Ralf K Outtake: 1951 Hudson Hornet Hollywood Hardtop Coupe – Awaiting Resurrection, Hopefully

We’ve looked at a few step-down Hudsons here over the years, but never a Hollywood hardtop coupe. Now this one that Ralf K (Don Kincl) shot and posted is pretty rough, but presumably/hopefully it’s awaiting its turn outside a restoration shop. It’s hard to imagine any other outcome for this glorious beast.

The Hollywood hardtop coupe was a new addition to the line in 1951, at which point the “step-down” fastback Hudson sedan was in its fourth year already, and starting to look increasingly out of date. It obviously took a bit of doing to tool it up, as Hudsons had essentially a unitized body construction. Meaning, it had frame rails, one the very outside edge of the body, very much like the perimeter frames The Big Three all eventually adopted, but in the case of the Hudson, they were welded directly to the floor pan and body structure. This made major changes more difficult.

Here’s what it would have looked like in the prime of its life.

Since I didn’t watch The Partridge Family, I wouldn’t have known that one of these was Keith Partridge’s first car. I wish it had been mine.

As much as I can appreciate the Hollywood coupe, it’s not really the Hudson for me. I fell in love with the original way back in 1961, and I’m still in love. This is one of the few old cars that could get me to break down and go for it. If this showed up with a For Sale sign, I’d make it happen.

We’ll say farewell to this Hollywood, and hope it gets the transformation it so well deserves.


Related: CC 1951 Hudson Pacemaker: My Fluttering Heart Needs a Pacemaker