This ad just popped up on CL; someone in Ogdensburg, NJ (about 30 miles from me) is selling this heavily worn but original Hudson Terraplane. I have heard of Terraplanes; never saw one. Apparently in the 1930s they were kind of a big deal–but now, almost 90 years later, virtually no one recognizes the name. More evidence that mankind suffers from a kind of collective amnesia . . .
The seller’s description tells the story best:
Ready for restoration , You are looking at a very rare 1934 Hudson Terraplane 4 door sedan. This car has been sitting for years, but I was able to get it running I did drive the car in my yard. The engine sounds good No knocks or noise. The brakes do stop and the clutch did grab. All the tires are holding air , side glass is all good. The body on this car is very solid, very little rust on bottom of doors. the floor, roof and trunk will need some work. The interior is in poor condition but complete. This is a project car , but you just don’t see Hudson Terraplanes any more. This car is available and recommended for for inspection please call 973-823-0228.
How about those pointy aerodynamic fenders that seem to flow so beautifully!
I first heard the name “Terraplane” watching this now-forgotten film which shows what I believe is a 1933 Terraplane convertible. We meet reporter Billy Repaid, who makes history by perhaps being the first TV commercial pitchman ever broadcast! That’s right–it’s 1933 and they used the word “television”. An actual “Mechanical TV” studio was set up at the Chicago World’s Fair. Hence, the Hudson Terraplane becomes the first car advertised on television. Who had a TV at home to watch this? No one–the audience watched the TV image on a large screen in the “Television Theatre”.
Billy has a natural talent for getting people excited about what he’s saying. He boldly predicts that in the coming years, he will be able to physically shake your hand through the television screen! (It’s 2021 A.D. now, and you still can’t do that, even with Skype and Zoom (a form of which was also demonstrated at the fair, the “Two Way Telephone-Television”). Unfortunately, this YouTube video is cut, so you won’t see the ending where Billy exclaims:
“In the air, it’s aeroplaning; on the water, it’s aquaplaning; and on the road, hot-diggidy-dog, that’s Terraplaning!“ (You’ll just have to take my word for it.)
Billy Repaid had a fascinating life–he lived to be 95, and died in Florida in 1987. You can read about him here. Unfortunately this is the only internet reference I can find for him:
So you can achieve even a minor bit of fame, but in a few decades no one will know you even existed. It’s a fact!
While you’re in Ogdensburg, check out this 1989 Cadillac Eldorado and 1989 Oldsmobile 88 Royale, which are also for sale.
Here’s an idea–store the Caddy and the Olds in a barn and don’t open the barn doors until the year 2100. People of that time will say: “Olds 88? Eldorado? Never heard of them! [#$&@^()+]” *
*[Futuristic vocal meme/emoji sentence ending]. (Untranslatable).