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Silver Spruce: 1947 Hudson Cab Pickup

1947 Hudson Truck Front Corner

Hudson wasn’t known for their trucks since they didn’t build many, but the ones they did build in the ’40s were solid, reliable, and good looking trucks. Reader Matthew B sent us photos of this well used 1947 Hudson Cab 3/4 ton pickup that he found parked behind a barn. By the time he discovered it, there was even a tree growing through the bed of the truck!

1947 Hudson Truck Rear Corner

This truck was originally painted a gun metal grey color and it has been rumored that Hudson used left over WWII warship paint. Over the years it was repainted several times. We would guess the last paint job was done by the Salem Silver Spurs 4H club, whose logo can still be seen on the doors. Matt believes this truck was mostly used for promotional activities and not as a work truck.

1947 Hudson Truck Engine

The high torque inline six in this Hudson looks to be in rough shape and as Matthew discovered when he tore it apart, it had mice living in it. Hudson built these trucks to be able to pull around a lot of weight with this high torque 212 cubic inch flathead six cylinder. The rear leaf suspension even featured twelve leave on each side for heavy loads.

1947 Hudson Truck Interior

Matthew’s truck is obviously going to need a lot of work to get it looking and running great again. He has already tore into the project and has plans to turn this into a hot rod truck. He has even already picked out a name for it, Ape. Co. “A Division of Monkey Business”.

1947 Hudson Pickup

We wish Matthew the best of luck and thank him for sharing his awesome find. Our only suggestion is to reconsider that name. We think Silver Spruce would be a nice ode to this old truck’s past. Anyone here agree with us?


  1. Gary

    Oh yeah, definitely.

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  2. Edward Kennedy

    I dont think you should turn it into a hot rod. If it was ment to be a hot rod they would have made it one back in 1947 when it was built. People now a days get these classic trucks and mess them up by turning them into crap they shouldn’t be turned into.

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    • 1st Gear

      To each his own Ed.Me being a truck guy,this is gonna be a bad ass hot rod-giving them ’40 Ford’s a run for their money in the “coolness” department.This posting was a while ago,any updates?

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  3. Lon Lofgren

    Matt, I beg you to reconsider! To turn this rare find into a hot rod would be a crying shame! There are so many other cars and trucks out there that are better suited to modification! A Restored ’47 Hudson Pick-up would a treasure in any collection!

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  4. Bear

    Nice find Matt!!You do what you want to with that beast!It is YOUR truck, YOU have saved it from years of neglect, & YOU will be investing the time & money required to bring it back to life!! That gives you the right to do as you please with it!As far as a name… maybe “Rat’s Nest”, or “Silver Spur”, or “Grey Ghost”? or your “Ape Co – Div of Monkey Business” is fine also…Please update us all later on your progress!! :-)-Bear-

    Like 1
  5. Ratty Matty

    Hey Jesse, you might be onto something with the name “Silver Spruce”, it’s got a nice ring to it. As for those wanting me to restore this thing to the T, it unfortunately can’t be done, well not on a student-loan-debt-slave’s budget anyways. The frame was so far gone when I got it, I had to take out 25″, but I am keeping a lot of it original, no choppin’ of those sweet lines here. Aim is to keep it simple and let those Hudson curves do the talking, that or the rumbling exhaust.

    Like 1
  6. justin

    Was fortunate enough to drive a hudson truck that came through a hot rod shop I worked at a few years back. Bummer it was before we had digital cameras in every phone, or even a point and shoot in the car. But it was a neat truck. I really liked just about everything about it. I wish this fellow luck with his project, but the name is dumb. If you do the truck rightm, it wont need a name…it wills peak for itself. Names, props, and gimmicks are for cars that need a boost for attention.

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  7. justin

    Oh, and to be honest with you….I LOVE the appearance as is. Make this old girl functional again, and roll it as it . I love it. That look can only be accomplished with decades of time. But it would look great cleaned up, too. Good luck with it!

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  8. Don

    This is one of those finds that is perfect for rodding. It needs so much work to put it back to factory that it’s unreasonable to try to do so. But please, please, PLEASE, don’t put a sbc in it. I think Hudson eventually evolved into AMC, right? Put an AMC engine in it or even a late model EFI Jeep 4.0. That would be as different as this truck.

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    • 1st Gear

      Any thoughts of a 632 BBC? If you’re gonna be different,pull all the stops and go for it.

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  9. Pete

    These are so rare that I hope Matt re-considers his intentions on this. To turn it into a hot rod would be just as irresponsible as leaving it sitting behind a building for decades. To preserve what it was intended to be, would give the truck a better value both intrinsically and financially and I bet it would turn more heads too. Yeah, it’s Matt’s money alright and ultimately, he’ll have the decision to make..just hope it turns out to be the right one. Great truck and story, thatks!

