Custom Search
The online car show dedicated to American-made iron: old skool, new school, and no school
Home Join Login Member cars Games Calculators Tips

Kate Hudson

Joe's 55 Hornet 6

Kate has to be driven to the U=Haul office in Santa Fe on a rollback because she won't stay running. There she has to be unloaded and reloaded backwards so that she can be loaded frontwards on the trailer. Little brother's duelly diesel was really the right truck for the job, too!

This is Kate at Thanksgiving, 2011. She has had a brake adjustment, a new oil sending unit installed, new shocks back and front, wiring repairs and many other little things so she is running well!

This is what Kate looked like in July of 2006 when I first found her in a back yard in Santa Fe, NM. It was probably love at first sight. The owner also had two "step down" Hudsons, but Kate just caught my eye and I never really got over her. Though it took five years and another visit to finally get me to get serious about bringing her to Georgia!

The "continental kit" was standard on all "Custom" designated Hornets and Wasps in 1955. Other than the other American Motors makes, I don't think that any other 1955 cars had a standard continental kit.

Kate is in for an engine rebuild! Dan "Hud" Fullerton of Dahlonega is undertaking the rebuild at his shop in Cumming. The crank is being turned and Dan was going to order the new pistons yesterday! I am getting really excited to have her back and running like new. As Dan sends updates I will be posting them here!

Here is Kate today (July 6, 2012). She has had a full detail job on the body and interior, her new windshield is installed and of course she runs fabulously thanks to Dan Fullerton and The Twin H Garage!

Here is Kate in front of my Real Estate some extra advertising I hadn't planned for. Paint is a little thin, but she should be good for a while before I have to think of a repaint. Why did I build that garage, anyway?

Here is Kate's mill! Totally rebuilt 308 cubic inch flat head six! Known as the Championship Six in the Hudson propaganda of the day, this basic engine was the winner of more stock car races from 1951 to 1954 than any other! It still holds some unbroken records!

Here is where The Twin H Garage did its work! You will have to hear her start up and run to believe how smooth and quiet she is. acceleration is great, though I have not had her to the dragway yet, I plan to take her to the next Dixie Chapter HET Club meet held at the Atlanta Dragway! I believe she will open some eyes! Thanks to Dan (Hud) Fullerton, of course!

"Hud" Fullerton came to me highly recommended by Ed Forrester, a member of the Dixie Chapter of the Hudson Essex Terraplane Club. I talked to him several times, but never actually met him until I delivered Kate to his TWIN H GARAGE in Cumming, Ga in March of 2012. He had already made a trip to my place in Cleveland, GA, to ascess the problems with Kate's loss of compression, oil burning and leaks.

He seemed really enthusiastic about the work and quoted a price which he stuck to through the whole project. He outlined the process estimated the time as best he could and delivered what he promised when he promised it. The only thing was, I had no idea what I was buying, and I was blown away with the results. "Hud" went over lots of other problems and fixed a lot of things I never even thought of. The result? Well, come see Kate today! I am taking her to the Dixie Chapter meet on July 14th in Young Harris, GA to show her off for the first time!

If you have a Hudson project, you're ignorant of or don't know a whole lot about these cars and their personalities, and you need someone to be your guardian angel in the process, I definitely recommend "Hud"!

Kate's cockpit here, with the antenna control above the rear view mirror. Pay special attention to the visors. These are clear but heavily tinted plexaglass!

Kate's back seat is almost new in overall condition. We have speculated that the seat covers which are definitely not the original upholstery, but probably original dealer installed. They are in beautiful condition and pretty comfortable, too!

Here is Kate on July 7, 2012 in front of Copper House, in the morning, while it is still kind of cool. Rio Red looks nice against New Copper, eh?

Where did this car come from? The 1955 Hudson was the first all new automobile produced by American Motors Corp after the 1954 Hudson - Nash merger. There is a lot that I would like to learn about who was actually responsible for the design and what things were considered in developing an all new 1955 Hudson when there was literally no design in the pipeline. These are things I do know:

1. The 1955 utilized the 1954 instrument bezel which was built into an existing Nash instrument panel, with radio, heater and glove drawer in the center. The emblem in front of the passenger seat was a miniature 1947 Hudson grill with the name overlaying it. The knobs are all Hudson style and the ignition takes the same round head key that Hudsons have used (forever).

