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Rhodora - 1949 Hudson Brougham

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Whilst browsing through the many for sale ads on my favorite app I stumbled upon a 1949 Hudson which grabbed my attention.




This Arizona baked Brougham Super Six found its way to Sweden in 2012 and has had some technical updates. The roughness of the car intrigued me. The patina body and the almost nonexistent interior somehow intrigued me, even so much that I booked a flight for me and my girlfriend to check it out. After 1000 miles of traveling we finally saw it in real life. This rough diamond. We saw its potential and bought it!




But the best was yet to come: The previous owner who bought it back in 2012 was the second owner. He had the papers of the first owner who drove it from 1949 until 1964.


The previous owner happened to be Jade Hudman Rhodora. She was a professional dancer and abandoned the car in Arizona right around the time her husband Wes Hudman, a (Hollywood) actor passed away. This gives the car a whole new meaning and that is why my girlfriend decided to call the Hudson Rhodora. 




Plans are to keep the patina body as is but work on the interior together and I want to, with respect and grace, pay tribute to Jade - I’m thinking of a small picture of her face to commemorate her car and the history it had.


The car is still 900 miles from home, hopefully it will be home next week. Then I will give some more info and pictures of “Rhodora”.

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  • 1 month later...

It took a little longer but she’s home now. I tried to drive her home but it didn’t work out like I planned. I did meet some cool new people thanks to the breakdowns.



Right now we’re working on making her ready for Dutch inspection and then cruise around this summer. 


A few things done already since we have her (not even a week yet):




- Removed the deepest dents so the trunk closes and seals better




- Sent out the bent rear drive axle that was quite bent.


- Checking airride for leaks and fixing it


- Change out some bulbs and fixing a light for the rear license plate  


- rehanging the doors


- closing up holes that let exhaust fumes in


- removing back seat for reupholstery


and some other bits & pieces. 



Edited by Wilf Sedanet (see edit history)
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Busy day today.


Rear deck light for license plate (mandatory), had to fabricate a ‘glass’ from plastic so I installed an LED light.




Put some rubber on the floor. Inside the car that is. Looks a little more decent this way.






Closed the area between the rear seat and trunk and the wheel arch.





Edited by Wilf Sedanet (see edit history)
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Wilf, in addition to posting your messages here on the AACA Forum, you might also want to post duplicate messages at the Hudson Open Forum https://forum.hetclub.org/ -- especially if you need technical information or Hudson parts.  That forum is run by members of the worldwide Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club and is a great place for exchanging helpful information on Hudsons.

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Hi Jon, Thanks so much for your reply! Last weekend we went to a car show with our ‘64 Dart convertible just to sell it but when a ‘51,Hudson Hornet Club Coupe drove up on the terrain I went to check it out. The owner was just ready with restoration, he started in 2013 and boy did it look nice! He told me the exact same thing. So now hearing it from you too I really should go and register there too.


This week we went to the Dutch DMV to get the papers. Although it didn’t need inspection because Swedish papers are EU papers, which means they are easily transferrable, we did check everything on the car as if we had a big inspection. I put some foam and cloth on the back seat and gave the stickers on the vent window a new location so I could see the mirror better (details), cleaned the windows in & out (what a difference!) and my mechanic fixed all things leaky & squeaky. He replaced the foot gasket of the carb, redid some wiring and replaced some bulbs and some more small bits & bobs. He did some more bigger things this week too that I completely forgot now… He really did a lot these past few weeks to make it safer & more reliable. I’m so grateful he’s helping me out with it!


Let the pictures do the talking:



Back seat (temporary cloth, we will make it nicer).



Filling her up for the voyage to the Dutch inspection.



Standing in line at the inspection we were standing next to an American halftrack that was used by the British in WW2 to liberate Europe. This vehicle will go to France in two weeks for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Me & my girlfriend really wanted to go there too to celebrate freedom and witness all the vehicles and airplanes that will attend but one of our best friends have planned their wedding in the same weekend (same day even).


In January of 2018 we went to Florida and met a lot of great people and visited amazing places like the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum. Very friendly and dedicated people work there, they really take the time to show you around and are ever so proud of their collection and take great care to keep the machines in shape. They were actually rebuilding a C-47 sky train which they wanted, if funds were there and the rebuilding was done, to fly to France as well. We bought a piece of the wing for a friend of us who is airplane crazy and to help with the fund. I hope they made it and join the memorial flight. 

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  • 2 months later...

I haven’t been posting for a while but lots has happened to Rhodora.


The suspension was too harsh; no travel in the front and no spring effect in the back. So we changed the front springs (Camaro) and shocks (I believe the same height as a Volvo “Amazon” p121), and in the back some normal airbags with actual travel and comfort. It sits higher in the front so it is a real tail dragger now and in the back it will also not go as low as before.


