1952 Hudson Hornet
Hudsons began dominating the burgeoning stock-car racing circuit in 1951 upon the release of the Hornet model. Though Hudson didn’t originally intend for their sporty Hornet to go racing, thanks to a bulletproof, 145 hp, L-6 engine, class leading handling from the “step-down” unibody chassis, and the talent of top drivers, the “Fabulous Hudson Hornets” captured 81 NASCAR race wins and multiple championships from 1951-1955. This particular car, prepared by legendary race mechanic Smokey Yunick, was provided to NASCAR-champion Herb Thomas by Hudson halfway through the 1952 season. Thomas was the most prolific Hudson driver in NASCAR with 78 total podium finishes at the wheel of the Hornets and holds the record for highest win percentage in the sport. This is the only Hudson campaigned in NASCAR known to exist. Herb Thomas and the Fabulous Hudson Hornets were immortalized by Pixar’s Cars movie in 2006.
NHVR No. 31 HAER No. MI-433
Studio photo by Troy Lefev ra-Worldwide Auctioneers
Paint and exterior
This vehicle is mostly restored has been repainted to a period correct race livery to when it was driven by Herb Thomas in the 1952 NASCAR Grand National Series featuring many of the correct hand lettered sponsors.
Upholstery and interior
This vehicle’s interior features some restoration and some original finishes that have been left in unrestored condition. Damage from a driveshaft failure during competition is evidenced on the rear floorboard.
Original Engine: No
Liquid-cooled, flathead inline 6-cylinder equipped with “Twin H-Power” intake featuring dual 1bbl Carter carbs. It is not fitted with its original block but features an era correct 7X severe-duty “race engine” offered as a dealer installed option.
This vehicle was originally used as a factory backed racer in the NASCAR Grand National Series by famed driver, Herb Thomas. It is now owned by Al Schultz and is on exhibit at the National Hudson Motor Car Company Museum.
Wheels and tires
The car features 15” steel wheels with reinforced centers as run by NASCAR racers in period. They are fitted with period-correct 7.60R15 bias ply tires.
Hydraulic drums front and rear.
Column shifted 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive.