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Rare 1954 Hudson Hornet Brougham Convertible!

Hudson chose to undertake a significant restyle of the Hornet for 1954, but this proved to be a case of “too little, too late” for the manufacturer. Before the model year was completed, the lack of a sales boost from the restyle meant that Hudson was in major financial trouble, and there was little choice than for the company to be absorbed by Nash-Kelvinator to form American Motors Corporation. The range-topping (and most expensive) offering from Hudson during that model year was the Hornet Brougham Convertible, of which, only 540 examples rolled off the production line. This particular car is one of those, and it is a car that underwent a full restoration a few years ago. It appears to be an essentially solid car, and it looks like it might not take a lot of work to return it to its best once again. Located in Mission, Texas, it has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has made it as far as $20,000, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

There is no other way to put it than to state that the current owner has spent a pretty penny on the Hornet during the restoration process. He provides a thorough record of expenditure, and it makes for interesting reading. In addition to the initial purchase price, he has outlaid more than $30,000 on the vehicle. This included a full repaint in Algerian Blue, along with the restoration of much of the chrome trim, and a new power top. All of this work has been completed since 2008, and if you look beyond the accumulated layer of dust, the Hudson still looks pretty good today. It would be interesting to see how the paint responded to a wash, buff, and polish because I think that this could have the car presenting very nicely once again. Rust doesn’t appear to be an issue, and it doesn’t rate a mention in the listing description. There are a couple of minor marks on the body, the worst of these being a dent around the tail-light on the passenger side. This looks like it will be an easy repair, while many of the other marks should disappear during the buff and polish process. The soft-top still looks as good as the day that it was fitted, while all of the stainless trim should also look nice after a polish. The bumpers are one area that might require restoration, as they are showing some pitting.

One of the characteristics that tended to hurt the public’s perception of the Hornet when compared to other makes on the market at the time, was the lack of a V8 engine option. This is a shame because the 308ci flathead 6-cylinder engine that resided in the car’s engine bay really was a beauty. This was especially true when it found itself equipped with the Twin-H-Power carburetor option. That is precisely what we find with this car, while it also features the dual-range Hydramatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. This engine is capable of producing 180hp, but the more telling figure is the 278lbs/ft of torque. This peaked at a rather lazy 2,500rpm, meaning that a Hornet could pull strongly from low speeds in very high gears. The owner refers to the vehicle as being a great driver, which I would take as meaning that it is in good mechanical health. As with the rest of the car, the engine bay wears a healthy coating of dust, but it should look pretty good after a decent clean.

The interior of the Hudson is one area that has survived very nicely since the restoration was completed. All of the upholstery was replaced as part of the process, and apart from a continuation of the dusty theme, it looks really good. The carpet has also survived well, while the dash just looks stunning. During the restoration, the owner successfully managed to locate an original radio for the car. At $419 it wasn’t the cheapest of items, but it certainly looks a whole lot better than an aftermarket unit would have. Apart from tidying a few loose wires that are hanging below the dash, there would seem to be little more to do inside the Hornet than to give it a good clean. As well as a power top, the Hudson also features power windows.

With only 540 cars rolling off the line in 1954, the Hudson Hornet Brougham Convertible is a rare car, and that means that they don’t often appear on the market today. When they do, they aren’t what could be classed as a cheap classic. Nice examples can quite easily fetch prices of $55,000 or more, while pristine cars can push values into the six-figure territory. This particular car will need some detail work to return it to its best, but with values increasing by around 25% over the past 3-years, it is also well worth considering.

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    I think for some of last slab sided cars,( I think that’s what you called these) this was the nicest. 1st, unless I missed it, where does it say they spent $30g’s, not that I doubt it and why would you do that? And NO bids at $20g’s, with 161 people watching, tells me, nobody wants this fantastic car. Last of a dying breed, ragtop, twin-H, automatic, pretty sad when nobody wants this, and a pretty big loss for the seller. How can people lose $10g’s ( or more) just like that( snapping fingers)? While outdated even by mid-50’s standards, a beautiful car here.

