Hudson, a conservative independent celebrating its 30th anniversary, introduced fresh new styling and models with several improvements in 1939. Limited numbers have survived, and the cars are seldom seen in period photographs. Perhaps the shortage of cars both during and after World War II consumed most them and few have survived. Sales figures were up considerably to over 80,000 cars shipped to its dealers in during the 1939 calendar year compared to only 25,000 produced in 1936.
For one of the few surviving smaller automakers, it was its best prewar production year since 1925 when over 109,000 units were built. Comparing it to the 550,000 cars a year that both Ford and Chevrolet each manufactured in 1939 puts that figure into perspective. The two automakers out-produced Hudson by over a six-to-one margin. The year’s sales messages stressed its economy, styling, new Airfoam seat cushions, the new column shift, a new lockable rear-opening hood and safety.
- Hudson President A.E. Barit top-left, production line workers and W.A. James Sales Manager bottom-right, celebrate the automakers 30th Anniversary with a broadcast message to dealers and distributors.
For 1939, the small automaker offered six new and different models, all equipped with L-head engines with chrome-iron blocks that started out with a barebones Series 90 straight six with a 175 c.i. engine. Next three larger and upscale Series 91, 92 and 93 straight sixes with varying levels of trim and a larger 212 c.i. engine were offered. For more luxury and power, the Series 95 and 97 were both equipped with 254 c.i. straight eights with 122 and 129 inch w.b. chassis’.
The colored brochure illustration at the top of the post is courtesy of Alden Jewell, and shows the Country Club Convertible that was available with both six and eight-cylinder models. The three images below, courtesy of the AACA Library are harder to identify exactly as to which model is shown. The top image appears to be either a six or eight-cylinder Country Club Sedan. The center photo is identified as a six-cylinder Country Club Coupe, and pictured at the bottom is a sedan delivery that Hudson referred to as the Commercial Car.