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Old Cars Reader Wheels: 1942 Hudson Traveler Business coupe

Warren Henderson finally found the Hudson of his dreams.

“Back in 1956 when I was fifteen, my older brother Paul was in the Navy, stationed at Brunswick Naval Air Station, Brunswick, Maine. He asked dad to find him his first car. What dad found was the most beautiful car I had ever seen. Now I had seen plenty of great cars before in my young life. My dad had owned a 1932 Nash Lafayette big six, four door sedan, then a ‘38 Dodge four door sedan, a ‘40 Buick Special four door sedan, a 1953 Pontiac station wagon and now his first ever new 1956 Pontiac Station Wagon; I have two brothers and two sisters, requiring big cars to fit us all in. My uncle George owned a 1934 Hudson Terraplane coupe, that I can still see in my mind’s eye, Aunt Ann and him pulling up in front of our house and getting out those suicide front doors. What dad found was a 1940 Hudson sedan, in beautiful black paint, that shined like a mirror, I love the body on those cars, especially the back (no humpback, like the ’38 Dodge). The interior was every bit as nice as any living room I had ever seen, and the back seat was more comfortable than any couch I ever sat on. This was a low mileage car and dad got it for a good price, the only problem with the car was it needed a new oil bath cork clutch, which meant dropping the drive tube and pulling the transmission to get at it. Oh, did I forget to say that I was no mechanic, I was working alone, and this was the first car I was going to work on. My “garage” was an open field across the road from our house. My lift would be the Hudson’s bumper jack and my jack stands were stones from a nearby stone wall (Hey! I was 15 remember). So, with no knowledge “don’t ask me how I managed to accomplish this”, because even to this day I do not know. Somehow using a Motor’s Auto Repair Manual, working afternoons after high school, I managed to get the transmission out, install the new clutch and get the car back together running like new. I can say that only because my brother Paul never had a complaint about how it ran.

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