Some people said I am crazy to heighten a lowered car but comfort on long hauls is more important than a little loss of stance imho. I also got stuck on speed bumps and slammed hard on the road on uneven surfaces before. Now the front has around 7” clearance. 


The steering was also quite worn so new bushings and rubber et cetera fixed that. It’s now almost completely free of play.




I’ve installed some rubber around the door (post) and next up is heat/sound treatment. Then I’ll start on the interior.








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Wilf, I enjoyed reading about giving Rhodora new life. My build style is similar. I really don't care too much about the shiny paint and chrome. I build them to drive. The rock chips and imperfections in the paint on the front of a car are a testament to the car and the driver of miles of smiles. Your car was built to drive. I'm really glad you are enjoying it. I'm looking forward to the next update.

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I did some work today on her. I want to make a new interior but first I need to put some durable paint on the metal. I’ve chosen (a kind of) hammerite which has been proven to work if it’s applied correctly. I’ve planned to do that tomorrow but today I wanted to get her home and do some non-paint insulation. 


When I got to her garage she had a flat rear tire so I needed a foot pump to get her up to level. After that I decided to put a layer of boiled linseed oil on her body as it should help her age better in our sometimes humid climate. It started to rain today so I could put it to the test.


I also proceeded with some sound deadening (temporary) at the vent windows. I used up all my foam tape on the right window but forgot where I bought it from. It’s closed cell sound deadening tape which I also used for speaker installation. Oh well, maybe I’ll run into it again some day.


Some pictures of today:



“Wrong kind of flattie”



Linseed even brought back the wood grain on the dash



D-shaped rubber I installed on the door post...



... and on the door itself (notice the offset so the post and door have double seals where they meet. 



Here’s the foam tape (roll) on the seat and as applied on the original rubber of the vent window. 



It may look a bit shabby this way but it works. 



This is her all lubed up, covered in oil. She cleaned up nice. She’s at 100psi air in the back on this pic (made just now) because in my little town there are lots of high speed bumps. 



Edited by Wilf Sedanet
Moar pics! (see edit history)
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Whenever I have to change a tire on the back of mine, I lift from the frame, so the axle drops down to give more room to wrestle the wheel and tire in and out. I have had 275/60-15's on 8"wide rims on the back of a 52 Wasp coupe and had no issue driving (and drag racing ) it.

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The axle is non stock (Dana 44) and the suspension are bags, next time I have to remove the shock for better clearance. That’s what my mechanic that installed the new bags told me after I told him about the ordeal 😅 The shocks prevented further lowering (although the bags were pretty stretched already too).

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  • 4 weeks later...

Since the car radio in Rosetta is becoming a sort of running gag (every time I’m close to finishing it something happens - this summer the amps broke down and the new ones never came - still waiting!) so I decided to repurpose the lot and give Rhodora some sounds. 


I bought other amps that have no volume control and a custom Bluetooth receiver named Rhodora. The rest is the same setup I made for Rosetta including the bespoke speaker cabinet I built. Since Rhodora has the grille aimed at the window in stead of to the front seat I have to get a new speaker too.


The test setup was successful though. The(se new) amps are still alive!



Edited by Wilf Sedanet
Removing ambiguity (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

I’ve been busy trying to quiet Rhodora down (wind noise) around the windows, sills and torn rubbers.


 I also test fitted the car radio project, temporary with the speaker for my ‘49 Buick. I put a 10kOhm potmeter with switch function in the front face and wired it up. It all works like a charm except for ignition noise entering the system. I’ll try a noise filter on the power side and if that doesn’t work I’ll go through the ignition system itself.


Here’s the test fit system hooked up, playing a drum computer sample so YT will not silence it:



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  • 2 weeks later...

This weekend the test installation with the new 6x9” speaker and noise isolator was successful. I call this radio project practically done. Only a permanent installation is necessary.



(I also have a video with more befitting music; Wayne Hancock, but I thought YouTube would probably copyright strike that immediately because the audio is too good 😂)


 I also need to install some rubber against the rain because the doors are letting in all the water. I’m not planning to drive in the rain much but rain can come unexpectedly in this country so one needs to be prepared for it always.




This summer I bought some old parts from a very nice gentleman on eBay (dicky62). He was selling all his Hudson parts. He didn’t ship overseas so I had to ship it via an American acquaintance. It took another three months before I got the box because the acquaintance doesn’t have lots of time and he shipped it via boat mail (cheaper but slower). Because eBay doesn’t allow giving scores after I believe a month I cannot thank him anymore, but if you buy something via eBay I would really recommend this seller. His prices were more than reasonable, he was very friendly and helpful and even sent some nice surprises and extra tips with the three gauges/clocks I bought. AAA seller!



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