History
Click here to see 12 Hudson history books.
All 12 books are listed alphabetically by author.
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Roy Chapin: King of the Roads by Daniel Alef
(Titans of Fortune Publishing; Santa Barbera, CA; 2009)

Less of a book and more of a long multimedia article, this biographical profile of Roy D. Chapin's life is perfect for students writing a term paper or for the new Hudson fan. And the price is right.

Roy Chapin was one of America's great automotive pioneers, founder of the Hudson and Essex motor car companies.

More so, after a visit to France and Germany, where he discovered an extensive network of paved roads under construction, he became an advocate of a national network of highways for the U.S. He was involved with the Lincoln Highway Association which planned the construction of the first coast-to-coast concrete highway.

Hudson and Essex were very successful car companies and Chapin became a multi-millionaire with a massive estate in Grosse Point. He was also among the first to introduce an economy car, the Terraplane.

Keep in mind: this book is digital only. You can download it to your Amazon Kindle. You can also download it through the Kindle app on your iPad or other tablet device.

Kindle Edition, $1.99

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The History of Hudson (Crestline Series) by Don Butler
(Motorbooks Interational; Minneapolis, MN; 2001)

Don Butler was an automotive stylist for Hudson, Nash, and AMC.

His book is THE Hudson bible to date. It contains pictures of almost every Hudson, Essex, and Terraplane + important historical text.

You'll also find production numbers, serial numbers, and other hard data.

Essential reading.

Hardback, Used: Prices vary . Look for copies in the $40 to $50 range.

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Hudson Performance Portfolio: 1946-1957 by R.M. Clarke (Editor)
(Brooklands Books; Cobham, Surrey, England; 2004)

Brooklands publishes collector car books that are compilations of vintage news and magazine articles. This is another title in that series.

This compilation goes from end to end: the end of World War II to the end of Hudson.

You'll find articles from Motor Trend, Road & Track, etc., covering the Super Six, the Commodore, the Pacemaker, the Hornet, the Wasp, the Jet, the Italia, and the Rambler (somewhat "affectionately" called a Hash).

Softcover, New: $24.95

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The Cars That Hudson Built by John A. Conde
(Arnold Porter Publishing Co.; Minneapolis, MN; 1980)

Conde was the Director of Public Relations for Jeep when he retired from AMC in 1976. He was virtually the company's historian when he retired. You can tell he had a list of To Do items, because this book was just one of several that he published only four years after his retirement.

It's a photo book done in the style of his American Motors Family Album Series for AMC.

Patrick Foster considers this book "probably the finest Hudson book ever published." I think that's pretty fair praise.

If you grab this book + Don Butler's book, you'll have a great foundation for understanding The Hudson Motor Car Company.

Hardback, Used: Prices vary widely. Look for this book used in the $20-$40 range.
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The Hemmings Book of Hudsons by Terry Ehrich (Editor)
(Hemmings; Bennington, VT; 2001)

Here's a collection of articles from the late, great Special Interest Autos Magazine.

A popular feature in SIA was the Drive Report, which compared driving/handling characteristics between one classic car and another. (Look for Drive Reports comparing Hudsons to other marques from the same time period.)

SIA was a great collector car magazine, and I'm sure this book represents their usual excellent coverage of Hudson cars.

Softcover, Used: Prices vary widely. Look for this book used in the $40-$80 range.

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Hudson Automobiles (An Illustrated History) by Patrick Foster
(Iconografix; Osceola, WI; 2010)

The Hudson Motorcar Company rose above the fray to establish itself as one of America’s greatest automobile companies.

Its legendary Super Six was one of the most coveted autos of its era. It was an important defense supplier during World War II. Then came its radical Step-Down models.

Company engineers also developed the powerful and highly-refined Twin-H Power engine, and from 1951-1954 Hudson automobiles completely dominated NASCAR.

Hudson is remembered as one of the truly great classics of America’s automotive heritage.

