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1939 Hudson 112 Sedan -  "Matilda"
Colleen & Michael Haynes


Meet "Matilda"

I found the car at Bringelly NSW with grass growing all over and up through the grill. The only part visible was the top of the bonnet with a wooden sign that said “FOR”, so I figured the next part was “SALE”. It was a wet miserable day and a bugger of a drive home, so I took a “long-cut” to get out of the traffic. That’s when we found one another! I only ever spoke to the owner on the telephone and haggled of course. I saw the sister and mother-in-law when paying them the money and we took it away on a trailer.

Andrew , the oldest of the twins saw it first when we went to see it and he said, “If that’s it, buy it Dad!”
Both boys came with me to pick it up to bring home. As we came down our street, the boys had to hop in the car on the trailer. Unknown to me they had made up wooden machine guns, painted black and had dark glasses on so that when Colleen saw them sitting there like gangsters, she knew she would be shot if we weren’t allowed to keep it!

We took it out to Nanna’s in the shed. The next weekend was a clean and polish time. Surprising what elbow grease will do.

 That’s when the list “You’ll Have To Fix This and That” started.

Going fishing with the boys at Lake Lyle at Lithgow, and at the Shell servo on the way in I spied two or three Hudson’s, so I went and spoke to someone and explained that I had just bought a 1939 one. The bloke said, “not like those step-downs or like the ones waiting down the road?” He nearly got run over in the rush. What did we find out?...nothing, so we joined the Razorback Crankhandler’s Club.

All my spare time was spent in the garage slowly pulling things apart and looking, changing bearings that had rusted sitting in one spot.

 I found a receipt and business card from the Ampol garage at Marrickville who had overhauled the motor. The body had had a respray, but some of the old paint had been removed with a sander, and they removed part of the gloss in the door and back window.

Colleen christened the car Matilda, as I was always with it, and lying under “the other woman”. I acquired a set of small chrome ladies to put on the mud flaps. I named them Ma and Tilda.

The first good trip was to Tasmania, rounding up and keeping tabs on a 1925 Essex. A 40 degree day saw the temperature rise and the heater came on to help keep the motor cool…bugger the passengers! Stopping under the overpass bridge to cool off and have a break. Not a fast trip by any means, but one I will not forget.

Three weeks sightseeing and cruising around. The highlight was seeing my Auntie who was 98 years old and as bright and sharp as any four year old. She came out in her wheelchair to see the car my sister had been telling her about. The eldest of seven born and bred in the Burragorang Valley and outlived all of the others! This is where I discovered I had done a real good job on fixing all the door handles and locks, we locked ourselves out! But…the boot lock was completely replaced and I had for some unknown reason placed the spare key in a wiring loom at the back. So the boot was unpacked on the side of the road, the back seat lifted up and I squirmed into the back of the car to unlock the doors. If I was any bigger I would never had fitted. Colleen has a photo of my legs and feet sticking out of the boot.

 We have a terrific photo of Aunty Josephine sitting in her wheelchair in the doorway of Matilda.

The short sharp bends on the narrow roads caused a clunk in the rear end if swerving too fast into them. So steady driving until I found out what the fault was. One of the “U” shackles bushes had come loose in the sub-frame. It would move out going around the corner and when you straightened out it came back in with a clunk. Two large washers filed out and fitted over the threaded section that goes into the body work solved the problem and are still there today.

The next big trip was to Kangaroo Island in South Australia, where I somehow came home owning a 1927 Chevrolet Tourer and Colleen’s 1931 Morris Cowley. Three weeks of cruising and coming back along the coast and up to Bendigo and from there following the Murray on the way home.

The next trip was a 19 day one to the high country down the south coast into Victoria to the Lakes district and inland to Omeo and up into high country around the Snowy Mountains. A bit of trouble there with first gear jumping out. When we got to Bredbo, we cruised to a stop beside the park and Matilda would not start again no matter what. Part of the contact button on the rotor had fallen off. Had a spare though and away we went.

On a trip to Newcastle we blew a head gasket. NRMA helped out when we finally got an English speaker on the second call. Got it trucked home to Camden. Fixed it myself. Took Matilda to Echuca and also Toowoomba and countless weekend trips.



We have a ball in her and look forward to many more trips in …Matilda.

A rather agricultural photo shoot this one, but it was out at “The Block” and it just seemed to suit Matilda.
The cows were comfortable with her and she just drifted over the paddock like a good Queensland Red Heeler!