2. The emblems including nameplates are all 1954 Hudson vintage including door handles and rockets. 3. Most body panels are different from the 1954 Nash (which is apparently the basic design that the car is based upon). Wheel cut-outs front and rear are all larger than the comparable Nash. The "C" pillar at the rear of the passenger compartment is different from the Nash and the rear window is a single piece while the Nash was made up of three pieces.

4. Real Hudson emblems decorate the "C" pillar of most models.

5. The 1955 tail lights are unique to Hudson and are made up of a large lense and a smaller reflector in a chrome bezel that fits over the large lense. The 1955 Nash hid its gas filler cap under the right side tail light like a Cadillac did, but only for that one year. The Hudson had an exposed round cap just like previous and next year Nashes, but with an big chrome "H".

6. Headlights are surrounded by small hoods, pointed at the tops, which were utilized on the 1955 Hudson only and never showed up before or since.

What I want to know is how did they come up with this design? The eggcrate grill showed up on Frank Spring's sketch of the "1955 Step-Down" and might have first come from the Italia.

The tail lights are not like any Hudson or Nash from before.

The two tone line follows the Nash body's sculpturing, but no Nash ever used this line like the 1955 Hudson does. The two toning is totally dissimilar from the 1955 Nash. If you know any of the answers to this please add a comment to this page!


Joe Cosner

Joe Cosner & Kate at October Hudson Club meet.

Ben Garrett with Kate at Hudson Club Meet in Decatur, GA.

Some of the Hudsons that showed up for the October 2013 Dixie Chapter meet at Decatur, GA.


More Cars of the 1950s
More Hudson Coverage

144 car nuts gave this a thumbs-up. Do you? Thumbs-up


ghpcnm on Dec 5, 2011 said:

Sweet !!! Thumbs Up ftom Las Cruces

[Reply to this comment]

55Hornet on Dec 6, 2011 said:

Thanks! Too bad she wasn't running right or we might have paid a visit to Las Cruces. It is one of my favorite places in NM!

[Reply to this comment]

ghpcnm on Dec 6, 2011 said:

We got lots of snow down here today. I-10 is closed to all traffic between Anthony and Lordsburg. Good day to stay inside.

[Reply to this comment]

Nick on Mar 8, 2012 said:

great looking car......five years must have been a long wait before you picked it up......i remember the "step down" terminology used on the hudsons back then....i worked at a chevy dealership in '54 and '55 and we installed many "continental kits" on chevy's during those years...loved the hornets..... Nick's Customized '49 Chevy ...

[Reply to this comment]

55Hornet on Mar 8, 2012 said:

Hey! Thanks for your comment! I loved looking at your Chev! I so well remember those Caddy fins on 49-52 Chev's and I always thought they were really neat. And I was always into customizing cars then! Now I want it to be as original as possible.

[Reply to this comment]

Nick on Mar 8, 2012 said:

i have to go with you on that one......originality is the best at this time in life.....Nick's Customized '49 Chevy

[Reply to this comment]

Rabbitman on Mar 10, 2012 said:

Oh WOW! I almost fell over when I saw the pictures. I Had a '55 Hornet Custom with same colors. Mine was a V-8 & Ultramatic version. Loved that car. Had real leather trim inside,power windows, super great car. The only thing it was lacking was power steering. You did gain upper body strength driving it in the city. On the highway she was silken smooth. Put 99K on her before Uncle Sam caught up with me and had to park her. Traded her for an Oldsmobile after the army, wish I still that car. She ran perfectly with minimum maintenance. Had trouble getting into drive in movies, I had to throw a blanket over the seats so that they wouldn't notice that they laid down. Ah such were the days...

[Reply to this comment]

55Hornet on Oct 12, 2012 said:

10-12-2012 Update! Kate just got her white areas repainted. Now she shines equally in both red and white! This afternoon she is decorating the Cleveland Square!

[Reply to this comment]

55Hornet on Oct 22, 2014 said:

Kate escorted Chandler Miller and his date to the 2014 White County High School Homecoming Dance at the end of September, 2014!

[Reply to this comment]

Anonymous on Dec 16, 2015 said:

All 1952 to 1955 full size Nash cars had the gas cap hidden by the tail light.

[Reply to this comment]

Anonymous on Jan 4, 2016 said:

Thanks! I did not know that. The only ones I have seen were the 1955's!

[Reply to this comment]

[Login] or

Direct link: