1927 Essex Super Six Boattail Speedabout
Coachwork by Biddle & Smart Company
Chassis no. 548825
Engine no. 612768
153.2ci L-Head Inline Six Engine
Single Stewart Updraft Carburetor
55bhp at 3,600rpm
3-Speed Manual Transmission
Solid Front and Semi Floating Rear Axle with 4-Wheel Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs
4-Wheel Bendix Mechanical Drum Brakes
*One of about 12 surviving Speedabouts
*Multiple AACA First Place winner
*Sleek, sporting coachwork
*Single family ownership from 1929-2013
The Super Six
Introduced as a lower-priced companion to the parent Hudson marque in 1919, the Essex soon became synonymous with both high performance and reliability when an example averaged over 60mph for 50 hours in December 1919, a stunt which the company followed up by a successful four-car transcontinental trek in 1920.
Founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1910, the Hudson Motor Car Company took its name from Joseph L. Hudson, who provided the finances that enabled a group of experienced ex-Olds Motor Works employees to embark on a new automobile manufacturing venture. Incorporated in February 1909, Hudson built its first car in July of that same year and 12 months later had sold 4,000 units, the industry's best first-year sales record to date. Although the firm would later become famous for its record-breaking Super Six range, Hudson's first product was a four-cylinder car, as was that of companion marque Essex.
Essex pioneered low-cost closed coachwork in the United States, its four-seater sedan being only slightly more expensive than the tourer in 1922 and marginally cheaper by 1925. Essex's big news for 1924 was the switch from four to six cylinders. The new sidevalve power unit started life at an unusually small - for the United States - 2.1 liters capacity before being enlarged to 2.4 liters part way through the year. Renamed 'Super Six' for 1927, the Essex gained a larger and more powerful engine that year and four-wheel Bendix mechanical brakes the year after. Stylistically, the Essex looked broadly similar to its Hudson parent, albeit on a smaller scale.
The Motorcars Offered
Of the Essex lineup in 1927 the most exciting model available was unquestionable the Speedabout. A boattailed roadster body with a leather trimmed cockpit by Amesbury, Massachusetts coachbuilder Biddle & Smartwhich bodied many of more limited-production bodiesit was sleek and fast thanks to a special gear set found only in this model that gave it 80mph performance. Its strong curb appeal helped get buyers into the showroommore often to buy one of Essex's more practical, and expensive, models. It is unknown exactly how many Speedabout were made, but the numbers were slim and today only about a dozen still exist.
This Speedabout was in the hands of a single family from 1929 until last year. Restored from 2000 to 2003, it is finished in rich Milori Green paint with Black fenders and fitted with Black leather trim inside topped by a Tan top, the sporting little roadster carries massive road presence and huge sporting appeal. Its body colored artillery-style wheels and brake drums are contrast nicely by tall white walls. Following its restoration it won a series of AACA awards including First Junior in November of 2003, First Senior in March of 2004 and First Preservation in March of 2005. Following its show success the car was carefully put away and has not been shown publicly since.
Throw a Ben Pollack record on the player, put on your three piece and hit the road in style.