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  10. Gerd wood

    Don’t listen to other ppl do what is in your heart . If it was mine I would Rat rod it and be driving it right away. Just have fun with it

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  11. Kuch

    Hi Matt! Good luck with your find! A nut and bolt full resto would be crazy on your budget. I too have a rust bucket that i’d love to return to stock, but its alot of time and money i don’t have. No law says that you could do the rat rod thing. Focus on the internals, make it safe, and reliable. Leave the outwards appearance as is for now. I mean it won’t be a daily driver, right? cruise nites and car shows..right now on the east coast ( NJ ) rat rods are getting the most attention, NOT the million dollar been there seen that pony cars from the 60s-70s. again good luck!

    Like 1
  12. Richard Cosse'

    Don’t rape that truck by “hot rodding” it. Restore it to originality.

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  13. Scot

    Good Find Matt,I have a ’40 Hudson Super Six that is a driver, all stock. This is the same basic car as your truck, ahead of the El Camino or Ranchero.A number of things are great about Hudsons. One of the best is that they are not seen as high value/dollar so do with it what you want.Know a guy local to me in Silicon Valley that has the same Big Boy truck as you with a built 308 from a Hornet. He wants to pull it out and put in a Caddy motor. If you are interested in the 308 drop me a line and I will put you in touch with him

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  14. Bear

    (So nice to see people offering advise, encouragement, and even parts for this project. It is comforting to know that there are still those out there who are willing to support a fellow “gearhead”!!):-)

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  15. Kuch

    So cool to know there are supporters! Everywhere i turn in my life people tell me to just scrap the car or sell it not worth it. ( a 69 Roadrunner I’ve had since 1973..383 automatic ) not a million dollar car but an old friend nontheless!! I don’t have ANY other vices don’t gamble, smoke drink much or play golf. No fancy boats or vacations. I love car cruise nights and shows. I love sharing my car with others and seeing their projects as well. Keep the faith!!! PS: fancy paint and wheels will get you bored quick! Get it running and out there!!

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  16. Ratty Matty

    Holy Cow! Thanks for everyone’s feedback about my ride. Even though I’m pretty young, just turning the ol’ 25 this weekend, I can really appreciate the passion that’s still out there for automobiles. I am pretty much on the path of getting it drivable first. The truck has independent front suspension from the 40s and I plan to keep it that way. No power-steering, but I do plan on putting discs on all four corners, or at least the front. I sold the old motor, my dream is to get this thing to light the tires up. As for the the outside I’d like to keep it mostly as is, I really enjoy the patina the truck already has. As far as tracking down all the trimmings and do~dads Hudson originally put on the thing, I’d rather not. Don’t get me wrong, I like chrome just as much as the next guy, but I’m not the flashy kind of guy. Truth be told, this thing is going to be a driver. As the quote goes “If you see it on a trailer; it’s STOLEN!”

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  17. camel ocola

    I will like one of these to deliver my Moonshine !!!

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  18. Pete

    Good for you Matthew. I’m sure that whatever you do, it’ll be very cool!

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  19. Peder Jenssen

    Hi! A rare find indeed. It is your truck but, I personally would restore it best I could to original. If the powertrain is beyond practical rebuild (parts scarce) then would replace powertrain with modern setup, maybe a inline M30 engine and trans from a BMW or small eight with OD trans. People wouldn’t notice if hood remains closed. I would only swap powertrain if daily driver, otherwise, try to rebuild engine. My thoughts only, nice ride!

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  20. Ken

    Go see this link attached below. It is the best way to keep a project preserved or you do not have the budget for a high end paint job or want to keep the original patina using a matte finish clear. This product allows you to change schemes between meets or weekend cruises. Just think, you could have your ride satin black and then coated green for St. Patty’s Day, or Red, White and Blue for the 4th of July parades.


    Here is a picture of my ’46 Hudson P/U that I found in a NC barn that had been sitting since 1971.
    It did not have an engine or trans so an LS engine w/od will be installed.
    The interior will remain stock with exception of a/c, ps, pdb, cruise control, electric wipers and a stereo mounted in an overhead console. The a/c ducts and controls will be mounted below the dash on a panel that will be made.
    The rear end and springs will be added from the donor Suburban to get the gas mileage and a comfortable ride. Everything that will be changed will be saved if the truck is be restored at a later date.
    The exterior will be power washed and cleaned of oil then clear coat the whole truck in Plasti Dip, including all of the dings and dents.( there is not any rust in this truck! ) This way I can change the color scheme if I choose without damaging the patina.
    What I am trying to achieve is to keep the patina, as once you paint a car, you can never go back…it is only original once.

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Interesting idea Ken. Let us know how it turns out.

      Like 0
  21. GEORGE

    There was one at this years Autorama that was drop-dead beautiful. I’m surprised that it hasn’t been in a magazine yet. I always wanted to get one and put the dual carb engine that beat the Hemi’s at Daytona. That, a 5 speed, and some vintage air and you won’t confuse it with 57 Chevy’s

    Like 0

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