    Like 9
    • Robert White

      This car was built for me, Howard. That’s why nobody is buying it.

      The car Gods, Howard. Don’t forget the car Gods.

      Bob

      Like 3
    • StevenC

      The seller has only owned the car for a few months. He bought it from a neighbor who recently lost her husband (who had been the one restoring the car) for $20k. At one point the seller had a picture which showed what the gentleman had spent on items through the years.

      Like 2
      • CR

        That is correct, the previous owner that passed was a member of our Hudson Club. car was purchased from widow a few month ago…..a steal

  2. Junior Samples

    This thang needs swiffer’d! (shocked at the amount of visible dust that could have easily been knock’d off with little effort)

    Like 4
  3. Paolo

    I like the 54 restyle so I reckon I don’t know a damn thing about anything. This is a really beautiful car and the blue/white combination looks so sharp
    . My mother had an uncle who owned a furniture business in Houston and had a small fleet of Hudsons as company cars. Before she got married she worked there and much later told me how much she had enjoyed driving those Hudsons.

    Like 5
  4. Kenbone

    Its cleaned up on ebay

    Like 2
  5. Will Fox

    I never did care for `48-`54 Hudson convertibles, mainly because they didn’t even have the budget to offer a proper convertible windshield; all they did was lop off the coupe roof a few inches back for the top to attach to. It came off looking home-made and unprofessional.

    • Chuck

      My thoughts as well when I first saw one.

  6. Vance

    Why in the world didn’t the owner of this gem, spend a day of work detailing to increase the value ? Spend a couple of dollars to have the engine and interior cleaned at least. Spend a little to make a lot, this makes no sense. This is a very desirable vehicle, I just don’t understand the seller’s logic with this. Sharp car.

  7. Joe Haska

    Beautiful car, if I did’ know better I would think this was a mid-fifties custom ,that could have won BEST CUSTOM at the Oakland Roadster Show in 1955 !

    Like 3
  8. Solosolo ken tillyUK Member

    This is one time that I would agree that a nice V8 (any V8) would do justice to this lovely convertible.

    Like 1
    • Husky

      318 Poly swap you mean??

  9. canadainmarkseh

    Hello guys it been awhile for me to post. I really like this car and I’m not even a fan of convertibles. For me that twin H flattie is is the attraction, even though it’s a flat head six they made plenty of power for there day. My personal favourite though is the 51 two door coupe. As for this car the few bits of body damage will really hurt th price. Nice find.

    Like 1
  10. Bob C.

    Don’t knock that big flatty Twin H six. It did rule Nascar at one point.

    Like 5
  11. deak stevens Member

    All i can say about this car is BEAUTIFUL!!! Love it.

    Like 3
  12. Lance

    This car will fly like the wind. Trust me I own a couple. You should see the look on the kids faces when I pass them by in their Kias. LOL Great cars . Thats why I own them..

    Like 9
  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    What Bob said and for a few years at that – nice car !

  14. Bob McK Member

    This could be a lot of fun to own. But not at the price the owner wants. Kind of sad.

  15. boothguy

    Current owner did not restore the car, it was done by a late member of the HET club whose widow recently offered the car for $30k

    Like 1
  16. Ed G

    While this is a nice car, there are many things that will require some attention. In addition to a complete detail, there seems to be some issues with the doors sagging and the resulting paint chips. As mentioned, the bumpers have some pitting issues, and will require replacing. The engine compartment has a few non stock items. The right tail light damage on the quarter panel is repairable, however, matching the paint is a concern to me.

    I thorough inspection of the underside would be required, since this car in one on the first to use unibody construction.

    This is certainly a very nice car the way it sits, however, it is going to take some additional time and money to freshen it up.

  17. Rodney - GSM

    This appears to be the bargain of the day. All the heavy lifting has been done. By the time you dust it off and buff it up, summer will be here. Drop the top, turn up the radio and fill up the back seat with your friends. Then enjoy a unique piece of American automotive art as you pull into the local Dairy Queen…

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