Popular Mechanics, October 1953


Provided courtesy of Popular Mechanics, October 1953. Written by Floyd Clymer.

The true test of a car begins when the owner takes the wheel. Popular Mechanics asked Jet owners from coast to coast about their cars. Here is what they have to say:

Do owners mean it when they say that America needs more good small cars? Hudson aims to find out with the only new name among the 1953 models - the Hudson Jet.

To discover what kind of a car it is to own, drive and live with, Popular Mechanics question Jet owners from coast to coast.

A very large percentage of them agree on what they like best about their cars. It is the way the jet handles - 48 percent of the owners listed handling and maneuverability among the points they like best.

"Very easy to park... turns on narrow streets without reversing." - Brooklyn, N.y., retired owner.

"Easy riding and parking. Easy driving on mountain roads." - San Francisco railroad worker.

"A short person can drive without banking himself with pillows, yet a tall person can also drive comfortably." - Detroit, Michigan teacher.

Close behind handling was performance in the list of favorites among owners. Forty-seven percent mentioned acceleration, top speed, or some other characteristic of good performance.

"Terrific performance. From a standstill to 60 in 10.5 seconds with no lag in power in any speed." - Brooklyn, N.Y., telephone worker.

"Plenty of speed." - Duluth, Minn., factory worker.

"I like its pickup ability and its climbing ability." - Cleveland, Ohio, pipe fitter.

"Drove it up to 85 miles per hour and it handles very satisfactorily." - Detroit, Mich., supervisor.

"Excellent acceleration even from 60 to 80 miles per hour." - Detroit, Mich., truck driver.

"Will out-accelerate 9 our of 10 cars. I can do 98 miles per hour." - St. Louis, Mo., carpenter.

"I have driven this car at 90 miles per hour and no car feels more solid." - Chicago Pullman conductor.

Top complaints were body rattles and the lack of legroom in the rear seat. These were voiced by 13 and 11 percent of the owners respectively.

"Doors rattle and there's a noise near the front posts." - Brooklyn, N.Y., salesman.

"Lots of wind and road noise. Quite a few rattles." - Havre, Mont., telephone worker.

"Rattles, rattles, rattles and very poor on rough roads." - Salem, Mass., insurance broker.

"Hardly and knee or foot space in back seat. Step-down feature makes sweeping floor difficult." - Buffalo, N.Y., carpenter.

"Body is too small for traveling on fishing trips. Space in back seat is too small for anything but the feet of anyone riding there. Not enough room for baggage." - Chicago, mechanic.

"My friends tell me there is no room in the back seat. I don't ride back there so it makes no difference." - Chicago salesman.

Water and dust leaks and poor dealer service were next most frequent complaints - nine percent of the Jet owners listing each of them.

"The car's terrific power and speed are due to the fact that the engine is a large one for the weight of the car (2700 pounds). It has the highest horspower-to-weight ratio in its price range."

"The handling characteristics are a little hard to describe. There is some road wander in crosswinds. The narrow tread... coupled with extremely soft front-end suspension tend to cause considerable roll on sharp corners. Yet the car is easy to handle. There is a good feeling of safetly and it is easily controlled."

"The Jet price is not so low as some people expect it to be, but perhaps the convenience of a smaller car plus economy features will offset the price situation with some purchasers."

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