Hudson Hornet

The Hudson Hornet ( " Hornet " ) was a passenger car model of the upper class, the Hudson Motor Car Co. has manufactured in Detroit, Michigan, 1951-1954. Then which emerged from the Hudson Motor Car Co. and Nash Motors by fusion American Motors Corporation (AMC ) built the Hornet under the brand name Hudson until 1957.

Model series


The Hornet was introduced in model year 1951 and was based on Hudson's " step-down " design, which was introduced in model year 1948, the Hudson Commodore. The new cars were available as two and four-door sedan, coupe and convertible. The " Step Down " design combined frame and body ( by welding ) to a component ( " Unibody "). The footwell of " Step Down " models was inserted between the frame rail instead - to be placed on the frame support - as usual until then. Thus, the passengers got into the Hudson down - hence the name.

The Hornet had the Hudson H -145 L -head six-cylinder engine with 5047 cc (308 in ³) engine capacity with vertical valves (SV ), high compression and a double carburetor (107 kW) made ​​145 hp at 3800 rpm and a torque of 373 Nm developed. This six-cylinder was considered at that time as the engine with the largest displacement worldwide. In 1952, the "Twin -H -Power" version was ( Twin Horsepower - Twin -horsepower ) of this engine introduced, which had two single carburetor and a double Ansaugsteg and thus 170 hp ( 125 kW) made ​​, 25 % more than the standard version. This engine could (154 kW) be reconciled with the later available " 7-X " options at the factory up to 210 hp.

In 1954 the Hornet has been thoroughly revised, what was a difficult undertaking, as the " step-down " design with the frame around the foot area caused a certain body shape, and thus a comprehensive tool replacement was necessary. The Hornet 1954 also got a new interior with a new instrument panel along with panels that looked surprisingly modern for its time. Although the Hornet now its contemporary competitors inferior in styling and design in nothing, this modernization came but too late to sustainably improve the sales.

In the last year of construction in 1954 as the original Hudson no V8 engine was still available, the standard 5 -liter SV - six-cylinder was not really quite on the level of the time, but he did now at least 160 hp ( 119 kW), the available factory on request inspired from racing "Twin -H -Power" version of 170 hp (127 kW).

From Hornet 43.656 units in model year 1951 were produced, 35,921 units in model year 1952 to 27 208 units in model year 1953. During the last year prior to the merger of Hudson Motor Car Co. with the Nash - Kelvinator Company to form the American Motors Corporation ( AMC) were 24,833 Hornets built.


In his last three model years, the Hornet was a product of the newly founded in 1954 American Motors Corporation ( AMC). The end of 1954 the production facility of Hudson was closed in Detroit and the entire production of Hudson models to Kenosha, moved to the location in Wisconsin factory of Nash. All Hudsons based from then on to the big Nash models, but had a special Hudson styling.

In 1955, Hudson appeared as conservatively styled car. Sedans and hardtop coupes were offered, but no convertibles. For the first time in its history the Hornet model with a V8 engine was available.

The AMC management decided to give more character to the Hornet in model year 1956 and the designer Richard Arbib was commissioned to design. He gave the models Hornet and Wasp in the 1950s, unique appearance, the "V -Line " styling was called. He was inspired by the triangular Hudson logos and repeated its V shape at all possible locations inside and outside the car. Combined with a three-color paint this styling was unique and immediately notice. This striking appearance but could not convince the buyers, and so the sales figures fell from 13,130 units in 1956 accounted for 8152 Units in the six months prior to styling change and only 4978 left in the period thereafter.

The solution for the company's management was the "V -Line" in 1957 to add more ornaments, such as small Kotflügelflösschen above the rounded stern sheets to boost sales again. However, connoisseurs, it was only 3,108 orders.

Production of the Hornet was set on June 25, 1957. At the same AMC gave the name Hudson (and Nash ) and all the cars were called henceforth Rambler. Successor of the Hornet was the 1958 Rambler American.


In 1970 AMC Hornet took the name again for the new compact car, the Rambler American replaced (see AMC Hornet ).

Racing successes in NASCAR and AAA series

During the year 1952 won Hornets, who were driven by Marshall Teague, Herb Thomas and Tim Flock, Ennen 27 NASCAR-R. In the AAA series Teague drove a specially built Hornet, which he called " Fabulous Hudson Hornet " to 14 wins in the same season. So Hudson won 40 of 48 races of the season, a percentage of 83%.


  • In the movie Cars of 2006 Paul Newman gave his voice a Hornet named "Doc Hudson ", which was the winner of three " Piston Cups " in the 1950s.


  • Gunnell, John ( Editor): The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975, Kraus Publications ( 1996), ISBN 978-0-87341-096-0
  • Cond, John A.: The American Motors Family Album, American Motors Corporation ( 1987), ISBN 1-111-57389-1