Cohort Outtake: Hudson Hornet – I Was Into Old Hudsons Before They Were Cool

Is this cool, or what? Yes, a yellow Hornet in front of a pink house in San Francisco is cool. Obviously. And it’s owner knows it all too well. And I’m drooling.

I’ve been wanting a step-down Hudson since 1961! That’s when I discovered an old Hudson sitting at the very dead end of Hutchinson Street, at the edge of the ravine that cut across Manville Heights. And I used to spend a lot of time with it, and in it too, if I found it unlocked. Yes, nobody gave a damn back then if some dweeby kid wanted to sit in your old car for hours on end. Front seat and back seat. I even found a bat in it once; maybe I left a window slightly open.

I still could spend a lot of time with one again, now.

Ralf K. only posted one picture of this car, but it’s more than enough. Too much, actually. It’s a painful reminder just how mad I’ve been about these cars every time I see one, since that first one on Hutchinson Street. Why did I fall for it so hard?

Did you have to ask? There was a Tatra 600 (“Tatraplan”) that lived down the street from our house in Innsbruck, and its shape impressed itself on my tender young brain way to deeply, as it’s dominated my thinking and feeling life way too much ever since. Buying VW Beetles was an attempt to assuage the issue somewhat, but it didn’t quite do the trick.

Anyway, when I discovered that old tired and mostly retired Hudson (a pre-Hornet version) in my neighborhood, thanks to discovering a shortcut to school through numerous back yards (yes we did that too. In fact, I eventually optimized my one mile walk from home to school by an almost perfect diagonal line through the neighborhood, via driveways, yards, and a ravine or two, almost totally avoiding streets. Nobody had a fence back then).  Anyway, when I discovered the Hudson, it was a Eureka moment. Aha! Americans did aerodynamics too! And quite nicely, at that. Too bad about no rear engine, though. And a flathead engine? Come on; Tatras had aircooled hemi engines.

So the Hudson became my proxy Tatra. And they’re a lot more affordable too. What am I waiting for?


Here’s a full CC on the Hudson Hornet