Hudson Jet

The Hudson Jet was a car of the middle class, which was produced by the Hudson Motor Car Co. in Detroit, Michigan, in the model years 1953 and 1954. The jet was Hudson's answer to the popular Nash Rambler. Hudson - equipped with only a low level of financial reserves - decided to develop a compact car, rather than to revise his great series. However, the jet far could not win as many buyers as the Rambler, and so Hudson had merged with Nash - Kelvinator to compensate for the losses caused by her jet project and falling demand for the great series.

Market situation

In the early 1950s it had the remaining smaller car manufacturers in the U.S. difficult. The market was dominated by the "Big Three " (Big Three) General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. This produced the large numbers and dictated the prices at which the smaller producers could not compete simply because of their smaller numbers. Desperately searched the smaller producers by market gaps where they did not have to compete directly with the big ones.

One of these gaps in the market were the compact car since the major manufacturers at the time, in an era of cheap and abundant gasoline, one-sided put on big cars. Although they also had to build smaller cars considered, but showed their calculations that the was not worth and that it made more sense to build the big wagon put in the largest possible quantities and offer the lowest possible price.

Hudson was not the only manufacturer who tries to compact cars. Apart from the Hudson Jet, there was at that time also the models

Who competed in this narrow segment. The only successful model was the Nash Rambler; Hudson was not.

Development specifications

From the beginning the project was hampered by Hudson CEO AE barite, which claimed that the compact jet should offer all the amenities of a big car. While the designers were trying to form a car that low, wide and slim, like a compact car was, barite did not renounce its demands for a high seating position, a high passenger space and a roof that the inmates allowed while driving the aufzubehalten hat. Barite also decided that the jet should look like from behind the Oldsmobile that time with towering rear fenders and small, round taillights. Again, the design was changed so that they corresponded to the ideas of Jim Moran, a large Hudson dealer in Chicago, Illinois, who sold about 5 % of the total production Hudson periodically. Moran liked the panoramic rear window and the roof line of the 1952 Ford and barite demanded a similar design for the jet.


In the introductory year was the jet in two trim lines - Standard and Super Jet - available, and only as a 2 - or 4 -door sedan. Contrary to the somewhat stale acting " Step Down " design of the great Hudson models of the jet as a true " notch -back" (rear retracted ) was designed. The car was powered by Hudson's L -head inline six- cylinder engine with 3.3 liters of displacement that developed 104 hp ( 76 kW ) at 4,000 rpm. (This wonderfully torquey engine was originally from Hudson of 1947 " 3x5 " 3.5 liter - developed six-cylinder, which was slightly reduced in the hub and designed for pressure lubrication He was a page- controlled motor at a time when the rest of the industry sat up controlled Morten. , and carried further Hudsons Image as a company that was arrested in the past. )

The basic equipment consisted of a heating, burglar-proof locks, revolving door handles, defroster vents, a Zweiklangfanfare, full -scale wheel covers, an ashtray and an illuminated ignition switch. Today, a heater for the passenger compartment is taken for granted, but in 1953 demanded Cadillac still U.S. $ 199 extra charge for this facility!

When the jet was introduced but he did not reach the good reputation of the Ramblers, particularly because of its relatively high price and its Globigen to towering appearance. Although the major Hudson models of model year 1953 still based on the " Step Down " design from 1948, they looked slimmer than the smaller but high-sided jet models. Also complained about the customer that the jet was not available as the Rambler as a station wagon, hardtop coupe and convertible, but only as a sedan. In addition, the cars were - although compact - more expensive than the big sedans from Chevrolet, Ford or Plymouth.

The Tea Cup Test

Hudson came up with some marketing tricks to attract customers for the jet, eg the " Tea Cup Test ". The " Tea Cup Test " need for special sets of glass cylinders, valves and rubber hoses mounted the Hudson dealer to test cars. The glass cylinder was attached to the inside of the passenger door, the rubber hoses are connected to the carburetor. Now, a fuel load, which corresponded to the contents of a tea cup, filled into the glass cylinder and drove the car from the buyers and the sellers who observed while driving the cylinder to see how far to drive a Hudson Jet with this small amount of fuel could. Although this was a new idea, it came with the teacups test is not to convince the prospects of the economy of the jet.


In model year 1954, the jet was only slightly revised exterior. A luxury model, the jet- liner, was introduced, bringing the series now consisted of three versions, but there were no new body styles.

The production numbers this year fell to 14,224 piece after also had 21,143 pieces of 1953 gave no cause for rejoicing.

Now no more funding to redesign the great Hudson series were there, barite convinced the owners that a merger with Nash - Kelvinator would be the best way to back up the share value. Barite hoped that the jet would survive the merger, as the new American Motors Corporation wanted to focus on the niche market for smaller cars.

When the merger was consummated and barite had its seat in the AMC management, 1954 was the first Hudson model whose production was stopped, the jet. In addition, Hudson had to dealers now with Hudson logo provided Nash Rambler and Nash Metropolitan as Hudson products sell.

The automotive historian Richard M. Langworth called the Jet " the car that Hudson has torpedoed ". Although the effect not of the jet on the finances of Hudson can be overestimated (it was a disaster! ), It must be admitted, however, that the forces of the market, as steel prices and labor costs, the decline of all independent American automobile manufacturer (Packard, Studebaker, Willys -Overland, etc.) caused in the 1950s and 1960s, also contributed to the difficulties in Hudson. Eventually, however, have management errors, such as miscalculation of the market or non- update of the product range also have their share in it.