In 1948, Hudson’s future could not have looked brighter. The feisty independent was one of the first with an all-new postwar design. Under the guidance of Frank Spring, the new Hudson Super Six not only looked stunning, it bristled with innovation. The key was its revolutionary “step-down” design, based on a unitary construction, with the floor pan suspended from the bottom of the chassis frame.
The Hudson was lower than its rivals, handled with ground-hugging confidence, and with its gutsy six cylinder engine, outpaced virtually all competitors. In 1951, it evolved into the Hudson Hornet, dominating American stock car racing from 1951 to 1954. But the complex design could not adapt to the rampant demand for yearly revision; the 1953 car looked much like the 1948, and in 1954 Hudson merged with Nash, disappearing for good in 1957.
It is the smooth beauty of the profile that really distinguishes the Hudson. The design team was led by Frank Spring, a longtime Hudson fixture, whose unusual blend of talents combined styling and engineering. His experience in airplane design is evident in the Hudson’s aerodynamics.
Only 60.4 in (1.53 m) high, the Super Six was lower than its contemporaries.
Chassis frame ran outside the rear wheels, serving as “invisible side bumpers.”
Each segment of the split screen was well curved for semiwraparound effect and good visibility.
Along with Studebaker, the 1948 Hudson was one of the very first all-new postwar designs.
Front suspension was by wishbones, coil springs, and telescopic shocks.
UNDER THE HOOD
The gutsy new 262cid six arrived in 1948 and made the Hudson one of the swiftest cars on America’s roads.
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S
MODEL Hudson Super Six (1948–51)
BODY STYLES Four-door sedan, Brougham two-door sedan, Club coupe, hardtop coupe, two-door Brougham convertible.
CONSTRUCTION Unitary chassis/body.
ENGINE 262cid L-head straight six.
POWER OUTPUT 121 bhp at 4000 rpm.
TRANSMISSION Three-speed manual, optional overdrive; semiautomatic.
SUSPENSION Front: independent, wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shocks, antiroll bar; Rear: live axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs, telescopic shocks, antiroll bar.
BRAKES Hydraulic drums all round.
MAXIMUM SPEED 90 mph (145 km/h)
0–60 MPH (0–96 KM/H) 14–18 sec (depending on transmission)
A.F.C. 12–18 mpg (4.2–6.4 km/l)