Thursday, February 28, 2013

1954 Hudson Italia (Touring)

Hudson Italia (1954-'55): Hudson's swan song, sung in Italian

The Hudson Motor Car Company was founded in 1909 and quickly found favor for its cars' solid engineering and well-rounded performance, traits that they brought to their stylish and successful post-war Step-Down cars. With the automaker financially struggling but looking towards the future in the early 1950s, their compact Jet sedan would form the foundation for a bewitching, handcrafted sports coupe with one of the most distinctive faces of the immediate post-war era.

What is this unusual Hudson, with its sporty egg-crate grille, distinctive triangle-peaked front bumper and wild fender-top air intakes? It's an Italia! There is a very good reason why the stylish grille of the 1954-1955 Italia very much resembles that of a Pinin Farina-styled Ferrari of the period. This car was penned by Hudson's director of styling, Frank Spring, a cosmopolitan American, educated in Europe, who kept abreast of international styling trends of the day. Adding input to the car's design was Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni, chief designer of Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, whose firm was celebrated for their beautiful designs and lightweight "Superleggera" construction methods. Carrozzeria Touring would use this method to build the aptly named car.

The egg-crate grille used on all 25 production Italias differs from the one on the prototype that was presented to Hudson executives for approval; while the pre-production coupe featured a shallow grille whose central cross-hatch element was cast as a single unit, similar in style to the texture seen on 1956-1957 Hudsons, the Italias that followed that pre-production model all used a complex unit made from individual elements. The metal in production grilles was chrome-plated brass, chosen for its easy workability and inexpensive cost.
Source: Internet