Lot 180

Hershey 2019

1933 Essex Terraplane Eight Model KT Sedan

The Merrick Auto Museum Collection


$22,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Spirited Ford V-8 competitor
  • Daytona speed records in 1933
  • Only year of the Terraplane Eight
Please note this lot is titled as a Hudson.

With the Terraplane an unmitigated success in 1932, the Hudson company went one better for 1933. Using parts on hand—pistons from the Terraplane Six and crankshaft from the eight-cylinder engine that Hudson had been building since 1930—the engineers came up with a lightweight eight of 244 cubic inches. The combination of the engine in the lightweight Terraplane chassis resulted in a sprightly car that gave the Ford V-8 a run for its money. A Terraplane Eight sedan set new records for the standing mile and kilometer; the flying mile, five miles, and 1.5 km. In June 1933, Al Miller made history by driving one to the top of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington with the shifter wired into high gear. In Britain the Terraplane Eight chassis became the basis of Noel Macklin’s new Railton car.

This 1933 Terraplane Eight joined the Merrick Auto Museum Collection around the turn of the Millennium. The beneficiary of a 1,200-plus-hour restoration, it has a blue body with white pinstripe and black fenders. A bold chrome grille shell is topped by an iconic gryphon mascot. The wire-spoke wheels are silver and have 6.50-17 blackwall tires. The spare is mounted at the rear under a full steel cover. The upholstery is pleated and buttoned grey cloth, and the “Quick-Vision” instrument panel pioneered warning lights for oil pressure and generator. There is a locking glove box, and the rear seat is furnished with a footrest bar. Directional signals have been unobtrusively installed for greater safety in modern traffic.

As spirited as the Terraplane Eight was, it lost out in Hudson’s longer-term plans. For 1934, all Hudson products adopted the Terraplane lightweight architecture. The small eight was discontinued and the larger 254-cubic-inch Hudson engine was restricted to the larger cars. This Terraplane Eight is a lasting reminder of a brief but interesting moment in time.