Featured in this article is a very rare and fine looking restored 1947 Hudson Three-Quarter Ton Pickup. The Hudson brand may not be immediately associated with light truck production. Some of this has to do with the various brand names, other than Hudson, that the earlier Hudson produced trucks were given.

hudson pickup trucks
1947 Hudson 3/4 Ton Pickup

Hudson’s earliest light trucks were privately built on Hudson car chassis beginning around 1914. They were typically used as Hudson dealer service trucks and as ambulances and fire department support vehicles.

Early Hudson Light Trucks

The Dover was the first Hudson truck and at the time was referred to as a “commercial car,” The Dover was built on the Essex car chassis. The Essex Motors Company was created by Hudson. The model could be seen as a panel or pickup truck. During the early 1930’s the Dover was renamed the Essex. This occurred when the Essex Terraplane chassis was used. Another renaming took place in 1934 when the Hudson truck was called the Terraplane.

Then three years later in 1937 the Hudson Truck was named the Hudson-Terraplane. This lasted for just one model year and for the 1938 model year the truck was simply called a Hudson. This is where Hudson produced a dual-purpose “utility coupe,” which served as both a car and a pickup. The unique vehicle had a unique cargo box that slid out from the trunk like a drawer and offered as much as 8 feet of carrying capacity.

1947 hudson truckJust Prior to World War Two

In 1942, Hudson dropped the the “utility coupe” with two pickups. One was built with a 116 inch wheelbase, the other  with a 128-inch wheelbase.

Hudson named the longer version the “Big Boy”. Civilian car and truck production ceased in February 1942 due to the U.S. entry into the war. The next Hudson truck would be seen in 1946 ash a three-quarter ton model offered.

Hudson Light Trucks after World War Two

After the war, Hudson would build only 3/4 ton pickups. The light trucks were both good looking and solid. Hudson took their sedan bodies, chopped them in half and produced a pickup truck.

Most refer to the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino as representing the first car/truck models. When speaking about pickups that were for sale after World War II, one vehicle that is often overlooked is the Hudson. In the late 1940’s Hudson came out with the a more utility based truck using the front sheet metal from their automobiles.

Compared to pickup trucks from both Ford and General Motors, the Hudson was viewed as more upscale. The Hudson interiors featured nice moldings and trim pieces on the truck’s dashboard. The steering wheel featured a chrome horn ring that you would think  belonged to a passenger car rather than a pickup truck. Hudson essentially built a car based pickup. This Hudson pickup would have heavier duty springs with a design based on the Hudson Sedan. In a lot of ways a case could be made that the Hudson pickup truck was actually the first Ranchero or El Camino.

1947 Hudson Pickup Specifications

The 1947 Hudson Pickup was built with a 212 cubic inch flathead straight six producing 102 HP.

hudson truck photosTransmission is three speed manual.

Brakes are Duo-Automatic which are two braking systems, one hydraulic and one mechanical. If the hydraulic brakes fail the mechanical brakes will stop the vehicle.

Front suspension comprised independent coil springs with the rear using semi-elliptical leaf springs. The rear leaf suspension on the Hudson trucks featured twelve leaves on each side for heavy loads.

Wheelbase is 128.0 inches.

The Hudson Motor Car Company, which was founded in 1909, merged with Nash in 1954 to form AMC. In 1957 the Hudson name ceased to exist. Hudson is remembered as one of the truly great classics of America’s automotive history.

See additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below…

1946 Ford Half Ton

1947 Chevy Thriftmaster Pickup

Reference material for this article includes..The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Pickups by author Peter Henshaw…Pickup Trucks: A History of the Great American Vehicle by Justin Lukach.

1947 Hudson Pickup Collector Valuations

The 1947 Hudson Pickup featured here represented the final year of production for Hudson light trucks. A single prototype appeared in 1948 but never made it to production.

1947 hudson pickup specsWith their blend of attractive car styling and large three-quarter ton capacity, the 1946-47 Hudson pickups remain popular with enthusiasts, bu the vehicles are rare in number,

It’s been said that approximately 3,000 Hudson Pickups were produced for 1947. This would obviously make the model quite rare today.

Nicely restored examples for sale are currently starting at about $30,000 with the high in the low $50,000 range.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)