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