Joseph L. Hudson, who founded Hudson's department store, provided the capital needed to start the Hudson Motor Car Company. The company was formed on February 20, 1909 in Detroit.
There were eight businessmen in total who formed the company. They wanted to produce a car that would sell for under a thousand dollars. Production started almost immediately and the first car drove out of the small Detroit factory in July of 1909. The new car, known as "Twenty", was very successful on the North American market and sold over 4,000 models. The following year in 1910 the production increased even more and 4,508 units where brought to market.
Hudson was the first to introduce dual brakes to the industry. It also introduced the use of dashboard warning lights for the generator and the oil pressure. The Hudson had a straight-six engine, which allowed it to function at higher rotational speeds. The higher rotational speeds allowed it to remain smoother and develop more power than low-speed engines. In 1919 the Essex automobile was added to the line-up. The Essex was highly successful because it was designed to be budget-friendly and it was built to offer competition to Ford and Chevrolet. By 1925 the company had moved to the third spot in the number of car sales made in America. By 1929 the Hudson and Essex models combined produced more than 300,000 cars in a year.
The Hudson Company was forced to end production during the Second World War and it was ordered by the government to start producing parts for the war effort. These parts included naval engines as well as anti-aircraft guns. After the war the production of cars resumed. The Hudson Company was the first to introduce step-down models. This concept is still in use today in all modern vehicles. The car was built so that riders stepped down into the body of the car. This made it a lot safer for both drivers and passengers.
During the 1950s the company was finding it difficult to compete with the 'Big Three' car companies comprised of Ford, Chrysler and GM. In 1954 Hudson joined with Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and it then became known as American Motors. The Detroit plant was closed and production of the Hudson was continued in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The last Hudson model was produced in 1957. When the last model rolled off the line there were no big ceremonies because it was hoped that the car brand could be incorporated into a newer 1958 model. This is something that never happened, however and 1957 was indeed the last year that a car was produced under the Hudson name.
- California Inland Chapter Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club, Inc.
- Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club
- Chicago-Milwaukee Chapter of Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club, Inc.
- Dixie Chapter of the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club
- Hudson Car Club
- Hudson Essex Terraplane club: Northern California Chapter
- Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club, Inc
- Hudson-Mohawk Chapter of the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club
- Legacy Restoration
- Nebraska-Iowa Chapter of the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club
- New England Chapter of the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club
- North Central Chapter Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club, Inc.
- Southern California Chapter of the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club
- Tri-State Mountain Roads Chapter Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club
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