The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hudsons and the Great Terraplane

My uncle Leonard owned a small Hudson dealership in NYC in the late 40's and early 50's. I loved cars and always looked forward to his and my Aunt Jo's visits because they usually came in a new stepdown Hudson. The stepdown design gave Hudsons a low center of gravity and they soon became the favorite cars of stockcar racers.

In the 30's Hudson made a car they called the Terraplane.

From Wikipedia...

"Terraplane was a car brand and model built by the Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan between 1932 and 1939."

Great "blues singer Robert Johnson wrote and sang the famous song 'Terraplane Blues' in which the Terraplane becomes a metaphor for sex. In the lyrical narrative, the car will not start and Johnson suspects that his girlfriend let another man drive it when he was gone. In describing the various mechanical problems with his Terraplane, Johnson creates a setting of thinly-veiled sexual innuendo."


  1. Dan, it's interesting that you blogged about Hudson. Being only 50 years old, the Hudson was not something I was very familiar with.

    But two nights ago, my wife's uncle was telling me about a time that he and Charles Roemer (who eventually became Governor of Louisiana) raced from "Hilltop" (about 10 miles east of Bossier) back in to town.

    The deputy that provided chase clocked them at 130 plus mph. I asked Uncle Herva what he was driving. "A 52 Hudson." (I think he said a '52)

    Oh man...then he ran on for several minutes with memories of that car. Tasty slice of American Pie...

  2. Andy, Believe it or not, those 52 Hudson's had six cylinder engines. They were big sixes, however, and some people got them with Twin H power option, two, two barrel carbs. On certain models, the already big engine was bored out to over 300 cu. in. increasing the horsepower to a hefty 210, pretty amazing for those days. They would fly.

  3. Dan, I'll have to ask Pam's Uncle Herva the next time I see him how his engine was set up.

    I'm sure he will know...and it will provide fodder for conversation. I will go in armed with some knowledge that might surprise him. He just may be impressed. Thanks!

  4. My dad's Hudson was the first car I remember. Beautiful.