems like there are two on a home made trailer. Now that’s my contribution, lets get this thing put back together!

  47. Chris A.

    It really goes against my grain to see a Terraplane rooted in the ground like this one. Grow your own wood dash car kit. That tree looks to be at least 20, maybe 30 years old. The jokes and comments made my day. Good one Jesse.

  48. datsoon

    Does “Snap-on” have a 24″ chain saw. Darn…it won’t fit in the toolbox. HEY SANTA!

  49. datsoon

    Just took a look at Ron’s Wikipedia link. The Teraplane has a Large Trunk! Forgive me if that was previously mentioned. Wood grain steering wheel, three on the tree, funny comments everyone. Most enjoyable.

  50. Chuck G

    Just carve out the steering wheel (WON’T HURT THE TREE) and then open the rivets on the frame, voila!! Saved both. Valuable parts car.

  51. Dustin

    Obviously it’s a 1932-1938 Terraplane it says so right on the engine head.

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