California barn-find, stored since 1972
1949 Hudson Commodore Convertible
Chassis no. 49454452
Engine no. B2101112952
One of the most exciting new cars to emerge in the immediate post-WWII era was the "step-down" Hudson, introduced in 1948. The recessed floors of the car's semi-unitized body permitted a spacious interior and provided a low center of gravity that enhanced handling. Convertible step-down models, released late in 1948, went into full production for 1949. Topping the 1949 Hudson line was the Commodore Eight Convertible. The example offered here was among the fewer than 600 produced.
This unrestored Commodore Convertible is a true California "barn find." It was owned by the late Edwin A. Theiss, who operated service stations in the Bay Area for decades. After Mr. Theiss acquired the Hudson from a customer around 1953, he and his family drove it for almost 20 years. In 1972, the old convertible was retired to an open-ended barn on the family almond ranch. There it would remain, undisturbed, for nearly four decades.
Around 1959, the Commodore's original eight-cylinder engine was replaced with a new high-performance Hudson Hornet Twin H-Power Six. The installation was performed by the former Hudson dealer in San Leandro, who at the time had three of the famous dual-carb engines, still in crates, left over from his dealership. The Commodore was also retrofitted with a Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, first offered in Hudsons in 1951.
It was around 1963 that the Hudson received its current blue paint job. Some of the original maroon interior that was standard in Commodore Convertibles remains intact. The car was factory-equipped with hydraulically operated power top and windows. An accessory Continental kit was added at some point. It is surmised that the wide-whitewall spare in the trunk may be original.
Spares found with the Hudson include four rear fender skirts and a plain trunk lid. In 1999, four new Firestone tires were installed, replacing the old and flat tiresa contingency should it become necessary to rescue the vehicle quickly, as its barn 'home' stood near a crumbling 80-foot cliff.
Brimming with potential, this extraordinary California Hudson is offered in as-found condition. It is non-operational and its present mechanical condition is unknown.