Twin H-Power: 1954 Hudson Hornet

When the 1954 Hudson Hornet appeared in showrooms, its appearance was markedly different from its predecessor. The company elected to give the car a “squarer” look, more in line with the previous year’s Jet. Overall sales figures for the new model year were respectable, with 51,314 buyers electing to park a Hudson in their driveway. Of those, 24,833 chose the Hornet. Our feature car is one of those vehicles, and it presents impressively. Adding to its appeal, the original owner ordered this classic with the Twin H-Power option, which brought an increase in engine power. This Hornet needs a new home, so the owner has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Monroeville, New Jersey, and solid bidding has pushed the price to $10,000. However, that figure remains short of the reserve.

When it appeared, the First Generation Hornet caused a sensation due to its styling. It wasn’t their first model to utilize a “step down” design that allowed the floor pans to sit within the frame rather than above, as was the industry standard. However, combined with sleek and swooping body panels, it provided an appearance that set it apart from the competition. The seller indicates that this Hornet is generally original, although they acknowledge that it has received a repaint in its factory shade of Pasture Green. It shines beautifully, and if there are any flaws or defects, they are too minor to show in the supplied photos. The panels are as straight as you could hope to find, and there’s no evidence of rust or significant corrosion. The glass looks flawless, and the sparkling trim offers a striking contrast to the dark paint.

Apart from the styling, the Hornet’s drivetrain set it apart from the competition. Buyers were becoming fond of V8 engines that provided great power and the ability for owners to squeeze out additional performance relatively easily. Hudson bucked the trend, fitting the Hornet with a 308ci flathead six. This motor provided 160hp and 264 ft/lbs of torque in standard form. However, the original owner of this classic elected to order their car with the desirable Twin H-Power option that equipped the six with a pair of carburetors. This option boosted power to 170hp and torque to 278 ft/lbs. Both figures represent a modest improvement, but the difference was measurable over the ¼-mile. When equipped with the four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission we find here, the standard motor produced an ET of 20.6 seconds. Twin H-Power dropped that figure to 19.8 seconds. The engine bay presents superbly, which may be for a good reason. The listing photos indicate that the seller recently treated the engine to a rebuild. They say it runs and drives perfectly, with the transmission shifting smoothly. This Hornet looks like a hot prospect for buyers seeking a turnkey classic from the 1950s.

While the Hornet’s exterior may have received a refresh, its interior is claimed to be original and unrestored. The cloth upholstery on the front seat has some marks, and it isn’t clear whether a professional would be able to remove these. The back seat is spotless, while none of the upholstered surfaces or headliner show signs of tears or physical damage. The dash rates as a highlight, with its painted surfaces complemented by lashings of chrome trim. The Hornet features a clock and radio, although the seller states that the radio and wipers don’t work. Those faults will require investigation, especially if there is a chance that this classic will see service in wet weather.

If I were to compile a Bucket List of cars I’d like to experience, the Hudson Hornet would undoubtedly feature. They possess an air of style and grace, and I can only imagine how satisfying the driving experience would be with that torquey six under the hood. It seems I’m not alone on that front because this car has already received fourteen bids. With plenty of time remaining on the listing, there’s scope for that tally and the price to climb higher. Given its overall condition and the inclusion of the Twin H-Power option, I wouldn’t be surprised if it hit $20,000 before the hammer falls. If it sells for less, it could represent a bargain buy for its next owner.

Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    Beautifully restored car! The front end gives off some Mercury vibes (IMO); GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 4
  2. Gary

    That car looks to have had a nice restoration done, you can eat off the motor and the interior looks like new. It will make someone a very nice car if it’s as good as it looks.

    Like 7
  3. That Guy

    I don’t think those massive front bumper guards and hoop are factory, and if this were mine they would have to go. That’s my only complaint about an otherwise magnificent car.

    Like 6
    • Lance

      That Guy, They actually were but were for the 48-50 models. Someone got creative here. Personally I think they should have left it as it was.

      Like 3
    • Lou Rugani

      They’re Van Auken grille guards, common in big-city owneership.

      Like 3
    • Wayne from Oz

      That guy. They are genuine Hudson accessories.

      Like 1
      • Jimmy Novak

        *Dealership* accessories, Wayne, where the Van Auken grille guards were mounted right over the bumper guards. In Chicago, they were a must.

        Like 1
  4. RJ

    The engine bay is beautiful.

    Like 4
  5. Steveo

    I like this very much.

    Like 2
  6. JAMES HOMER COOK

    My aunt’s family always drove Hudsons and they were super comfortable and had a great ride. This is beautiful.

    Like 2
  7. David Nelson

    I surely would if I could!

    Like 2
  8. Doone

    IMO the bumper guards were either a dealer or sub jobber installation to the original owners order, period correct. Leave em on its what was intended when the car was bought and helped keep it in such great condition.

    Like 2
  9. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Well now, Miss Daisy, you took it with me.

    Like 1
  10. DON

    So the famed Twin H power was only less than a second faster in the 1/4 mile than the standard six ? It hardly seemed worth the extra money for that option.
    I dont think Hudson was “bucking the trend ” on not having a V8 , they were in trouble financially and didn’t have the money for development of a new engine. The Jet proved to be a flop ,and Hudson put a lot of money into that venture which should have gone into development for their full size cars . Sadly ,by this time the handwriting was on the wall for Hudson.

  11. D K

    Once again..a venerable car that has inoperable accessories…in this case..(wipers, radio etc.) Do any of you gentlemen happen to agree with me that if your are selling something…anything..you should ensure that everything operates ??? This seller wants $20,000 without a functioning radio and wipers ??? ???? How ignorant can buyers be.

    Like 1

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