Sunday, January 26, 2014

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1950 Hudson Commodore 6

Some of my readers may be asking, where are all the Hudsons? Four years and not one Hudson car featured. Well, we'll have to do something about that. Today is Paul Newman's birthday (a man famous for a few things apart from playing the voice of Doc Hudson in Disney/Pixar's Cars). In honor of him, I'm featuring all Hudsons, all week.

The first one we look at is this 1950 Commodore 6 sedan, found in San Francisco's Sunset District. This is a relatively pure and early execution of Hudson's famous 1948 Step-Down design language. Step-Down was an all-new philosophy for Hudson, with a perimeter frame and a much lower seating position. It also eliminated pontoon fenders for a modern appearance. As a result of this striking redesign, Hudson didn't have a lot of money left over for engines or yearly styling updates. The 1950 models received the first version of Hudson's upside-down V grille accent, a feature now widely associated with the brand, but few other changes. They were available with side-valve six-cylinder engines, or carryover straight-eights from the postwar cars.

This Commodore is a six-cylinder model representing one of the bigger and nicer Hudsons available that year. The larger 128-horsepower eight-cylinder was an updated version of an old engine dating to 1932, but the six was new for 1948 and produced only five fewer horsepower. A true automatic transmission was not yet available but buyers had the option of mechanical overdrive, a high cruising gear and/or an automated clutch that put the car in high or low modes for easier driving above 22 mph or whatever speed the driver selected. The Commodore 6 accounted for 24,605 sales across its coupe, sedan and convertible range. The Commodore 8 sold another 16,731 copies.

This one is pretty solid with a great body. The paint is an attractive dark metallic blue that sets off the classic Step-Down design. These cars really look like nothing else on the road from this era. The trim isn't all there, unfortunately. Most of the right side accent and both rocker panel trims are missing. Everything else could stand to be replated in chrome. This car has extra accessory bumper over-riders and a sun shade on the windshield. The two-outlet exhaust could be aftermarket, I'm not sure. There are a lot of cool details on this car and I found it to be a very interesting subject to shoot.

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