1953 Hudson Hornet

Club Coupe
Multiple records set at Mecum Indianapolis 2021
Friday, 14 May - Saturday, 22 May 2021
Sale Price
$35,000 - $50,000
Est. Range
22 May 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Mecum Auctions
Auction House
Chassis no. 236797, Cream over green cloth, 308/210hp six, Twin H-Power, column shift 3-speed with overdrive, wire wheels, whitewalls, sun visor, amber fog lights, heat and defrost, tinted glass, pushbutton radio.

Evaluation: From the Charlie Thomas Estate collection. Used but reasonably tidy and all correct engine bay. Decent old chrome, but the rest of the brightwork looks a bit tired and the spears down the body sides don’t fit flush. Imperfect panel fit. Decent older paint. Older restored underneath. The dash looks original and solid, while the upholstery and headliner look newer. A neat, honest, well-equipped step-down Hudson.

Bottom Line: Hudsons look more modern and sleeker than many other postwar American cars thanks to their “step-down” chassis, which features a recessed floor pan allowing passengers to step into the car rather than climb into it. That low center of gravity and Hudson’s potent “Twin H-Power” six allowed the Hornet to compete and win on the NASCAR circuit despite the lack of an overhead valve V-8 like much of the competition. Hornets captured dozens of wins in the 1952-54 seasons. But despite their good looks, their race history and their popularity with Steve McQueen (he owned several), Hudsons come from a long-defunct brand and they aren’t particularly valuable. This same car sold at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2017 for $33,000. Early ’50s American cars didn’t exactly become the next big thing in the four years since, so this result at Indy is a very strong one.

by Andrew Newton
29 May 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.