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Same Owner 40 Years: 1956 Hudson Hornet

The name Hudson was a storied brand, appearing on automobiles from 1909-57. Those final three years, they were products of American Motors which had been formed when Hudson Motor Car Co. and Nash-Kelvinator merged. The Hudson Hornet was the company’s best-seller from 1951 and through the end of the marque. This 1956 Hornet has had the same owner for 40 years and – with that party’s pending retirement – it’s time for the car to find a new home. Located in Denver, Colorado, this Hudson looks stunning and well-cared for, no doubt because it was a mechanic’s auto. It’s available here on craigslist for $10,000, and this tip comes to us by way of Barn Finder, Mark K!

Hudson was the first automobile manufacturer to get involved in stock car racing and its early 1950s Hornets were quite successful in that regard. Unfortunately, that showing wasn’t enough to help Hudson sell more cars and by 1954 they had to merge with Nash to stay relevant. The Hornet was restyled in 1956 and – to give the car more character – they received “V-Line Styling” which applied a “V” form just about everywhere inside and out of the machine. With a tri-tone paint combination, the Hudson’s were unique and quite noticeable.

This ’56 Hornet is being offered by someone representing the owner, who has had the car since around 1980. It still wears its original paint and upholstery and – at 91,000 miles – looks exceptionally good based on the photos provided. Packard drivetrains were still available to Hudson in 1956, though not after that as newly merged Studebaker-Packard sold off that manufacturing plant. This V8 with an automatic transmission is said to run quite well, so this looks like a turn-key car from every corner.

The selling party has done some maintenance work since the car has been mostly dormant in recent years. As a result, the fuel system and brakes are new, but everything else is original. For whatever reason, the styling changes for the Hornet didn’t get the buying public fired up and just 8,152 Hornets were sold for 1956, with 6,512 being 4-door sedans like the seller’s car. In Excellent condition, these styling automobiles from a bygone era can approach $20,000 in resale value; the seller is looking to realize half that amount.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    That’s a steal at that price. Nice write-up, Russ!

    Like 20
    • Avatar photo Russ Dixon Staff

      Thanks, Scotty! You don’t find them like this much anymore.

      Like 13
  2. Avatar photo wuzjeepnowsaab

    Dang, this is like walking distance from me. Pretty car

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Mikefromthehammer

      It’s got to be a sign.

      Like 4
  3. Avatar photo David Sebben

    This is like the Haley’s Comet of cars, doesn’t come around very often.

    Like 10
  4. Avatar photo CCFisher

    The ad references the Packard V8, but it sure looks like an AMC 250 under the hood. It also looks like this is a short-wheelbase car, so that would make it a Hornet Special if I’m right.

    Like 14
    • Avatar photo Terrry

      It is a Special and that does look like an AMC motor, not a Packard.

      Like 12
    • Avatar photo Michael B Nicolella

      I agree. Not a Packard 8.

      Like 5
    • Avatar photo Rick

      The Packard V8’s valve covers each had four mounting bolts at the outer edges, similar to a small block Chevrolet.

      The AMC first generation V8 (250-287-327) had valve covers with two studs and nuts through the top center of the cover, similar to a Ford Y-block.

      This car definitely has the AMC V8.

      Like 3
    • Avatar photo Bamapoppy

      CC, I remember my Paw-Paw having one of these when I was a kid in the late 50’s. We were pulling out of the driveway and I went to roll down the window and instead pulled open the door handle falling to the gravel. He stopped the car, came around and scooped me up and put me back on the seat. With a gash on my head we went to the local hospital where I got several stitches. That 1956 Hudson Hornet Special in 3-tone blue was later handed down to my Mom and Dad.

      Like 1
  5. Avatar photo Terrry

    I just saw one of these, only in salmon and beige, at the local muffler shop. It too was in gorgeous condition.

    Like 5
  6. Avatar photo Al

    This looks like a heavy car. What is its weight as compared to 4 door Chev or Ford?

    Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Larry

    This car looks exactly like the car that I sold this last June/2021. mmmmmmmmmmm

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Mikefromthehammer

      Are they your pictures?

      Like 3
  8. Avatar photo Ron Morrison

    Where is the car located?

    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo JimZ Member

    Exceptionally nice car! Amazing low price, this thing is a steal!
    I spent almost double their $10k asking price getting my 1957 redone, and the interior still wasn’t as nice as this one. sigh!
    Engine looks like an AMC 327? (That was the mill in mine!)

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo That AMC guy

      AMC 250, 297, and 327 all look the same from the outside. For 1956 I’m pretty sure this would be an early production 250.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo That AMC Guy

        Oops, that should have been “287” not “297”.

