Super Stinger: 1952 Hudson Hornet

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The photos aren’t the best – they’re a little on the dark and blurry side – but if you squint enough, the car sure looks good. This 1952 Hudson Hornet here on CarSoup is in Austin, Minnesota and it sounds like it’s in great shape. The owner is asking for $5,900 or best offer.

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The seller says that this is a “true California survivor” with “no terminal rust” and that it has “an excellent frame”; and what a frame this car has. The Hudson Motor Car Company made the low-slung Hornet from 1951 to 1954 when the then newly-formed AMC took over and continued the line until 1957; albeit as basically a restyled Nash with Hudson badging and a few other tweaks. The first generation of the “step-down” Hornet was perhaps the most famous of all with a dropped floorpan and chassis creating the low-slung look that was favored by early NASCAR drivers. Hudson was the first car company to get involved with racing actual “stock cars” and they dominated the circuit in the early-1950s.

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The Hornet engine was a straight-six and this one has the preferred “Twin H-Power” carburetor setup, which was an option in 1952. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s missing the famous red air cleaners that give this model that extra visual pop under the engine bay when you open the hood at your local car show. The engine and engine compartment could use a little detailing, no question about it, but supposedly this is a strong and smooth-running car with a “low mile dual range Hydra-Matic transmission” so that must have been replaced at some point.

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Again, it’s hard to tell from the dark photos, but the interior looks like it’s in ok-condition. I can’t tell if that’s a blanket, a seat cover or if that’s the original seat material, but after 54 years, at the bare minimum, it will need a thorough cleaning in there. This dash is always a favorite of mine when I see one of these cars at a show, and since this is a 4-door model it’ll be easy to load it with your friends and take it out on the weekends.

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This is a low cruiser of a car, it almost looks like a factory chop-job like what seemingly the vast majority of ’51 Mercury owners do with their cars. Hudson had a winner on its hand with the Hornet and this one looks like it would be a winner again with a little elbow grease. Have you been stung by this Hudson Hornet as much as I have been?

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  1. Dairymen

    I’d love to add this to my fleet, but it’s a little too far to go get it. After the movie “cars” these hornets sure became popular again.

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  2. JEFF

    Even when I was 6-8 years old in mid 60s, I knew how special my Pappaw Bucks turquoise and blue green Hornet was ! It was like riding in a house.

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  3. grant

    The pictures look like they were taken in the early 90’s with a 110 camera, so make sure they are current. If they are this is a nice car.

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  4. HoA Howard AMember

    Sadly, I never rode in a Hudson, but I can only imagine it was on par with my 1950 Packard. Doors that closed like an old refrigerator, and a back seat to, um, well, just a nice back seat, and rolled like thunder. While I suppose the performance was above par for the time, it still was probably nothing compared to a R code Ford, but that was years away, and passing a truck or slow car took some skill. In all the carspotting photos I’ve looked at, Hudson’s rarely show up, so it’s amazing someone had the insight to keep this going. Great car for an entry level hobbyist, and the best part, you can enjoy it right away. I too would find those air cleaners. They do look impressive.

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  5. Wayne

    No terminal rust? Mm. Just love these stepdowns

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  6. Paul B

    Superior engineering on these cars. I’ll never own one because life isn’t long enough, but from everything I’ve heard they are fabulous cruisers with excellent handling and build quality and materials to match. Every time I see one, I am fascinated. The company was simply too small to survive after World War II — especially after GM and Ford got into their price war and started dumping cars like mad in ’54.

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  7. Gary Evans

    The radiator on this one is not stock, which may be OK. The head also appears to be non-stock, which could be a plus. I have a 1954 Hudson Hornet 4 door which I have had since 1963 when I was a sophomore in high school. My father had an auto repair shop at the time. A customer owed $50 on a previous bill and then when another problem developed with the car, he just gave my dad the car. He had another car and his job was transferred.

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    • Texas Tea

      Gary Evans,

      I would love to see some more pictures of your 1954 Hudson. Neat story and very impressive that you’ve owned this car for so many years.

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  8. Jim Mc

    Love this car, have always wanted one. Might be my bias showing, but I think this is a fair price. They’re just…..So. Damn. Cool.

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  9. John

    Sigh, this is one from my bucket list of cars to own. If only I had a spare 6k laying around. It does look to be in decent shape.

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  10. Robert White

    Great car find IMO. If I win the 66 million dollar lottery that I bought a ticket for I will buy this car and a bottle of Jack Daniels for everyone on Barn Finds that prays to God for a win on the lottery.



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  12. Kevin

    super beautiful

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  13. Jim Marshall

    When these Hudson’s first came out in 1948 my friends Dad got one and even as a kid I was blown away by it’s comfort and styling. To this day it was the most comfortable car I ever rode in.

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  14. Chris A.

    Opening scenes with music to match-“Driving Miss Daisy”. Iconic early 50’s car, restore it and paint it deep maroon with wide whitewalls. Cool indeed.

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  15. Mike

    My Dad’s Great Aunt from Clarksville, Tenn. had a 51 and I was very fortunate to ride in it as a kid, I remember it rode so nice, I think you could have played football in the back seat it was so big. She had the car up to her death in the early 1990’s, she actually drove up for my Grandfather funeral in 1990, well her son in law drove it, and it looked like it had just driven off the show room floor. I have often wondered what happened to that car, I guess I need to go to a Family reunion the next time and find out.
    If you can remember the movie “Driving Miss Daisy” one of the cars that was featured was a Hudson Hornet, it was the one that Holk bought from the dealer after her Son bought her a new car.

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  16. Ed P

    I have always thought the 48-54 Hudson’s were both luxurious and cool looking cars.

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  17. vetteson

    They are something else, very unique in many ways, and cool to drive.

    This my ’54.

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  18. Wayne

    Mike, driving miss daisy was not a Hornet. It was a Commodore.

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    • Mike

      Wayne you are correct, I was thinking it was a Hornet, I check my trivia site and it was a 48 Commodore. Thanks for the catch!!

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  19. Van

    To bad race on sunday, sell on Monday didn’t work for Hudson.
    I think a cool collection would have only cars no longer made.
    Sombody said Berne voted against the bailout. Maybe the plan should have had an American job requirement.

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  20. Swede

    My first car was a 48 Hudson Super six, which I bought in 1958. Loved that car. Unfortunately, it tried to eat the rear of a school bus…………….

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