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1937 Hudson Terraplane Utility Coupe *SOLD*


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*SOLD* I've seen Chevy's version of this neat coupe-with-a-surprise but this is the first Terraplane Utility Coupe I've ever seen in person. I find the striking art-deco design extremely appealing and with an older restoration, this is a fine car when you want to stand out in a crowd. It comes from long term ownership with two generations of hobbyists (father and son) enjoying it for more than 40 years. In the '70s and '80s it was a frequent participant at Hudson meets and has twice driven to Florida and back without issue. I bet the restoration was finished in the '80s but it's holding up extremely well and the understated gray paint, while not perfect, certainly suits the car just fine. Note the deep fenders which have lower wheel cut-outs in the rear to give it a sleek look, a styling trick unique to the Terraplane. A red pinstripe and red accents on the bumpers and grille brighten things up and Michael, my detailer, was able to really bring out a shine in the older enamel. Again, not perfect, but no critical defects and the workmanship was surely quite good for it to look this nice 40 years later. Chrome and stainless trim is in very good shape, including the wonderful waterfall grille, which appears to be stainless and in fantastic condition. The door handles are a little floppy, but that's easy enough to fix and they do work correctly. And as with most commercial vehicles, there's just a single taillight out back.

 

The tan cloth interior was very well restored and shows only minor signs of age, most notably on the driver's door panel where feet have been brushing against it. The two-passenger coupe is cozy inside, with most of the space behind the seats given to the massive cargo bay in back. Gauges are centrally located and this might be one of the earliest uses of warning lights for oil pressure and generator--when the generator isn't charging the light says GENERATOR NOT CHARGING. How awesome is that? They all seem to work, there's a heater under the dash with a working fan, and the appointments are upscale. The spare tire is behind the driver and there's a bit of space behind the passenger, and once you see the trunk you'll understand why--there's a slide-out pickup bed in there! Too cool! You can roll it out and it'll accommodate stuff more than six feet long or leave it tucked in and it's like a regular trunk. You can see there's zero rust in any of the critical areas of the trunk and the bed slides easily. Fairly robust trunk lid braces hold it locked in the upright position if you're carrying stuff with the bed extended.

 

The engine is a smooth and torquey 212 cubic inch inline-6. It's not going to win any drag races, but it's just as robust as anything else you'd buy in 1937. It was rebuilt back in the '80s and runs great, starting easily with some choke and idling smoothly. It had some goofball fuel pressure regulator on the carb that we removed with no change in behavior, and I think it would probably benefit most from just some driving. It doesn't seem to get hot, it shifts well using the original oil-bath cork clutch (chattery when it's cold, but smooth once you're rolling), and the suspension is remarkably supple for a vehicle designed to carry stuff. The front kingpins were just replaced and the brakes rebuilt, so mechanically it's strong and you can see that this has never, ever been a rusty car. The whitewalls are probably old so you might look at replacing them, but it doesn't have any bad habits out on the road.

 

This is just plain cool. Any Hudson Terraplane is going to be a rare piece at a show, but when you open that trunk and roll the bed out, people are simply amazed. I love that kind of thing, showing the public that things weren't always they way they are today and companies were trying new ideas. There can't be but a handful of these left and aside from one with a high-end restoration and a six-figure price tag, this has to be one of the nicer ones out there. We're asking $32,900 and I guarantee you'll have the most unique car at any show you visit. Thanks for looking!

 

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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Lovely '37 Terraplane Utility Coupe but one detail is so incongruous I have to say something: whitewall tires!  If even a single '37 Terraplane Utility Coupe ever left the dealership with whitewall tires I'd eat my hat!    Those were the cars Ole and Lena bought to use on the farm and go to town once a week.   Trucks and utility cars weren't dressed up, but that was then and this is now so what do I know.

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I would say don't say never on the white walls.  I could see a town delivery service,  maybe even an upscale one using this,  maybe even a parts store,  that sometimes wanted a fancy looking rig to deliver to their upscale customers.  Look a the model A town delivery sedans that looked like a town car. 

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  • 3 months later...
On 8/7/2019 at 3:55 PM, Matt Harwood said:

000H.thumb.jpg.241e8b148daca6f2cef143ffefa2d003.jpg

 

I've seen Chevy's version of this neat coupe-with-a-surprise but this is the first Terraplane Utility Coupe I've ever seen in person. I find the striking art-deco design extremely appealing and with an older restoration, this is a fine car when you want to stand out in a crowd. It comes from long term ownership with two generations of hobbyists (father and son) enjoying it for more than 40 years. In the '70s and '80s it was a frequent participant at Hudson meets and has twice driven to Florida and back without issue. I bet the restoration was finished in the '80s but it's holding up extremely well and the understated gray paint, while not perfect, certainly suits the car just fine. Note the deep fenders which have lower wheel cut-outs in the rear to give it a sleek look, a styling trick unique to the Terraplane. A red pinstripe and red accents on the bumpers and grille brighten things up and Michael, my detailer, was able to really bring out a shine in the older enamel. Again, not perfect, but no critical defects and the workmanship was surely quite good for it to look this nice 40 years later. Chrome and stainless trim is in very good shape, including the wonderful waterfall grille, which appears to be stainless and in fantastic condition. The door handles are a little floppy, but that's easy enough to fix and they do work correctly. And as with most commercial vehicles, there's just a single taillight out back.

 

The tan cloth interior was very well restored and shows only minor signs of age, most notably on the driver's door panel where feet have been brushing against it. The two-passenger coupe is cozy inside, with most of the space behind the seats given to the massive cargo bay in back. Gauges are centrally located and this might be one of the earliest uses of warning lights for oil pressure and generator--when the generator isn't charging the light says GENERATOR NOT CHARGING. How awesome is that? They all seem to work, there's a heater under the dash with a working fan, and the appointments are upscale. The spare tire is behind the driver and there's a bit of space behind the passenger, and once you see the trunk you'll understand why--there's a slide-out pickup bed in there! Too cool! You can roll it out and it'll accommodate stuff more than six feet long or leave it tucked in and it's like a regular trunk. You can see there's zero rust in any of the critical areas of the trunk and the bed slides easily. Fairly robust trunk lid braces hold it locked in the upright position if you're carrying stuff with the bed extended.

 

The engine is a smooth and torquey 212 cubic inch inline-6. It's not going to win any drag races, but it's just as robust as anything else you'd buy in 1937. It was rebuilt back in the '80s and runs great, starting easily with some choke and idling smoothly. It had some goofball fuel pressure regulator on the carb that we removed with no change in behavior, and I think it would probably benefit most from just some driving. It doesn't seem to get hot, it shifts well using the original oil-bath cork clutch (chattery when it's cold, but smooth once you're rolling), and the suspension is remarkably supple for a vehicle designed to carry stuff. The front kingpins were just replaced and the brakes rebuilt, so mechanically it's strong and you can see that this has never, ever been a rusty car. The whitewalls are probably old so you might look at replacing them, but it doesn't have any bad habits out on the road.

 

This is just plain cool. Any Hudson Terraplane is going to be a rare piece at a show, but when you open that trunk and roll the bed out, people are simply amazed. I love that kind of thing, showing the public that things weren't always they way they are today and companies were trying new ideas. There can't be but a handful of these left and aside from one with a high-end restoration and a six-figure price tag, this has to be one of the nicer ones out there. We're asking $32,900 and I guarantee you'll have the most unique car at any show you visit. Thanks for looking!

 

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"might be one of the earliest uses of warning lights for oil pressure and generator"   Nope, my '34 has them

 

 

 

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