Motor Trend March 1953

Hudson Aims at the
Low Price Market

Provided courtesy of Motor Trend, March 1953.

Two brand new cars,
the Jet and the Super Jet,
are introduced.

A very healthy trend seems to be reviving in the automobile business this year. Its name is competition, and to make prospects even brighter, it centers in the low-priced field. Many an enterprising manufacturer has tried intermittently to grab sales from the Big Three, with varying degrees of success. The most consistent threats to the low-price field have been various models that Studebaker and Nash have produced.

Hudson has made repeated attempts: the Essex, the Terraplane, the 112. For 1953 they are going to have another crack at it, and unless we miss our guess they are better armed than ever before. In fact - particularly performancewide - they are very well armed indeed.

With its price of $1685 FOB Detroit, the new Hudson Jet competes directly witht he Plymouth Concord; its running mate, the Super Jet, is $1775, almost exactly the same price as the Plymouth Cranbrook (both are deluxe models).

Both Hudson are light. They weigh about 2800 pounds, and they use the Hudson "step-down," unit body-and-frame construction, in which the frame side rails form a high door sill and protec the passengers in case of a blow from the side. This is encased in a very trim, "boxy" body with a minimum of chrome embellishments.

Hudson Jet
A top Hudson feature, unit body-and-frame, combines with excellent vision for safety.

The six-cylinder, L-head engine is lie a scaled0down Hudson Horent. In its standard version its compression ratio is 7.5 to 1 and it develops 104 bhp: an optional aluminum head sends that up to 8 to 1 and 106 bhp, and Dual-H equipment (the aluminum head, dual carburetors and a modified camshaft) puts out 114. The bore is three inches and the stroke 4-3/4 inches.

The Super Jet's 114 hp is the highest in its field. It has a weight-power ratio of 24.8 pounds per horsepower, and the Jet's ratio is 26.9; both are better than Ford, Plymouth, Chevrolet, or Willys. Only the Willys has a higher compression ratio (7.6) than the Jet's 7.5, and once again the Super Jet tops the field with 8:1.

Other competitors are generally left behind by the Hudson engine's horsepower-per-cubic-inch rating, too. The Willys falls between the two Hudson models; its rating is .559; the Jet's is .514 and the Super Jet's is .564.

Torque is another story. The Jet has 158 lbs. ft. at 1600 rpm, the Super Jet 166 at 2000. In the lower-priced field only the Willys has less, with 135 at 1600; Ford, Chevrolet and Plymouth vary from 177 at 1200 to 200 at 2000.

A new dry disc clutch, a departure from conventional Hudson practice, is used with the standard three-speed transmission. Overdrive and Dual-Range Hydramatic are optional extras (the first time this automatic drive has been available in this price range).

Suspension is by coil springs and A-arms in front and by conventional semi-elliptic springs at the rear. Tubular shocks are used all around. Tires are on the small side on the Jet. They are 5.90 x 15, but on the Super Jet 6.40 x 15s are standard equipment.

The first public appearance of the new car will be at the stock car races at Daytona Beach. And, as we go to press, we learn from a reliable source that Hudson is experimenting with a V-8 engine. There is no word, however, about when it will be ready to meet the public. Very likely the car that has won so many stock car races would like to add the Mexican Road Race to its crown.

Hudson Jet Instrument Panel
Neat instrument panel (Super Jet) substitutes plastic for glittering chrome trim.

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