THE 1952 HUDSON HORNET: STRIKING A HEARTWARMING CHORD
Yes, Doc Hudson mentions will be in here
One of the first-ever influences that made me the petrol-head I am today would be Pixar's 2006 Cars. A wonderful film, I was only 2 at the time and to this day whenever it's played on Disney Channel(jeez that is a while ago) my parents would always say "boy you did watch that film back to back to back". Can't blame them.
But one car stood out among the rest of the film, yea sure McQueen may be flashy and a sore winner but the intriguing backstory of Doc and his calm aura just made it a pleasure to watch him go. Hell, that scene where he took a private drive in the desert pushing himself to his limits was probably the most 'on edge of the seat' moment in my 730 days of existence. Falling from my seat was a different story.
Do pause to have a quick read on this leaflet
Fast forward to 2021 and now I am typing out this article about the Hudson Hornet, specifically the first generation model because of Doc Hudson things. Anyways to set the scene picture this, the year is 1952 America is a victorious superpower and thousands of babies are born every minute. The post-war economic boom has showered Americans the ability to go swinging and rock the night away. NASCAR was as exciting as ever especially on the beaches of Daytona.
Now Imagine you are a young lad maybe 18 years of age on the beaches of Daytona watching the race then, there is that one dark blue car you can't picture it or you may not know the model just cross the checkered flag with probably 50 meters ahead of the rest of the competition. You went and asked the driver of the car and he said: "it's the fabulous Hudson Hornet". From then on you knew if you wanna start winning in life, the Hudson Hornet was the definition of winning.
Apologies for the rambling now onto the specifications of the 1952 Hornet, under the bonnet, is a 5.0L straight-six (yes that's no typo) H-145 engine with a 145 HP. On the power side, it may look lacking especially since the Hornet is a large bulky car but don't fret the "Twin-H Power" increase the power of the Hornet by 25 HP. The "Twin-H Power" are twin one-barrel carburettors that used to be an option in 1951 costing around $895 in 2021 crisp American doughs. Thanks for the discount, Hudson!
Top speed of a generous 106 MPH and 0-60 MPH in 12.2 seconds, grandpa numbers by 2021 standards but in 1952 if you want to win NASCAR races you gotta have a Hornet. Literally, look at the results!
Yeah numbers don't lie
But of course when there are good bits to talk about a car, the bad must be mentioned as well. First off, its handling is, to be frank, heavy which makes obvious sense because it weighs almost 1600 Coppery Titi monkeys and power steering was as relevant as Cuba being Communist in 1952. It is also very uneconomical by 2021 standards since it has a 5.0 L petrol-guzzling straight-six. But of course, we are judging with 2021 standards, 1 litre of fuel cost 24 cents 69 years ago. Funny number.
Sadly, 2 years later Hudson would soon be merged with Nash-Kelvinator and the second but forgotten generation of the Hornet would be born. No Hornets were made after 1957. It is quite a sad end to see Hudson in a gradual decline in the American car industry. Mostly being overshadowed by bigger names such as Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge and the list continues. But however, I am very glad to learn about the Hornet ever since I was 2 years old. The fact that Pixar had single-handedly made Hudson a memorable mention when it comes to the subject of discussing 1950's American cars thus struck a happy chord within me.
I may not be the biggest fan when it comes to American cars but I am forever grateful for learning about the Hornet's fascinating history. Let us cherish what we have got and learned from the pioneering era's of automobile history so that younger petrolheads can enjoy as much as we do.
Thank you and travel kindly