The Big Boy: 1937 Terraplane Pickup

1937 Hudson Terraplane Truck

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

When it comes to elegant styling, few eras have produced more flowing and classy vehicles than the 1930s did. Even work trucks received a healthy dose of Art Deco styling during the ’30s! This 1937 Terraplane Big Boy truck has that great airflow look and makes modern trucks look like big ugly boxes. This one has been in this barn for the past 30 years, so it is going to need a complete restoration. You rarely see these trucks, so hopefully someone will save this one. If you’ve always wanted an airflow style truck, be sure to have a look at this one here on eBay in Banks, Oregon.

Terraplane Parts

This truck is going to need an extensive restoration, as nearly every inch of this truck is covered in surface rust. I don’t see any cancer and the seller claims the frame is solid, but I would definitely want to inspect it closely. These trucks were well built, but you have to remember this one is nearly 80 years old, so rust is to be expected. To be honest, with a vehicle like this, rust would be a small concern when compared to the task of finding trim pieces and other truck specific parts. Thankfully the seller has a number of spares for it that they are including in the sale.

Terraplane Truck Bed

The Terraplane brand was a subsidiary of Hudson and was introduced during the Great Depression. It was actually a bold move to launch a new brand during an economic down turn as bad as the Depression, but the combination of good looks, durability, and affordability made the brand rather popular. As a matter of fact, Terraplane was actually outselling its parent company by the mid ’30s. Its success would eventually be the brand’s undoing though. Hudson brass didn’t like the idea of their down market subsidiary outselling their higher margin products, so in 1937 production was cut back and by ’38 the last Terraplanes rolled off the production line.

Terraplane Waterfall Grill

I’ve never understood why trucks have to be so plain and well, boxy. I get the practicality of a truck, as a matter of fact I wouldn’t mind having a truck for hauling junk, but I find them to be square and slightly boring to look at. This Terraplane takes care of that issue, as it is as curvy and enjoyable to look at as any car, especially with that wonderful waterfall grill upfront. There are only a small handful of trucks that I think are better looking than this Big Boy, but given the rarity and desirability of these machines, I doubt I’ll ever be able to get one for myself. So who else here would love to get their hands on one of these Terraplanes?

Get Daily Email Updates:

Comments

  1. Tim H

    I love Art Deco styling. I don’t need a pickup but if I did this would be a good start. I love my Miata for how it drives, I love my V8 swapped 240Z because of my history with Datsuns, I love my 1970 Cord for the 1937 Art Deco styling and I don’t care that it is fiberglass.

    0
  2. jlschmidt

    I have a friend in Kearney, Nebraska, (darn near the center of the state) who has three of these. One is complete and running and a real show-stopper wherever he takes it. Needless to say, he’s a Hudson guy.
    I’m retired now, but in a previous career as an historic (buildings) preservationist, I fell in love with Art Deco. Look at the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building as prime examples.
    Almost changed my name to Art Deco. This truck would have been perfect for my travels across the state.

    1+
  3. Vince Habel

    These look a lot better than the trucks they are building today. I hope someone restores it.

    0
  4. jim s

    another truck that would be the star at the lumberyard/garden center on saturday morning. i would love to see someone make this safe and then just drive it. i would rather see it working for a living and driving this would be quite a workout, but would save the cost of a gym membership. great find

    0
  5. Robert J.

    There is so much awesome here. Lovely truck. Totally worth rebuilding.

    0
  6. Jason H.

    While not about a pickup, I would recommend the song Terraplane Blues from the late great Robert Johnson- great tune, about a great defunct make. Great lines on that pickup, would make a heck of a hot rod….

    1+
  7. geomechs

    These were rare trucks when they were in their prime. I hope someone snags this and restores it to its original glory. People need to see them up close and personal to understand what great trucks they were.

    0
  8. William Henshaw

    It’s definately something you don’t see everyday. I have a feeling that doing a complete restoration on this truck might be expensive to do correctly, while doing it up as a street rod would be easier on the pocket. I wouldn’t mind either way. jlschmidt says he knows where 3 are and I know where 1 is, that’s half of what the seller estimates as surviving, so maybe he thinks it’s worth a pretty penny. It would still need a good inspection. If the body is sound I would think it could be worth up to $10k.

    0
  9. Mike_B_SVT

    Beautiful truck, and about 20 minutes up the road from my house!

    …garage is full though, so now where to put anything else. Oh, and no money for another project either, LOL! Still, a great looking truck, and as was mentioned previously, if I were in the market for a truck I would definitely consider this one.

    Heck, even if you buy it for $10k, put another $20k into it for body & paint… another $10k in engine / interior / miscellaneous… $40k to drive a piece of art instead of a soul-less modern cookie-cutter vehicle.

    1+
  10. Dave W

    Title of the post says ‘Restoration or Hot Rod”..do the first.. for God’s sake, don’t ‘Rod’ it!

    0
  11. ConservativesDefeated

    If restored to original this will be stunning. Getting there will be a herculean task as evidenced by the fact that the present owner is selling it.

    That said I hope someone takes it on and I’d like to see it when done.

    0
  12. Charles

    Cool!

    0
  13. Smurf

    Hi all
    I’m restoring a 1937 four door sedan and need parts. In South Africa
    Door handles internal and external
    Door striker plates and catchers
    Hood chrome trimmings
    Hood mascot
    Boot badge

    Thanks

    0
  14. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Sold for $16,200 with 51 bids!

    1+

Leave A Comment

Rules: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Click here to list your car for sale.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.