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Kevin and Daphne Hickling

The story of 24674 H,  1949 Super 8 Coupe

Full pictorial at the bottom of this page...

Back in the early 70’s, the Hudson Coupe was spotted in a car yard on the Gold Coast by one of our Queensland members. It had, to our knowledge, just arrived with other American cars at the time. It was sold then about 1 – 2 years later and was again spotted at a car show. At this time the coupe’s colour was red with a black bottom skirt. That was the last time it was seen until I saw it in a Restored Cars magazine. There was a photo showing the Coupe at a classic car display in Victoria with “For Sale” on the windscreen. This was 2006 and it took me some months to track down the owner as the photo only showed the car.

 It so happened that the car belonged to an old racing friend of mine, Jim Broadly of Diablo Motors at Lakemba in New South Wales. After talking to Jim, he filled me in on the missing years. The Coupe had been sold to a speed shop owner in Queensland who had got into debt to Diablo Motors for equipment they could not pay for. So Jim took the car as payment and he told me he favoured the car as his parents had owned a Hudson 1949 four door when he was growing up. It turned out to be after he got the car that it was quite a special model, a straight super 8 with overdrive but the last owner had removed the engine and fitted the six cylinder engine, for what reason we don’t know (I have the correct engine). Jim also told me that he has had the Hudson Coupe for some 22 years prior to my purchase. A good friend of mine, Keith, and I flew to Melbourne to view the car. Jim had left it with a friend of his, just out of the city centre and who met us at the airport and he took us to his place so I could physically view the Coupe. After going all over the Coupe and finding that there was no rust whatsoever, I then took the car for a good run down the Gippsland Highway. The only thing I could find wrong was a broken front shock mounting, left hand front and both front springs were sagging, paintwork was old and faded with some small dents to the left door (not too bad), headlining good but front and rear seats a bit tattered.

Back home in Sydney, lengthy discussions then took place with Jim regarding the purchase. In the meanwhile Jim undertook the job of getting the Coupe back to Sydney from Melbourne. It was three months later that the coupe finally came home to Tinonee.

After getting the Coupe home it was time to go over it mechanically. So an engine check was done first with a compression test. All cylinders came up only 7lbs variance so I did a leak down test and found all was good. Jim had told me, as far as he was aware, the mileage on the Hudson was correct, which was 72,690 and the engine condition relates to that mileage so an engine flush and new oil (SAE50) was carried out.

The one thing had to be done was to overhaul the carbie and fuel pump and send the radiator away to be flushed and cleaned because the car had been sitting for such a long time (even though Jim used to start it three or four times a year). With the motor now tuned and running sharp, I moved to the brakes. All wheels and drums off, master cylinder out, all sent away to have stainless steel sleeves installed. While they were away, all brake shoes were renewed and at the same time replacement of front shocks and front springs were carried out. Wheel bearings checked out good. Brake drums did not require machining, so on return of the wheel cylinder and master cylinder all went back together.

It was time, while the Hudson was up on stands, to check all under the car so all tie rods, king pins, steering arms, drag link and sway bar were checked and found to be still serviceable and in really good condition. I then drained the oil from the clutch which proved to be very dark so a flush of kerosene was carried out three times before I was happy with the colour. Then the correct amount of Dexron 3 automotive fluid was installed and then later changed after 100 miles (for just a colour check). The oil was then removed from the gearbox and at the same time the oil level was checked and found to be at the right height so the gearbox was refilled with EP90 and an additive of Nulon for gear protection. All universal checked out good. Centre bearing also good. The diff got the same attention as the gearbox with same oils and additive. All rear wheel bearings were left in, as I could not hear any bearing noises. Everything under the Coupe looked good for a car that was 60 years young. A good grease was done then back down on four new 225X70R whitewall radials. It was then time for a good test drive. After getting a lend of trade plates I gave the Hudson a good test workout and could not find any faults at all. Temperature good, steering good, engine performed perfectly. So back home it was to start on the Coupe body.

Hudson Coupe Body No. 493159107

After discussion with a friend of mine, who is in the panel and paint business and also in our local car club, he was happy to allow me to take the Hudson to his workshop and to start removing and stripping the Coupe panels. Because I was happy with the running of the Hudson mechanically all was left in place with all panels removed.

They were stripped back to bare metal and repairs were then carried out (virtually none) and panels then etched and primed in two pack. All panels, front guard, door, rear guard from one side was then placed in the spray booth (as if on the car) and painted in as if one piece. This keeps the spray pattern the same.

While the Coupe was at the panel shop, the front and back seats were removed and sent to the trimmers. The original mohair cloth was replaced.

With all the body panels now painted in two-pack colour; top colour being Ford Sierra European Red, bottom colour being Ford Fairmont (Australia) deep red, they were then replaced back in the car and it was then ready to trailer the Coupe home. By this time all the chrome work was finished and three days later, when everything was refitted back on the Hudson Coupe, it looked like a complete transformation to a brand new 1949 Super 8 Hudson Coupe.

 A thing of beauty… maybe the prettiest Hudson produced?