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Lot 65
1931 Hudson Greater 8 Boattail Speedster

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CHASSIS NO: 920968

• Iconic Classic Era Speedster body
• One-year-only body style for Hudson
• Fewer than seven of this model known to exist


233.7 cid straight-eight engine; three-speed manual transmission; front and rear leaf spring suspension; four-wheel mechanical brakes; wheelbase: 119”


By the second year of America’s Great Depression, many automobile companies were looking for ways to boost lagging sales through improved drivetrains and new body styling. As an inde-pendent manufacturer, the Hudson Motor Car Company was feeling the pinch of the economic constraints. In a matter of three years, this company had dropped from being the third largest auto maker to the seventh. To remain competitive, Hudson knew it had to improve and provide exciting body designs. One such improvement was the ‘Greater Eight’ engine - built larger than the previous year’s ‘Great Eight’ and producing 87 horsepower. Hudson offered only this engine in 1931.

Hudson hired famed body designer Raymond Dietrich to design a Speedster body style, often referred to as a boattail. This body style would be sold for one year. In 1927, Hudson sold a Speedster body for the Essex, the company’s economically minded companion series. Each Speedster body was built by the famed Murray Corp. of America, a body builder that produced for such automotive giants as Ford and to independents such as Hudson. Placed on the short wheelbase Series ’T’ chassis, the Speedster body and Hudson’s ‘Greater Eight’ engine provided a winning combination of sport and performance.

It is believed that less than seven of the twelve Hudson Speedsters built are known to exist today. This example retains its original factory chassis, engine and body. The current owner has had this sporting Hudson in his collection since 2005. It features an exquisite white and grey livery, highlighted by its chrome hood louvers. Its short and low stance is accentuated by its fender-mounted spare tires. With its wide whitewall tires, it provides a monochromatic appearance. Within the last year, it received a repaint.

This vehicle won a First in Class trophy at the prestigious Elegance at Hershey Concours. The current owner spoke to the quality of this rare classic as a “great driving car.” This is a rare and sporting American classic.

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