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Hudson Motor Car Co. was formed on Feb. 24, 1909 by eight businessmen from Detroit, Mich. The company was named for Joseph L. Hudson, a department store owner who provided financing for the new firm. The goal of the company was to market a passenger car priced below $1,000. Roy D. Chapin, Sr., a former associate of R.E. Olds, was the spark plug behind Hudson’s creation. In the 1920s and 1930s, Hudson would also build Essex and Terraplane cars for the U.S. market. On July 3, 1909 the first low-priced Hudson “Twenty” left an assembly line in Detroit. Sales of 4,000 units made it the most popular new car in history up to that time. Hudson always earned recognition for its innovative styling and engineering and its racing success, which was immortalized by cartoonists and the voice of Paul Newman in the Disney-Pixar film “Cars.” Hudson had its best year in 1929, when it built 300,000 automobiles. Its post World War II “Step-Down” models had a very distinctive look that car collectors embrace. In 1954, Hudson and Nash merged to form American Motors. Later Hudsons resembled badge-engineered Nash products. The company also dabbled in the early postwar compact cat field by selling the Hudson Jet and a badge-engineered Hudson Metropolitan.

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