Vehicle Profile: 1953 Hudson Super Wasp

1953 Hudson Wasp

The Hudson Motor Car Company, “Super Wasp” models, also known as the “Series 58″, were introduced as a new model for 1952 and carried on through 1956 (actually produced under the parent company, American Motors Corporation, in Kenosha, WI for 1955 and 56).

The Hudson “Super Wasp” models were differentiated from the base “Wasp” models by featuring upgraded interior designs and materials, a more powerful 262-cid, “L-Head”, in-line, six-cylinder engine with a single, two-barrel carburetor pushing around 127hp and a chromed, “air-vent” styled, hood ornamentation with special “Super Wasp” scripts added to the front fenders, trunk lid and glove-box door. Of course, they also featured the framework that made Hudson a famous marque of the times, with a chassis design way ahead of it’s time, the “Step-Down” or “Mono-Bilt” unitized construction process, in which the frame wrapped around the outside of the vehicle, just inside the outer body panels. This design added to the success of the Hudsons, mostly the Hornet models, on the racetracks and especially in the quickly emerging NASCAR racing circuit and was actually a safer design for the occupants of the vehicle in the unfortunate event of a crash.

Marshall Teague (one of the most famous tuners and race drivers for Hudson) became synonymous with Hudson performance in the 1950’s and Hudsons’ dominated much of the 1950’s racing events, winning 12 of 13 AAA events in 1952 an almost impossible feat, in itself, for a new-comer to the racing scene. Hudson cars/teams also won 27 of the 34 NASCAR Grand National races in 1952, 22 of 37 in 1953, and 17 of 37 in 1954. The Hudson Hornet proved to be nearly invincible in all of stock-car racing and many other events. Teague finished his 1952 AAA season with a 1000-point lead over his closest rival, winning those 12 of the 13 scheduled events.

History: (as provided by the knowledgeable staff at Daniel Schmitt & Co. Inc.) in The Hudson Wasp (Series 58) was introduced for the 1952 model year as an upgraded version of the Hudson Pacemaker, replacing the Hudson Super Custom models from 1951. The Wasp was available in two- and four-door sedan, convertible, and a 2-door hardtop designated the Hollywood. The Wasp was built on Hudson’s shorter 119-inch (3,023 mm) wheelbase using the company’s unitized, “mono-bilt” step-down chassis design with an overall length of 201.5 inches (5,118 mm). Hudson’s mono-built unitized structure used a perimeter frame which provided a rigid structure, low center of gravity and side-impact protection for passengers. Hudson automobiles remain highly regarded for their advancement of automotive design, particularly the innovative “Step Down” design, introduced on the 1948 Commodore. Unlike traditional body-on-frame construction, which forced passengers to climb up to enter their vehicles, Hudson designers placed the entire passenger compartment down inside the chassis, surrounded by a sturdy perimeter frame. Hudson recognized the marketing value of racing, and engineers including Vince Piggins, who went on to Chevrolet, developed a line of “severe usage parts” which transformed the robust Hornet into the definitive stock car of the early 1950s.

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