1955 Hudson Italia Number 10

Star Car Ed and Kaylene Souers — Ypsilanti , MI

ST

In response to poor sales of the Jet, Hudson’s Chief Body Engineer Frank Spring suggested a lightweight, streamlined coupe to rekindle Hudson’s proven “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” strategy. The new car was aimed at Mexico’s Carrera Panamericana race. The concept drafted by Art Kibiger and his small Hudson design staff was based on the Jet chassis. A minimum of 25 units were required to qualify for entry into the Carrera, but Hudson was lacked the ability produce such a small quantity cost-effectively. As a result, Italy’s Carrozzeria Touring was engaged to do the job.

The aluminum Italia bore many novel features including inverted vee motifs derived from Hudson’s emblem for the integrated grille guard, front bumper and the front brake-cooling air intakes. The leading edges of the skirted rear fenders also featured brake-cooling ducts. Triple chrome tubes at the end of the rear fenders contained the taillights. A wraparound windshield neatly blended with steeply sloped side windows and the doors extended into the roof for easier entry. Borrani wire wheels finished off the exterior and reflected the Super Jet’s intended competition use.

Inside, Spring designed anatomically-shaped seats with two-piece backrests, and seatbacks cooled by air from bladder in the cushions. Power was provided by the Jet’s 202 ci inline six with Twin-H carburetion delivering 114 rated horsepower through Hudson’s three-speed manual transmission.

Twenty-five knocked-down Jets were shipped to Touring for bodywork. “Italia,” the striking Hudson debuted at the December 1953 Detroit Auto Show but did not enter production until August 1954, months after Hudson’s merger with Nash-Kelvinator forming American Motors and shortly before the closure of Hudson’s Detroit factories.

This is Car Number 10 and was originally purchased in December 1954 from Lavigne Auto Sales in Warren, MI. The price was $4,989.51. The current owner commissioned a total professional restoration, freshly completed to factory-original condition.

  • Owner

    Ed and Kaylene Souers — Ypsilanti , MI

    Make/Model

    1955 Hudson Italia Number 10

    Engine

    202 cu in in-line six-cylinder

    Horsepower

    114 hp