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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1950 Hudson Commodore

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Unrestored 1950 Hudson Commodore convertible for sale on From the seller’s description:

This convertible spent its entire life in California until it came to North Carolina about year and half ago. It has been in the possession of Hudson collectors for many decades, the most recent collector having owned the car for over 20 years. I have a large file of documents with the car that includes owners back to the 1970’s and information on the car from the time it was new, along with many repair receipts, etc.

When I acquired the car it had been on display and not driven for some years, so it needed attention to various systems to make it a reliable driver. It now drives and rides well, and it handles amazingly well with easy steering and quick response–much better in this respect than any other car of the period I have owned. The motor is the Hudson 8 with a cast iron head. The car originally had Hudson Super-Matic Drive, Hudson’s semi-automatic shift system, but all of those components were removed decades ago, except for dash control and badging. It is manual shift with working overdrive. The car runs nicely and always starts right up, even after long periods. It runs on a very sturdy electric fuel pump.

The car is largely unrestored, though it was painted a number of years ago in the original color of Cornish Cream. Documents with the car declare it was painted black by the original selling dealer, and remained that color until the prior owner restored the car to it’s factory color, and indeed the paint code on the door hinge is for Cornish Cream. The paint job is not show quality but it a nice driver paint job with some nicks and scratches from use. The chrome is mostly original and in nice overall condition; I replaced a few pieces with nos or rechromed. The interior is original except for the front seat bottom which was recovered in the correct leather years ago. The original 1950 leather is fragile and torn or worn in several places, and the car would benefit greatly by having the seats redone. The door panels and side panels are in good shape for originals. The wood graining on the dash is nice though the paint on top of the dash is rather dead–still too nice to consider redoing. The interior chrome is all nice, and the steering wheel and horn button are exceptionally nice for a convertible.

To my knowledge all of the gauges work on the car, as well as all of the lights (except trunk light which is intermittent), including the reverse lights, signal lights, fog lights, both spotlights, and the wonderful illuminated coat of arms. A set of manual gauges for the idiot lights has been installed inside the glove box for safety. I have driven the car about 1000 miles and think I have gotten most of the long-term storage bugs out of it. The wipers work; the clocks works; the original radio does not.

The convertible top does not work at this time. I replaced the rams, but the pump needs to be rebuilt and the system needs flushing; however, the pump does run in both directions and tries feebly to operate. Also, the top itself is in need of adjustment as it closes short of the header. One broken pot metal arm has been very well repaired (I have a source for a replacement), but the top does not want to come up and down smoothly. It appears to be completely original and in nice cosmetic condition, and the cloth top itself is in very nice condition with original glass window in place. This is a spring and summer car, which I never drive this car with the top up, so it has not been too big an issue. In the photos the top appears high in the well because the rear window was not unzipped. It will go down into the well nicely. The rear quarter windows work well, but the two front windows are exceedingly slow and need a great deal of help going up; they go down just fine.

In conclusion, this is a car that you can enjoy as it is for now or continue to improve while keeping it mostly original. Because it is so straight and completely devoid of rust, it would also be a good candidate for a restoration, if one wanted perfection. There are not many original Hudson 8 convertibles out there in nice original condition, and I hope that I can find this car a good home with someone who will enjoy it. The step-down design is so lovely and the center of gravity make handling and steering unlike any other car on the market at that time.

Location Marker
DURHAM, North Carolina
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