Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Gansta Lean: 1937 Hudson Custom Eight

There is an interesting phenomenon in the custom car industry, where everybody wants to be/build something different but ends up with the same collection of parts.  It is the analogous situation to those goth kids, who paint their faces black, and perforate their external organs willy-nilly and scream that they just want to be different...just like all of their different friends.  The custom car world is the same to an extent, where builders grab some oddball one-off and install a Chevy V8, Mustang II rack-n-pinion, Lokar (of the hill people?) shifter/gauges/steering column, TH400 transmission, and a Ford 9-inch rear end -- it doesn't matter if they start with a Model T or a Fiero...it all ends up the same.  Like this 1937 Hudson Custom Eight here on eBay bidding for $11,601 with 2 days to go, located in Beaumont, TX.

Noted gangster John Dillinger was said to have appreciated the Hudson Eight's sister car (the Terraplane) for its combination of cop evading speed, comfort, and ability to blend into the background.  Today's example is magnified in a few of those categories, particularly around performance, but the only place you might blend in is on the Concours at Pebble Beach.

Gone is the big Hudson straight-8 that would have made about 120 horsepower and in its place is a Chevrolet 454 cubic inch big block churning out an undisclosed quantity of horsepower -- but I'd guess you could give even the newest Dodge Magnum Police special a run for the money....at least until you need to turn.

On the inside the Custom Eight looks nicely done -- of course it has those ubiquitous Lokar gauges that have old style clock hands for pointers...the only thing missing is the Vintage Air system...wait...yeah, its in there.  Job done!

See a better way to cruise around in a Hudson without owning your own machine shop to build spare parts? tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. Somebody bought it and got a deal; that car is cool!

    1. Ah, you're from podunk! We're neighbors! I'm right up the road in BFE (j/k).

      Looks like the right kind of car to run moonshine, if I'm not mistaken.

      So many of these Mustang II front end conversions go with quasi-modern wheels that just look... awful and totally don't match the overall aesthetic of the car. This one kept the steelies. I dig that. On the outside, you'd never guess what lies beneath, and that's the appeal of a car like this.

  2. Sold for $17,500 which I consider very well bought. You could not possibly build this car for that money. As for handling, with the double wishbone/ coil spring front suspension, it may not be a cone killing machine, but will handle very nicely for the cruiser it is

    Lots of class for not much cash. Nice.

  3. I suppose it may "all end up the same" except for every surface you touch, and everything that meets the eye when you drive it or look at it with the hood down. And I would guess all those conversions are common because they are bulletproof and when they need maintenance easy to work on. I'd love an Alfa or a Lancia, but that's for completely different reasons than my longing for one of these. If I had this, or something like it, I'd load up the fams and take a nice highway trip to parts unknown. What a blast that would be...

  4. The rust underneath and the Hudson leaf rear indicates it's not intended to be a showpiece, as such I'd look carefully at how well the upper-body prettification blends with the underbody typical-wear-and-tear.

    The MII front end as installed has the UCA and LCA pretty much parallel, you see this a lot for aesthetic reasons on fenderless cars. What it really means is no camber gain with body roll, this is not really now a SLA suspension ought to be laid out but for a cruiser it probably doesn't matter. In a perfect world a BBC is a lot of weight for an MII front end, but then it'd be a lot of weight for a stock Hudson front end too.

    So...probably worth the money, but I'd have wanted to look it over first.


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