Auburn Fall | Lot 2033
1914 Hudson Model Six-54 Phaeton
The Walter Miller Estate
$39,600 USD | Sold
| Auburn, Indiana
3 September 2020
- Offered from the Walter Miller Estate
- A large, powerful, and impressive Brass Era Hudson
- Representing the company’s only true “high-end” model
- Very few examples known to survive
- Attractive older restoration, ideal for tours
“The New Ideal of a Distinguished Car,” Model Six-54 represents the Hudson Motor Car Company’s largest and most prestigious offering ever. While the firm would produce other grand models, notably during the Classic Era, the Six-54 was a true luxury car for its time, with a 135-inch-wheelbase chassis and a 421-cubic-inch inline six-cylinder engine, cast in pairs, with a self-starter, and producing 55 horsepower—sufficient, it is said, for a top speed of 70 mph. The successor Super Six of 1916, the basis for the company’s models for over a decade, was more powerful but dimensionally smaller in virtually every way, and arguably not as visually impressive. Further, the Six-54 was Hudson’s first left-hand-drive model.
Writing of his Hudson in 2019, a year after purchasing it, the late Walter Miller commented, “I have admired the Six-54 for many years and jumped at the chance to acquire one. This car is fully restored, luckily well-documented going back many years and was previously owned by several well-known early antique car collectors, including some in New York State.” While that documentation has yet to be uncovered at the time of cataloging, the car does retain a plaque from the 1964 Texas Tour in Kerrville, hosted by the Alamo City Horseless Carriage Club, as well as a second identifying its owner at the time, Don McKay.
A very nice older restoration, the car is finished in the correct black and blue two-tone livery for the model, with an interior that almost certainly dates to more recent decades; it remains in well-preserved condition for touring. Wooden artillery wheels, finished in cream with black striping, add a jaunty accent, with a pair of spare tires hung off the driver’s side. The car retains a Carter carburetor, Delco lighting system, and Stewart combination odometer/speedometer, as well as a Hudson-badged Waltham clock, Spartan electric horn, and Hudson “Six” Moto-meter. A small luggage trunk at the rear is best suited for containing the jack and crank handle, which it does to this day. An original Hudson service manual also accompanies.
Any collection of Hudsons really demands a Six-54, perhaps the grandest automobile that the company ever built, and a machine that can hold its own on Brass Era tours against the likes of Peerless, Locomobile, and Pierce-Arrow.