Hudson Hornet is a full-sized automobile that was manufactured by Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan from 1951 until 1954, when Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson merged to form American Motors Corporation (AMC).

Hudson automobiles continued to be marketed under the Hudson brand name through the 1957 model year.

The first-generation Hudson Hornets featured a functional "step-down" design with dropped floorpan and a chassis with a lower center of gravity than contemporary vehicles that helped the car handle well — a bonus for racing. The Hornet's lower and sleeker look was accentuated by streamlined styling, sometimes called "ponton" styling. Hornet owner Spencer Blake, writing for Popular Mechanics in 1999, notes that "the car's unique, low slung appearance and silky handling earned Hudson an image that — for many buyers — eclipsed luxury marques like Cadillac."

In order for American Motors to build Hudson cars on the newer factory assembly line for Nash Statesman/Ambassador unibody chassis, all second-generation Hudson Hornets were restyled Nash automobiles that were badge engineered as a Hudson

1955

1955 Hudson Hornet Custom Sedan

The new models were delayed to a January 1955 introduction, "as American Motors engineers work out the problem of making two completely different looking automobiles with identical body shells."

The first entirely new car from American Motors, the 1955 Hudson emerged as a conservatively styled car compared to the competition. The 1955 Hornet was the cleanest model with a broad eggcrate grille and distinctive two-toning.

Sedan and hardtop body styles were offered, but the coupe and convertible were no longer available.

The 308 cu in (5.0 L) straight-six engine continued in 160 bhp (119 kW) or 170 bhp (127 kW) versions. For the first time ever, the Hornet could be ordered with a Packard-built 320 cu in (5.2 L) V8 engine producing 208 bhp (155 kW) and Packard's Ultramatic automatic transmission.

The rear suspension now incorporated a torque tube system for the driveshaft and coil spring rear suspension along with front springs that are twice as long as most other cars.

Along with Nash, the new Hudsons had the widest front seats in the industry.[28] The Weather Eye heating and ventilation with an optional air conditioning system were highly rated in terms of efficiency.

The integrated placement of major air conditioning systems under the hood and the price of only $395 (about half the cost as on other cars) also won praise.

Automotive journalist Floyd Clymer rated the Hudson Hornet as the safest car built in the United States because of (1) the single unit welded body, (2) high quality braking system with added mechanical backup system, (3) roadability, general handling, and maneuverability; as well as (4) excellent acceleration and power for emergency situations.

Production for the 1955 model year totaled 10,010 four-door sedans and 3,324 Hollywood two-door hardtops.

1956

1956 Hudson Hornet Custom Four-Door Sedan

For the 1956 model year, AMC executives decided to give the Hornet more character and the design for the vehicles was given over to designer Richard Arbib, who provided the Hornet and Wasp with one of the more distinctive looks in the 1950s which he called "V-Line Styling".

Taking the traditional Hudson tri-angle, Arbib applied its "V" form in every conceivable manner across the interior and exterior of the car. Combined with tri-tone paint combinations, the Hudson's look was unique and immediately noticeable.

The legendary 308 cu in (5.0 L) straight-six engine, with and without Twin-H Power, was offered and gained 5 hp (4 kW) for 1956.

However, Packard's V8 engine was available only during the first half of 1956. At mid-model year Hornet Special was introduced featuring a lower price and AMC's new 250 cu in (4.1 L) 190 hp (142 kW) V8 engine.

The Hornet Special models were built on a 7-inch (178 mm) shorter and slightly lighter Statesman/Wasp four-door sedan and two-door hardtop platform with Hornet trim.

The 1956 design failed to excite buyers and Hudson Hornet sales decreased to 8,152 units, of which 6,512 were four-door sedans and 1,640 Hollywood two-door hardtops.[

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