A Great Running and Driving "Three on the Tree" Super Six Convertible with Push Button Radio, Electric Clock, and Power Top. One of 1,868 Built.
1949 Hudson Super Six Convertible
Metallic Red with Red Leather
At the close of WWII, American automobile manufacturers quickly prepared their next models to meet the growing demands from an eager public. Timing was critical as the economy was booming, so many manufacturers rapidly went to market using existing prewar tooling with only minor facelifts. However, behind the scenes, the race was on to launch a totally new car. Hudson, the highly respected independent from Detroit, was one of the first to offer their all-new car at the 1947 auto show. Unveiling the innovative “Step-Down” chassis design, crowds clamored for the new design placing orders for the 1948 model year. Using Hudson’s trademark “Monobuilt” construction, renowned designer Frank Spring was inspired by the Tatra T87 to create sculpted organic fluid lines in a single envelope body, integrated into the lightweight semi-unitary construction concealing a perimeter frame. Unlike typical cars of the period where the body was on top of the frame, the Hudson floors were lowered inside the chassis, providing remarkable ease of entry and exit, passenger ride comfort, and exceptional road holding due to their low center of gravity. The payoff was impressive, with a roofline five inches lower than any competitor, yet still retaining a spacious interior.
The new Hudson was offered in a range of trim and styles with the most sought after convertible models leading the way in style and prestige. For 1949, the Super Convertible (designated 491 six-cylinder models) was available with a host of standard, luxury and convenience features along with numerous appearance options. Sales were robust, but being a financially strapped independent, Hudson struggled to compete with its larger competitors despite having developed a more advanced and capable car. In addition to their design excellence and sophistication, multiple race-prepped cars proved their performance capabilities winning at budding NASCAR races and speed trials. Hudson continued independent production until 1954 when their sales dropped to unsustainable levels as the result of a strategic misstep in choosing to focus development budget on a new small car (the Jet) instead of a replacement for the full-size step-down models. This choice was typically innovative for Hudson but came six or seven years before the American public demonstrated they were ready for this shift (with cars like the Falcon, Comet, Corvair, Valiant) and ultimately cost Hudson their independence. They merged with Nash to form American Motors in 1954 and eventually ceased production altogether in 1957, ending a long-standing and decorated history of design and engineering excellence.
This particular car is one of 1,868 Hudson Super Convertibles built in 1949. According to documents accompanying the car, previous ownership included residence in Oregon and Washington State. After purchasing the car in 2010, the current owner, a multiple Hudson collector, safely stored it indoors, tending to a few minor mechanical items, occasionally starting it, but putting virtually no miles on the car throughout his eight year ownership. During consignment, a new battery and correct starter were installed in March and April 2019 and the car runs extremely well.
Today, the car presents in handsome metallic red with matching red interior and tan canvas soft-top. A combination of older restoration and original components, the car has satisfying finishes, offering an elegant and memorable driver quality impression. The art-deco inspired chrome trim, whitewall tires, and jukebox dashboard offer a delightful vision of yesteryear in a charming open air convertible. The paint remains in good driver condition overall with good gloss throughout the body. There are minor paint flaws and a few stone chips in the exterior finish, but overall presentation is consistent for driver quality. Panels are straight and appear solid, with good fit aside from the passenger front fender sitting proud of the door. Hood and trunk fit are both quite good, generally reflective of factory panel gaps. The chrome and stainless trim are in good to very good condition, with the grille and bumpers being notably nicer than some of the smaller trim, which shows some pitting on close examination. The front bumper features optional bumper accessories offered from the factory on Super and Commodore models. The doors open and close properly, easily opened by pivoting chrome plated door handles accented by polished protective trim guards. Much of the surrounding rubber door and window gaskets have become dry and stiff, but still appear functional. The glass and various exterior lenses are all in good condition, and the chrome wire wheel covers add a bit of boulevardier charm to the classic lines.
The interior is tastefully appointed featuring expansive front and rear pleated bench seats, large steering wheel, and faux-wood dashboard punctuated with beautiful art-deco instruments. Optioned with pushbutton radio and electric clock, the dashboard, instruments, and steering wheel are a visual delight of the period. The painted wood “Juke Box” styling comes to life accented by chrome plated trim, clear molded details, and beautiful instrumentation that softly glows in the evening light. The seating is wide and comfortable, with both seats easily capable of holding three passengers abreast. The seat material shows a settled and welcoming patina and a few cracks at the top of the rear seat, with just the right amount of comfort for ambling motoring. The power-actuated canvas convertible top is in very good cosmetic and functional condition with tight closure when latched in place, good weather sealing and smooth operation when raising and lowering the top. Carpeting appears to have been replaced during the restoration and still shows very well. The trunk is finished with matching red carpeting, with a custom matching carpet cover for the spare tire.
The engine compartment appears to have been maintained over the years, but not finished for show or display. Generally the engine area is clean, dry, and perfectly serviceable, but would benefit from cosmetic attention in order to elevate the appearance to the exterior level of finish. That said, the mechanical features appear to operate as expected, assisted by the recent installation a new starter and six volt battery. The underside continues the same visual theme as the engine compartment with no major damage of note, showing finishes consistent with several years of use, with some evidence of metal work having been performed in the rocker panels and generally solid presentation with a few areas of minor corrosion.
The car starts and runs exceptionally smoothly, with a quiet idle and gentle manner that conveys a sense of quality. The column shifted three-speed is highly evocative and easy to use, while the torquey, lightly-stressed 308 cubic inch inline-6 makes motoring around town a cinch and pulls stoutly when requested to do so. The steering is light even at low speeds, and the braking is consistent with technology of the times, but works consistently and inspires the confidence of the driver once they are calibrated to their capability. At any speed, lofty and tranquil motoring transports the driver back to a pleasant and simpler time, enhanced all the more by the open air experience and the enthusiastic reaction of everyone who comes in contact with the car. The car comes with some service and previous ownership records, a spare rebuilt water pump, convertible top boot, and a spare wire wheel cover.
Elegance and composure envelope anyone enjoying the driving experience of this 1949 Hudson Super Convertible. Technically innovative and a fascinating “might have been” that also has a dash of motorsport prestige, the step down Hudsons appeal to the enthusiast seeking something a little different. This particular example is further differentiated as a “three on the tree” convertible and its deco-era features and innovative styling effortlessly evoke dreams of an elegant and simpler time, one of cordial motoring and vintage charm.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608