Super Stinger: 1955 Hudson Wasp Super

Remember when cars had actual, real names of real things instead of a seemingly-random mix of letters and numbers or made up names as model identification? Hudson was on a stinging insect kick when this 1955 Hudson Wasp Super came out the year after AMC was formed. This teal stinger is listed on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $2,400 and it’s located in Waukon, Iowa. The seller says this is it, if the car doesn’t sell it’s going back into storage!

As a huge AMC/Nash/Hudson fan, this car really appeals to me. The color, the options, the wheels, the look, the.. everything. Hudson and Nash merged, so to speak, in 1954 to create American Motors Corporation, so 1955 would be the first year for the Hudson to be built under the AMC umbrella. I mean, it wasn’t literally built under a big umbrella, but you know what I mean.. You can see that there’s a fair bit of work to do on this car to get it back to showroom spec again but it looks really solid. The windshield is heavily cracked but the seller has the phone number of someone with a replacement so that’s good news. I personally prefer the highly-unusual look of the 1955 Nash, but that’s just me. The 1955 Hudson was built on the Nash platform after the merger and they were “Unit Body” construction, or unibody, as I grew up saying.

This car looks as straight as an arrow, it’s really in nice condition, on top at least. There are no underside photos so the next owner may want to check that out carefully. They mention that new side windows wouldn’t be a bad idea, and being flat glass it should be easier to replace those. The rear window is still in good shape. I love the wheels and some of the other details. These are really unusual cars compared to the king-daddy 1955 Chevrolet that stormed onto the scene the same year and we all know which one became a legend and which one lasted a couple of more years.

The interior looks pretty complete and in nice condition other than a crack in the steering wheel and what I’m guessing is either rodent damage or just plain wear on the driver’s side of the front bench seat. The back seat looks great as does the headliner, and other than replacing the wind lace and mat flooring and detailing the heck out of it, this interior seems like it could be nice again after a few weekends of work.

It’s so nice to see those Twin-H-Power air cleaners! Those are usually the first things to turn up missing on Hudsons so it’s great to see them here. This is it for engine photos, but this should be Hudson’s L-Head 202 cubic-inch inline-six that would have had around 120 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque when new. The seller says that it does “not run at this time but ENGINE IS NOT LOCKED!!!” This looks like a super solid Wasp Super project that’s really super-dooper! (too much?) I dream about doing a restoration on a car like this someday. Are there any fans of these late-model Hudsons out there?


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  1. jw454

    well, that one didn’t last too long. It must have been a good deal for some lucky buyer.

  2. SAM61

    Neat car. The Hudson Wasp was very popular along the East coast…Jamestown, VA up through Maine.

  3. jdjonesdr

    Why in the world wouldn’t a seller let the auction go to the end? 1800 seems like such a pittance for this.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      EIGHTEEN-HUNDRED DOLLARS?! Wow, what a shame! I agree, someone really talked them into ending the auction early for some reason. Man, that one really hurts.

  4. On and On On and On Member

    I think the hubcaps are cool.

  5. Ralph Terhune

    If you’re looking for something different, you can’t go wrong with one of these. Very cool!

  6. Wayne

    Motor should be 262 cu in. Not 202. Hornet was 308.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Wayne, the three sources that I checked: Classic Car Database, Wiki, and all list the engine as a 202 cubic-inch. They don’t even mention a 262?

      Type: In line L-head
      Displacement: 201.45 cu. in.
      Cylinders: 6”

      “For 1955, the Wasp was offered with Hudson’s 202 cu in (3.3 L) I6 previously used in the Hudson Jet compact sedan and the Hudson Italia. The 202 cu in (3.3 L) was offered with twin H Power and was rated at 120 hp (89 kW; 122 PS).”

      “Engine manufacturer: Hudson L-Head Six 202”

    • Merlin

      The 262 will not fit in the short wheelbase Wasp chassis ! It will only fit in the longer wheelbase Hornet chassis. This car has the smaller block size Jet 202 engine.

  7. Wayne

    I maybe should have said in Australia. I would not have thought there would be a difference.

  8. Gaspumpchas

    good luck to the new owner! it’s funky and different,Have a ball cruising the way it is- hopefully the underbelly isn’t rotten.

  9. Wayne

    Just checked my manuals, 202, 232 and 262 cubic inches. In Australia there were no engine options available, only 262. We didn’t get many Hornets (308ci) out here, unfortunately

    • Merlin

      The 262 did not fit in the Wasp chassis. If it did the Hudson Jet 202 would not have been used.

  10. charlie Member

    In 1965 a girl friend’s father, who liked me more than she did, offered to give me a ’56. Two toned green plus white. Slow as molasses, but very tight, and very well finished interior compared to my ’56 Chevy. The Chevy was much faster, handled better, so I said no, she then said no, end of romance, end of story.

  11. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    What’s Lincoln Town Car? Everyone knows. What’s a Lincoln MKX, MKS, MKWTF, MKSUX? No one knows.

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