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“Beautiful Beyond Belief” – the 1939 Hudson

Or so the guy who wrote the copy in the ad below would have us believe. Car buyers seemed to agree. It was a banner year for Hudson sales, the second in a row of a dramatic rebound after dismal sales in 1937. The Depression was surely ending for this independent. The article from the October 10, 1938 issue of Automobile Topics (below) provides information about some mechanical features that might have closed the deal for customers brought into the showroom by the new car’s style.


“Auto-Poise Control”, a system that was said to help center the steering wheel in turns and on rough pavement and “Airfoam” seat cushions as used on “deluxe airliners and crack streamlined trains” describe two of them in the best advertising language of the day. A new-for-’39 column shifter, a dual hydraulic and mechanical brake system and an interior hood release with front mounted hinge promoted as both a safety and antitheft design are also mentioned. And while the price leader Utility Coupe with it’s slide out pickup bed (last thumbnail) was meant to appeal to the thrifty, it still cost a bit more than the base model 1939 Ford Standard V-8 coupe.

We invite our readers to help find the location of Imperial City Motors, the dealer in our first photo. You can see many more Hudsons here on The Old Motor (scroll down). You can also visit with the Hudson Club at www.HETClub.Org

5 responses to ““Beautiful Beyond Belief” – the 1939 Hudson

  1. I’d be interested in learning more about the optional “selective automatic shift” that’s described in the text.

    I wonder if Hudson used something similar to the “pre-selector” system used by Cord, and later by Tucker.

    Tom M.

    • In 1935 Hudson introduced what they called “Electric Hand.” Basically it was a pre-selector shifting mechanisim. There was a device on the steering column that featured the shift pattern. The driver moved the selector to 1st, started out, moved the selector to 2nd and when he let up on the gas it shifted the gea rs. And so on into 3rd. Around 1940 Hudson introduced Vacumotive Drive. This used engine vacuum to shift gears.

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