Running Step-Down: 1951 Hudson Commodore 6

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Ready to emerge from the garage it was recently purchased from, this 1951 Hudson Commodore is pictured above before it was cleaned up and gotten ready for sale. It’s located in Elmhurst, Illinois and is up for sale here on eBay, with bidding that has not yet met the reserve.

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This is during the cleanup process. Surprisingly, after a lot of fuel system work, the car now runs and drives. The seller also rebuilt the transmission and installed a new clutch. Some pictures are included in the listing that show both the before and after work. Based on the front license plate, the car was last used for show use only and was therefore licensed on an Illinois antique vehicle plate. The style of plates has changed since the ones on the car, so we can guess it was a while ago.

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I find the lines on this large sedan really nice; look at how the fuel filler door outline was blended into the curve of the fender. When I first saw this car I thought it was a Hornet, and this does use the “step down” body design popularized by Hudson after the Second World War. The seller tells us that the driver’s door “skin” has been replaced, and that’s apparent in this picture. They also explain that some body work will have to be done in the rocker panel areas; I wish some closeups had been taken of those spots.

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I had to include this great photo of the cobwebs around the speedometer! I wonder if the 39,482 miles are actual? The art deco, almost pre-war looking dash is terrific, and what you can’t see in the picture on the right is that the steering wheel is actually bright red! The rest of the interior doesn’t look too bad, either. I love how even the font on the gauges was styled with care!

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The engine is a flathead 6. Both a 6 and an 8 were offered in the Commodore in 1951, and this is the smaller of the two. Bear in mind, though, that the hot-rodded version of the six was put into the Hudson Hornet, so maybe there’s at least a little get up and go available to the new owner. The “step down” Hudsons were praised for their handling at the time; I’m hoping this car would be a nice weekend driver given some more work. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Rando

    $3K seems reasonable to me if it’s running and almost driveable (brakes). LEave it as is for now, drive it, work on as possible. Try to stop further decay.

    They are only original once and much more work on this one and it’s not going to be original anymore. Just my thought

  2. Jason Houston

    Ah, the early postwar years – when everyone but Ford, GM and Chrysler was building gasoline-powered rocket ships, turtles and bathtubs. This neat car cleaned up pretty nicely, too. Ugly or not, ya gotta love it. It’s sooooo period!

  3. JW454

    It looks to be in fairly good shape. I’m glad they washed it. I don’t care for the ones left covered in dirt and bird poop. When they’re like that it says to me the finder only cares about how much he can make off the resale.

  4. AMC STEVE

    Hey that car is right down the street from me!
    He’s ha it for awhile and I’m wondering why they’re selling it now. I doubt if it will sell for 3k it’s a nice cool old car!

    • Ed P

      The current bid is $3222 with 6 days left.

  5. Brad

    Neat! I’d repaint the door to match the rest, lightly buff everything and wax it. Plenty of money to spend on the mechanicals, why waste it on such a great original exterior?

    Here’s one with similarly worn out paint, if you’d like to see it in motion:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4Zm4Ou42KY

  6. Howard A Member

    Another pretty amazing find. I have no doubt the miles are correct. People just didn’t drive that much in the early 50’s. I’m sure it’s an older restoration on a then low mileage car, as the dash is too nice. I’d imagine performance was on par with most other 50’s 6 cylinders. Surely not like the 308 twin carb. Great find for entry level classic car ownership.

  7. MountainMan

    Love the lines, lots of style on these old Hudsons. Will make a neat cruiser for the next owner.

  8. Ed P

    This is a great cruiser. I remember them from my youth as good looking large cars and later as a tough car at demolition derbies. Many thanks to whoever kept this car away from the demo derbies and crushers. Good luck to the new owner.

  9. joeinthousandoaks

    Expect this car to go to close to 3x the current bid before reserve is met.

  10. Paul B

    These were super high quality cars and it doesn’t surprise me that this one was willing to run fairly quickly following its slumber. Great metallurgy in the engine blocks, super smooth clutch running in oil, low center of gravity. Wow, someone will have a fabulous drivable classic with this. I’ll be interested to see what it brings.

  11. Keith

    Hudsons are great cars. In many ways ahead of their time. One thing you’ll always want to remember about buying a Hudson is that the parts are scarce and expensive. But there is excellent, excellent club support.
    This particular Hudson looks to not be missing much of anything trim wise which is a big plus. Some earlier Hudsons (I had a 1946 Commodore 8) had a lot of trouble with pitting chrome/pot metal but this one seems to not have much of an issue there. It’s hurt a bit by having the 6 instead of the 8 but overall a good car. I’d guess from my experience this one will break the $8500k-10k mark.

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