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Lot 675
1938 Hudson-Terraplane Cab Pickup
OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE

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Selling on Saturday Evening

• Thought to be 1 of fewer than 10 Hudson-Terraplane Cab Pickups still in existence
• A delightful representation of famed Depression-era styling
• Upgraded GM 350 V-8 engine
• Classic looks with modern power and convenience


350 cid V-8 engine, automatic transmission, four-wheel hydraulic brakes; wheelbase: 117”


“On the sea that’s aquaplaning, in the air that’s aeroplaning, but on the land, in the traffic, on the hills, hot diggity dog, THAT’S TERRAPLANING” – the 1930’s sales slogan’s captivating hook perfectly summarizes the appeal of the cherished moniker; if you’re on land, you better be in a Terraplane. The Terraplane model was introduced in the early 1930s with the goal of growing the Hudson Motor Company through a period where the iconic Essex models had repeatedly declined in sales. Not wanting to completely abandon the Essex branding that had staked a pre-Depression reputation of being both affordable and reliable, Hudson branded the new model the Essex-Terraplane. The new Essex-Terraplane was launched on July 21, 1932, with almost ostentatious pomp considering the onset of the Great Depression.

Debuting a car in the Great Depression was a daring enough venture, and Hudson chose to do it with, “Such sensational vigor that accounts of the affair appeared in newspapers all over the United States.” Over 2,000 dealers from 40 states came to Detroit for the spectacle, an event that was headlined by Amelia Earhart. The new Essex-Terraplanes became a roaring success, with fellow aviator Orville Wright buying one of the first cars off the production line. The small, powerful, steel-framed car built to exacting standards impressed not only the engineering mind of Wright, but also had the speed and horsepower to attract several notable bank robbers and gangsters—including John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and John Paul Chase.

1933 cemented the legacy of the Terraplane name, with an Essex-Terraplane 8 Convertible Coupe setting a record time in the race up Mount Washington, a record that would not be broken for over 20 years. With the car now receiving notable commercial success, Hudson dropped the Essex name in 1934 and continued producing the model as a Terraplane. By 1937, the Terraplane had become so desirable that it was outselling the rest of Hudson’s offerings. To avoid hurting the company as a whole, the model name was changed for 1938 to the Hudson-Terraplane before being phased out to just “Hudson” in all following years.

This one-year-only Hudson-Terraplane Pickup is desirable for more than just unique nomenclature. With timeless styling and enough curves to make anyone take a second glance, it’s no surprise that Hudson was jealous of the more attractive younger sibling. This truck sports the same looks that have captivated audiences since 1938 and is now dressed in the bright red that so often spells danger when worn by anything that men find attractive. This 1938 Hudson, however, will not break your heart, nor will it disappoint in power. Look under the hood and you will find that the original straight-six has been tastefully replaced with a 350-cubic-inch GM V-8 engine. Instead of laboring around town at a measly 35 miles per hour, the future owner will be able to show off these incredible looks while enjoying the practicality of modern power. Aside from the engine, this 1938 Hudson also received a new automatic transmission. A tastefully upgraded banjo steering wheel adorns the clean red and black interior, with modern gauges providing extra convenience and reliability. Since being acquired by the consignor in 2017, the truck has been stored in a climate-controlled collection and exercised with well-monitored regularity. Sure to be a hit at local events and meets across the country, the next owner can rest assured that this 1938 Hudson-Terraplane Cab Pickup has the looks to pull you in and the power to keep you coming back for more.

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