This book contains lots of pictures from Foster's archive of vintage Nash/Hudson/AMC photos.

Softcover, New: $23.07

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Storied Independent Automakers: Nash, Hudson, and American Motors by Charles K. Hyde
(Wayne State University Press; Detroit, MI; 2009)

Incredibly (to me, at least), there was never a business history written about Nash until Hyde published this book. (Yeah, Automobile Quarterly and others have published lengthy articles, but they never called them books.)

Furthermore, there has never before been a comprehensive history starting from the Thomas B. Jeffery Company and motoring through the Nash and Hudson years followed by the final act: American Motors. Until now.

Hyde's book is heavy on these company's corporate histories. He writes a lot about Charles Nash, Roy Chapin, and George Romney. These biographies are illuminating. It's always interesting how the personalities of the founders influence the characters and tone of their companies.

On the fence about buying this book? Listen to our podcast featuring an exclusive interview with Charles Hyde. It's interesting to hear how he discovered the corporate records about Nash, Hudson, and AMC in the Chrysler historical archives.


Hardcover, New: $29.53

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Fun at Work, Hudson Style: Tales from The Hudson Motor Car Company by Harry F. Krause, Sr.
(Home Chapter Publishing; Bennington, VT; 2003)

Thank God someone sat down this Hudson blue collar worker and milked all of these great stories out of him.

It's pretty obvious after a few pages into this book that Harry Krause, Sr., lo-o-o-o-oved his job at the Hudson factory. His sketches of the people he worked with are all punctuated with great photos of his friends on the assembly line.

You'll love this book, too, if you like your automotive stories small, personal, friendly, and not stuck up in the boardroom.

I wish we had more automotive histories like this.

Paperback, Used: Prices vary. Look for this used book in the $5-$15 range.

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Hudson 1946-1957: The Classic Postwar Years by Richard Langworth
(Motorbooks International; Minneapolis, MN; 1993)

Langworth could make a soil erosion report interesting. This is his take on Hudson's final years: from the Stepdowns, the Jet, and the Italia, to the Hashes of 1955-57. Langworth also covers Hudson's incredible years in stock car racing from 1951-1954.

It's all layed out year by year, model by model with tech specs and hard data.

And let's not forget all the fantastic photos.

A great read for postwar Hudson fans.

Hardback, Used: Prices vary widely. Look for this used book in the $45-$70 range.

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Roy D. Chapin: The Man Behind the Hudson Motor Car Company by J.C. Long
(Wayne State University Press; Detroit, MI; 2003)

Although Hudson was started by a group of ambitious young men from Oldsmobile and named after department store magnate J.L. Hudson, make no mistake: Roy D. Chapin ran the show.

He was the business genius who helped Hudson thrive until he was appointed Secretary of Commerce by Herbert Hoover. After Roosevelt was elected, he went back to try to rescue Hudson from the effects of the Great Depression. He died at the job in 1936.

J.C. Long was commissioned by the Chapin family to write this book, which was originally published privately in 1945. It features an introduction by Chapin's grandson William Ruxton Chapin.

Entertaining and very readable.


Paperback, New: $21.95

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Hudson: The Story of the Hudson Motor Car 1909-1957 by Ted Mayborn & Mitch Mayborn
(Highland Enterprises; Bennington, VT; 1975)

Forget what historians tell you. This book shows you what Hudson thought of Hudson through its decades of print advertisements.

In other words, this book consists entirely of Hudson's magazine ads. Big time nostalgia!

Softcover, Used: Prices vary widely. Look for this used book in the $35-$55 range.
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Hudson Automobiles 1934-1957 Photo Archive by Byron Olsen
(Iconografix; Osceola, WI; 2004)

Another title in the Iconografix Photo Archive series. It's a nice mixture of black-and-white photos from the Great Depression years and post-World War II period.

Softcover, Used: Prices vary. Look for this used book in the $35-$50 range.
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