1951 HUDSON Hornet

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1951 HUDSON Hornet


The Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit made Hudson and other brands of cars from 1909 to 1954, with the name finally disappearing in 1957.

At its most productive in 1929, when it produced over 300,000 vehicles, Hudson was the third largest US car maker after Ford and Chevrolet, and had overseas factories in Belgium and Brentford, London.

The Hudson Hornet, introduced in 1951, was based on the Commodore, and featured a ‘step-down’ design with a dropped floorpan that gave the car a lower centre of gravity, superior handling characteristics and, undeniably, some very sleek and futuristic lines.

All Hornets came with a 5-litre 6-cylinder block – the biggest displacement of any 6-cylinder engine of the time. From November 1951, Hornets could be ordered from dealerships with the Twin H-Powered carburettor set up. This delivered best-in-class power of 160hp, but expert fettlers and tweakers soon discovered that a lot more could be wrung out of the unit.

Consequently, these powerful, streamlined, well-balanced cars proved to be excellent performers on the race track, despite being aimed at the luxury end of the consumer market.

So much so that Hudson Hornets won 27 of the 34 NASCAR Grand National races in 1952, followed by 22 wins out of 37 races in 1953, and 17 out of 37 in 1954.

Doctor Hudson Hornet, MD, is an anthropomorphic cartoon Hudson Hornet race car that starred in the 2006 Pixar film ‘Cars’ and was voiced by the legendary actor (and petrolhead) Paul Newman.

The animated car was based on the succession of NASCAR winning vehicles that bore the name, ‘The Fabulous Hudson Hornet’.

The Hudson Hornet combined uncompromisingly over-engineered mechanicals and top-class build quality with a powerful engine, impressive dynamics and head-turning looks.

The Vehicle

This motor car is being sold as part of an overseas collection. It has been imported under the Bonhams temporary admission customs bond and is therefore subject to the lower rate 5% import tax if the car is to remain in the UK & purchased by a private individual. The 5% is calculated on the final selling price. For example, if the car sells for £7,000, then £350 is added, making the total amount payable of £7,350.

The winning bidder will receive a receipt for the final hammer value, and proof that HMRC fees are paid. If the car is subsequently exported abroad within 30 days then these fees are refundable.

Lastly, there will be a nominal administration fee of £250 for processing the NOVA application, and payable direct to the shipping company. A completed and processed NOVA will provide you formal proof that all duties & taxes are paid in UK and thus allow you to register the vehicle with the DVLA

In common with the majority of cars in this collection, this vehicle has been on static display for a number of years and there is no history available beyond that displayed in our photography section.

We have not started or driven the car so cannot vouch for its mechanical viability or functionality. It will require recommissioning prior to road use and is sold ‘as seen’.

It is available for view and inspection at our HQ near Abingdon and we will be delighted to show the car to you and/or your appointed engineer.

We don’t know much about the whereabouts of this 1951 Hudson Hornet Twin H-Power sedan prior to 25.11.14, when it was sold by a dealer in Wisconsin to a private buyer in Crownsville, Maryland. We know that at the time it was described as ‘running’.

Apart from that, we know from a tax disc on the windscreen that the car was alive and well and going about its business in Texas in 2003.

We believe it was bought by the current vendor for static display in his collection on 26.3.15. It hasn’t turned a wheel since.

The odometer currently reads 62,693 miles.

This remarkable vehicle seems to us to be in very good overall condition, although, as we can’t start or drive it, that opinion is necessarily limited to the car’s cosmetic presentation.

Anyone buying this in 1951 would have been getting a great deal of car for their money.

It’s long, wide, low, dynamic, fast and bristling with technology that wouldn’t turn up on most British cars for decades.

It’s also a stylistic triumph, with more chrome that the Chrysler building

and lines that set the tone for the confident, optimistic, aspirational design aesthetics of post-war America.

On the Outside

The metallic bronze-coloured paintwork is pretty good in most places and has plenty of shine and vibrancy to it.

The chrome work, too, is in very decent all-round nick – which is a good thing, because there’s a lot of it.

The delightful directable spotlights on both sides by the front windows may need some adjustment to respond more faithfully to inputs from the driver and passenger.

The shut lines are tight and even, and the doors slam home with weight and precision. There are very few dinks, dents, creases, folds or warps to speak of.

The wire wheels are in good condition from what we can see (the rears are largely hidden under their spats).

There is some bubbling in places, most notably on the top of the o/s/r wing and below the windscreen.

That aside, this striking car presents extremely well and is, we think, in very strong condition for its age.

On the Inside

The interior is as splendidly redolent of its era as the exterior.

It is a deftly conducted symphony of materials, textures, colours and haptics – all powerfully evocative of a time and place when Harry S. Truman was in the White House and ‘An American in Paris’ was on the big screen.

In the main, the condition is good, with the dark brown dashboard and chrome dials and controls all looking fine for their age.

The steering wheel is relatively untroubled by time or use, as are the column shift controls for the Hydra-Matic Drive auto-box.

The original radio looks ready and willing to launch into a medley of Tony Bennett hits at the merest hint of an invitation.

The carpets are loose in some places and more than a little threadbare in others.

The fabric-covered bench seat in the front is comfortable and undamaged, but could do with being shown a cloth and some soapy water. The leather surrounds to the seats appear to be intact and in decent condition.

The door cards have held up well and the headlining, though discoloured and marked in areas, is not sagging or ripped as far as we can see,

The bench seat in the rear is stained and has a large split in the fabric.

The boot seems to be in decent condition.


The undersides appear to be possessed of a good deal of integrity. Yes, there is rust dust to be found but we haven’t seen anything particularly worrying or indicative of nasty surprises lurking under the surface.

The engine bay (with its coveted Twin H-Powered engine) is clean and dry. From what we can tell, everything appears to be in its right and proper place.

Although we haven’t started the engine, we have turned it by hand to show that it isn’t seized.

History Highlights

The car doesn’t come with a service history or any record of work done.

Currently, it has neither an MoT certificate nor a V5.

If you’d like to inspect the car prior to placing a bid – something we would encourage – then please use the Contact Seller button to arrange an appointment.

What We Think

We can see how and why the Hudson Hornet earned the sobriquet, ‘Fabulous’.

It was ahead of its time in terms of handling, styling, performance and road ability.

And just look at it.

We think the car we have with us now is a particularly good example and, if the engine and mechanicals turn out to be as strong as the exterior and interior, this could be a very rewarding car to own and drive.

We’re confident to offer this car for auction with an estimate of £8,000 - £12,000, plus Bonhams bond payment and £250 NOVA fee.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of suppliers we work with regularly including finance and storage companies, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: The Market HQ Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 62693
  • Chassis Number: 7A33525
  • Gearbox: Auto
  • Steering position: LHD
  • Color: Bronze
  • Interior: Taupe
  • Estimated Price: £8,000 - £12,000

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