Open Roads, December | Lot 211

1915 Hudson Model Six-40 Roadster Pickup



$28,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania

1 - 8 December 2021

Chassis No.
US Registration
  • A unique period-built pickup conversion
  • Signature Hudson six-cylinder power
  • Largely unmodified condition, save for its clever rear pickup bed
  • Retains many original features, including Corning Conaphore headlamp lenses and side-mounted spares
  • Appealing patina; worthy of continued preservation

Founded in 1909, Detroit’s Hudson Motor Car Company achieved early success by offering buyers well-engineered, solidly built, and technologically advanced automobiles at an affordable price. This approach prompted a switch to an all-six-cylinder lineup for 1914, making power and performance typically offered by the era’s luxury automakers somewhat more attainable to the driving public.

For 1915, Hudson kept the same basic formula but brought numerous small refinements to the its lineup. As seen on this unique Model Six-40 Roadster, the new model year gained a honeycomb radiator and an electric horn operated via steering wheel-mounted button. Its 288.5-cubic-inch inline six-cylinder engine now 42 horsepower, and it was mated to a three-speed manual transmission.

At some point in its past, this Six-40 Roadster was converted into a pickup truck of sorts; the addition of a home-built bed at the rear turned the rakish two-door into something a bit more utilitarian. It is quite possible that its added usefulness helped the Hudson survive in such well-preserved condition.

The conversion appears to have been accomplished with limited structural modification: The rear decklid was simply removed and a sturdy wooden box inserted in its place, yielding a surprisingly handsome, and no doubt useful, light truck. Interestingly, Hudson would officially revisit this idea in 1937, when it introduced the Utility Coupe, a streamlined two-door featuring a metal box that extended from the trunk to tote oversized cargo. Unlike with the fixed box on its spiritual predecessor offered here, the Utility Coupe’s cargo box could be folded away when not in use.

Save for the pickup modification, this Roadster retains many original features, including Corning Conaphore headlamp lenses, a driver’s side spotlight, “suicide”-style passenger door, and a pair of side-mounted spare tires. Offered in its appealing, patinated condition, this Hudson Six-40 Roadster Pickup is a unique automobile worthy of appreciation and continued preservation.

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