The US motoring industry picked up where it had left off once the Second World War was over and began building some of the finest cars of all time again. This was a period where manufacturers were scrambling to get all their new ideas (most of which had to be shelved because of the conflict) off the ground, and Hudson couldn’t wait to show off its new ‘step-down’ models.
It truly revolutionised automotive design by moving away from the traditional body-on-frame construction, instead offering a new floor and chassis design that was surrounded by the perimeter of the car’s frame and allowed passengers to step down (rather than step up) into their vehicles. This improved entry and exit greatly — and also gave the cars far better road-holding ability due to the lower centre of gravity that the new layout afforded.
The new Hudsons came in two trims; the Special and the top-line Commodore — and the 1949 Commodore Custom Six Brougham Convertible was the classiest of all. Just 656 were built that year and they all came off the production line with every conceivable option you could get back then. It came with leather upholstery, real wood dashboard and door trim, power steering and brakes, hydraulic power roof and windows, and a radio, while the handsome body was complemented by a set of chrome wire wheels with wide whitewalls tyres, and chrome front and rear bumpers.
It was one of the finest new post-war convertibles, but with so few built only a handful got the privilege of enjoying the ever so smooth ride it offered. Motivation came from the highly desirable Nascar-bred 4.1-litre inline-six “Twin H-Power” engine (it had a dual-carburetor intake system that Hudson racers used for track duty) — mated to a three-speed manual transmission with overdrive. The 1,724kg Commodore produced 130 horsepower and 270Nm of torque, which were very healthy figures for the time.
By 1952, the Hudson was beginning to look a little dated (it had been in production since 1941), but instead of refreshing it, was replaced with the Hornet and Wasp line.
Now extremely rare, if you ever find one in show-quality condition, you’ll need to stump up around Dh300,000 for it.