Amusing for me as a Brussels-based classic car dealer to notice that this Hudson Italia was conceived in a Brussels restaurant (Le Filet de Boeuf) on the 17-th of January 1953.
Dinner guests were Carlo Felice Anderloni, director of the Carrozzeria Touring and Frank Spring, Hudson's styling director.
The restaurant table napkin on which the first sketches of the Hudson Italia were drawn that evening is now part of the Touring Superleggera archive.
How refreshing to learn that in those immediate after war period, somehow, crazy plans of having US cars styled and coachbuilt by famous Italian design houses could be financed... hoping for the best.
After this prototype Hudson Italia with sleek daring styling, only 25 examples were built by Carrozzeria Touring based on their famous Superleggera construction system (light alloy skin over tubular birdcage frame).
The basis was the brand's mass produced Hudson Jet. The 202 cubic inch, side valve 6-cylinder spins strong 8 to 1 compression into a healthy 114 HP. Thanks to the lightweight body, a top speed of 95 MPH and standing start times comparable to Chevrolet's iconic Corvette could be achieved.
Transmission of the Jet power goes through the traditionnal 3-speed box, but this prototype and apparently only 1 from the 25 other Italias, has also been fitted with an overdrive.
Finally this Italia sits on 4 original Borrani wheels (these wheels are real jewels!).
Only by looking at this Hudson Italia on the photographs, you will agree with me that this prototype Hudson Italia almost has too many spectacular styling features to list or point out.
Very low roof line, ultra slim roof pillars accentuating panoramic 360° all round vision, roof cut-out doors for easy typical Hudson step down access, elongated wheel arches in enveloping wings, upside down V-bumper with traditional Hudson triangle, unique front grill for this prototype, spectacular scoops on top of front wings, very stylish side lights on front wings, flush pop up door handles, subtle rear brake vents, lookalike side exhausts locating the rear lights, concave rear boot lid, design driver and passenger seats, spectacular juke-box-style dashboard, strangely enough an Alfa Romeo 6C steering wheel from a 6C Villa D'Este model which was fitted by Touring to this car from day 1, etc..., etc...
History of this prototype
- Born in 1953 in Milano Italy in the Carrozzeria Touring factory.
- Presented by Frank Spring in Europe and by the end of 1953 in the USA.
- Only 2 long term American owners: V. Racz (1954-1977) and R. Pschirer (1977-2013).
- From 2013 in the hands of high profile Belgian collector.
- Only 30.000 Miles from new. Very sound, never restored (!), totally original except for just one very light paint touch up in original cream lacquer.
- Registered as prototype of Hudson Italia at the Registro Internazionale Touring Superleggera.
- Palmetto award at 2009 Hilton Head Island Concours D'Elegance.
- Won at the 2014 Concorso d'Eleganza della Villa D'Este ASI prize for best preserved post war car.
- Many features on this prototype Hudson Italia in classic car magazines.
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