Hudson-Essex Memories

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107

Sir,

Your article on Hudson-Essex brings back memories. My first job on leaving school was in their Production Stores Office, which dealt with “knock-down” Essex parts and complete Hudson cars coming in from America.

Essex units came over in sets of five per crate; five engines in one crate, five sets of chassis frame parts in another, and so on. Brought up-river from London docks, they were cleared from Customs at LEP Transport’s Chiswick depot and brought on to Great West Road by lorry.

In the Essex Six and Super-Six ranges, two-door models were coaches, and 4-door cars, such as that illustrated at the foot of page 795, were referred to as Sedans.

An incident that comes back to mind concerns a Straight-8 Hudson 7-passenger sedan, an enormous car by present-day standards, which was specially ordered by the then (c. 1929) Spanish Ambassador in London. He had been worrying the Sales Department daily for delivery and they were relieved at last to be able to give a date for collection.

On the morning in question the Marquis was there as soon as the showroom opened, eagerly waiting to drive his new car away. On my way to work, however, I had seen it at the Chiswick end of “Firestone Hill,” upside down and sadly battered. A test driver had carried out the works order card instruction to “test brakes at high speed”; a front drum had seized solid. I seem to remember it was some time before anyone plucked up courage to tell His Excellency what had happened. His reaction can be imagined.

When an extra company van was needed in 1930, an Essex 4 chassis and engine were built up from spares and a modern body fitted, an indication of the regard the Works still had at that time for the old long-stroke “4.”

John Simmonds.
Skegness.