With one owner 49 years
The Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, began building fine automobiles in 1909, and this nameplate lasted until 1957. When Paul Dodington went to look at a 1947 Hudson sedan available for purchase through an estate sale in Toronto in April 1963, he expected to find the usual amount of rust you would see on a car driven through city streets for 16 years.
Instead, he found a car still brand new with only 15,000 miles on the odometer and never winter-driven. It was a beautiful two-tone green 1947 Hudson Commodore Eight 4-door sedan which, when new, had been parked on a turntable at the Hudson exhibit at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. Paul bought the car for $150.00 and still owns it 49 years later. He realized the car was far too good for winter driving and purchased a 1950 Pontiac sedan in running condition for $25.00. That became his “salt” car.
In 1966, Paul and his wife Nora drove their ’47 Hudson along the north shore of Lake Superior to accompany Paul’s Mom and Dad part-way on their journey to western Canada in their yellow 1961 Chevy Impala. At the Lakehead, they bade the folks “Bon voyage” and drove home to Toronto in the Hudson in a single day. Back home, Paul noticed the compression had dropped and he replaced the valves and valve guides. Otherwise, the flathead straight eight engine of 254 cubic inches with 128 horsepower is still completely original and the odometer now reads around 50,000 miles.
In 1964, the Antique and Classic Car Club of Canada (of which Paul was an active member) created a new judging class known as Post-War Thoroughbreds to encourage the restoration and preservation of certain cars built after World War Two. Paul’s 1947 Hudson Commodore Eight was the first car accepted into this new class.
In 2002, Paul and Nora drove the Hudson to the wedding of their daughter Vicky in Nashville, Tennessee. The car performed flawlessly on the entire trip there and back, still with all the original wiring and hoses under the hood. A unique feature of Paul’s Hudson is the Drive-Master transmission, a forerunner of the fully automatic transmissions we have today. His car also has very rare white rubber stone guards on the leading edge of the rear fenders. The car now resides at the Dodington residence in Port Carling, Ontario, and is driven only in good weather.
If the story of your car is published in this column, you will receive a copy of Bill Sherk’s latest book “Old Car Detective Favourite Stories, 1925 to 1965.” To share your stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write Bill Sherk, 25 John Street, P.O. Box 255, Leamington, ON N8H 3W2.
Written by Bill Sherk, The Old Car Detective