$1.26 million for ‘Fabulous Hudson Hornet’ in Hostetler collection auction

32 Hudson Record Prices Set in Aug. 4 Auction

Story by John Lyons

This 1952 Hudson Hornet, raced to success in NASCAR by Herb Thomas, sold for $1.265 on Aug. 4 at Worldwide Auctioneers’s sale of the Hostetler collection. (Worldwide Auctioneers photo)


Worldwide Auctioneers has established itself as a leading private collection auction house, having sold several private collections over the last two years both at its four annual flagship sales and at private venues such as this past weekend’s auction of the Hostetler Hudson Museum Collection.

Eldon and Esta Hostetler began collecting Hudson’s in 1983. Their collection grew and before long, they had amassed so many cars that they decided to open a museum. Thus, the Hostetler Hudson Auto Museum was born in Shipshewana, Ind.

Upon his death in 2016, Hostetler donated his car collection to the town of Shipshewana. Esta died in 2017 and sadly, without other funding, there was an almost immediate move to close the museum, which was being paid for by a local motel tax.

Worldwide Auctioneers managed the sale and on Saturday, August 4th, the sale was conducted at the museum location in Shipshewana. The company charged an industry standard 10% buyer’s commission to each sale, and that commission is included in the following prices.

(John Lyons photo)


Hudson buyers from around the globe descended on Shipshewana. The little tourist community was overrun with traffic and hotels for miles were sold out with hundreds of collectors coming in to bid. For the bulk of the auction, every seat was filled with probably another 200 bidders standing or touring the collection at any given time.

(John Lyons photo)


The auction kicked off with ten lots of memorabilia. The very first automotive lot would collect high sale honors as well. Automotive lot 1 was the last and only known Hudson factory “Fabulous Hudson Hornet” NASCAR racer in existence, a 1952 Hudson Hornet 6 ‘Twin-H Power’, owned and driven by NASCAR legend Herb Thomas, which brought an astounding $1.265 million to surpass the estimate by many hundreds of thousands of dollars and becoming the first Hudson ever to sell for over a million dollars. The strong results didn’t stop there as several more records would fall in the ensuing three hours; 32 records were set in all by the end of the sale.


1. 1952 Hudson Hornet 6 Twin-H Herb Thomas NASCAR racer, $1,265,000
2. 1955 Hudson Italia, $682,000
3. 1937 Railton Special limousine, $462,000
4. 1918 Hudson Series O town car by Murphy, $313,500
5. 1928 Hudson Super Six Series O convertible sedan, $214,500
6. 1927 Hudson Super Six supercharged sports tourer, $220,000
7. 1917 Hudson Shaw Special racing car, $187,000
8. 1952 Hudson Hornet 6 NASCAR re-creation, $165,000
9. 1936 Hudson Deluxe Eight convertible coupe, $162,250
10. 1934 Hudson Series LU Deluxe convertible coupe, $156,750

(Prices above include 10% buyer’s premium)

1955 Hudson Italia sold for $682,000 with 10% buyer’s commission. (Worldwide Auctioneers photo)


Other significant prices realized included an exceedingly rare 1955 Hudson Italia that sold for $682,000, and an exceptional 1937 Railton Special Limousine with one-off coachwork by Rippon Brothers hammered sold for $462,000.

This Hudson-powered 1937 Railton sold for $462,000. (Worldwide Auctioneers photo)


There were a couple of other US coach-built Hudson’s to sell as well, each commanding high dollars. This included a Murphy bodied town car that sold for $313,500 and a stunning 1934 Hudson Series LU 2/4 Passenger Convertible Coupe which brought $156,750. One of my personal favorites, a 1936 Deluxe Eight Series 64 Convertible Coupe brought $163,250.

1936 Deluxe Eight Series 64 Convertible Coupe brought $163,250. (John Lyons photo)


In all, the sale surpassed all estimates bringing in nearly eight million in sales from the cars and an estimated $250,000 in memorabilia although memorabilia totals weren’t complete at the time of deadline.

1934 Hudson Series LU 2/4 Passenger Convertible Coupe which brought $156,750. (John Lyons photo)


Worldwide Auctioneers looks to keep the momentum going with their second annual Pacific Grove Auction, part of the Pebble Beach week, where they will be selling three Duesenberg’s including two important Model J’s. The following weekend, their Auburn auction will feature six no reserve private collections as they continue to cement their reputation as a premier private collection auction house.


*Unless noted elsewhere, all photos courtesy of Worldwide Auctions.

How much is it worth?
Find out in the 2019 Collector Car Price Guide.
Get your copy today!




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.