        Like 1
  10. Avatar photo Kurt Member

    Front end reminds me of a fifties vintage Russian Volga. Packard sold quite a bit to the Soviets. Uri G. Their astronaut got one when he landed.

    Like 4
  11. Avatar photo Psychofish2

    Chevrolet : 197.5 L/ 115 WB/ 3230 LBS
    Ford: 198.5/ 115.5/ 3300
    Hudson: 209.3 /121.3 /3550.

    It is heavier, but then Ford and Chevrolet were not Hudson’s competition in te marketplace

    Like 3
  12. Avatar photo Psychofish2

    That would be a 250 if not the Packard, not a 327 AMC as the 327 debuted in the Rebel for ’57.

    ‘The AMC 327 engine debuted in a special edition Rambler Rebel, of which 1,500 were made. They were an early American muscle car. All Rebels had silver paint with a gold-anodized “spear” on each side. The 327 was not available in any other Rambler models in 1957 other than the special edition Rebel. The Rebel’s engine differs from the 327s installed in the 1957 Nash Ambassador and Hudson Hornet models in that it uses mechanical valve lifters and a higher compression ratio. Since both engines were rated at 255 hp (190 kW; 259 PS), it is probable that the Rebel’s was underrated.[7]’
    Wiki

    Like 5
  13. Avatar photo DeeBee

    An old Russian would be right at home with that styling!

    Like 5
  14. Avatar photo Gerald Edgar

    Early 50’s Hudsons were well known as ‘field’ cars among Iowa farmers as they could drive across fields as well as take the family to town. Quality car that just could not compete with the then Big 3. And for decades they had more race car wins than any other brand. Would have better to have merged with Studebaker/Packard then there might have been a chance to become a ‘Big 4’.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo ramblergarage

      The Studebaker Packard merger was called a merger of 2 drunks. Studebaker was in bad shape and drug Packard down. Nash however was in pretty good shape.

      Like 2
  15. Avatar photo Steve Clinton

    A sad end to a once-proud brand.

    Like 5
  16. Avatar photo Solosolo Member

    Stunning car being sold for peanuts IMO.

    Like 4
  17. Avatar photo charlie Member

    I was dating a woman in 1965, her father liked me more than she did, he offered to give me the Nash version of this car. It was 11 years old, in great shape, but I had a ’56 Chevy so it was a lateral move, and, my Chevy was in great shape and a lot easier to find parts for, and, it rarely needed them anyway. So, woman and I drifted apart and car sat out beside their house for at least another year before I moved away. I think he would have given it to me even if I had not married his daughter, it was too good to junk, and nobody wanted it. She, like me, is probably showing her age, but the car might be as good as this one!

    Like 6
  18. Avatar photo Bruce

    Gosh if this was anywhere near me I would be having one big argument with my better half to try and buy this. Tooling around in this on weekends and an occasional drive around town would keep a perpetual smile on my face. This is a gorgeous car. I certainly would at least make a drop by visit to see it.

    Like 4
  19. Avatar photo Lance

    Sadly, This price is about all the ‘Hashes’ bring. If it was a stepdown, they would bring a lot more. No love for the 55-7 Hudsons. very sad.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Jimmy Novak

      Hudson and Nash were separate makes just like Chevrolet and Pontiac, Plymouth and Dodge, Buick and Oldsmobile, Mercury and Lincoln and all the other proprietary marques. They don’t deserve the nickname because Nash and Hudson shared far fewer parts than did the other nickname-less makes above.

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo Bill McCoskey Member

        Jimmy,

        You are so correct, while they shared the same basic body shell and doors, along with interior items like seat assemblies and HVAC, even the fenders are different, and they don’t bolt onto the body, as they are welded as part of the unitized body/chassis assembly.

        Like 1
  20. Avatar photo Buddy Ruff

    I’m intrigued by the comments this listing received. This site attracts either automotive historians or a lot of old farts…like me.

    Like 2
  21. Avatar photo Charles case

    Where is it located?Very intercostal. Thanks

    Like 1
  22. Avatar photo Kurt Member

    Deleted by owner.Sold?

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Jim Z Member

      Yes, I spoke with owner, and he said it was sold.
      Darn!!!

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo John W

        Sorry Jim. That would be I. It will fit nicely next to my 57 Nash Ambassador. Huge orphan car fan. Thank you Barn Finds!

        Like 5
      • Avatar photo Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        Congratulations, John! That’s fantastic! Please let us know how it looks when you have it parked next to your sweet ’57 Nash Ambassador.

        Like 2

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