Story by Raffi Minasian at this listing for a ’50 Hudson Commodore 6 at
Bring A Trailer
The beautiful photos are by the listing dealer.
Go >>HERE<< to see all 175 of them!
Raffi’s story is reproduced today with his permission.
Humor me a bit whilst I share a little Twin H story…
Back in 1970 when I was just a kid and my younger brother was willing to do pretty much anything I asked (including put on a bed sheet and leap from the top bunk proclaiming to be Superman) we decided we needed to add a little horsepower to our wooden gravity push cart.
This was before I was allowed to ride a gas powered cart, some of you might recall my exploits in that category from another post. As it happens, Dad had been offered a 49 Hudson Commodore Club Coupe in payment for legal work he’d done. Being only a 20 year old car, he smartly took it in payment. As Twin H power would not be available until 1952, many cars were converted to Twin H at dealerships or by hobbyists.
At some point, our 49 was going to be treated to this conversion, because there they were in all their glory. Great gleaming red canisters of super power, just sitting there in the trunk. Quickly I fixed a plan to purloin these seemingly jet-fueled canisters, availing little bro to help with the deed. He was seven, evil deed assistant was his proud moniker.
“Great gleaming red canisters of super power”
We waited till dad had departed for work in his Studebaker and we made the heist. We then commenced drilling (cringe now Hudson enthusiasts). Yes, we drilled mounting holes in the bottom of each canister and bolted them to upright posts flanking my shoulders at the back of the go cart. The effect was transformative!! We got out the red paint and painted “Twin H Brothers” on the side of the cart in brilliant child script.
I was immediately Evel Knievel. The only thing that remained was to install a roll of caps inside each canister, light a match so that the stick is in the center of the cap roll waiting to ignite as the flame descends, place each one carefully inside the canister, and blaze victoriously downhill. Little bro, of course would be the first to experience this wondrous sensation of speed and power. I could not risk my genius.
Caps in place, matches lit (let us pause for a moment and not judge me for playing with matches. This was, after all 1970), canisters shut, brother in place, wind temperatures exceptional. Down he goes.
Slowly he built up speed, hands firmly gripping the frayed rope steering, wagon wheels flailing as speed increased.
Then the caps rolls started popping. At first it wasn’t much, a few pops. Then one roll started brapping out like a machine gun, and the second one just lit off all at once – kaboom!!
Brother, now gripped by fear, jolted from the resonant Twin H concussion, grabbed the wooden friction brake, heaved hard on it, spun to the side, and flipped over. I ran quickly towards him screaming out my best siren sounds. When I reached him, the tattered remains of the glorious twin H canisters revealed their asphalt scars. Brother did not fare much better, but as I had learned – to soothe him was worthless. Instead, I exalted in his bravery, hoisting him up cheering “That was incredible!! You are Professor Fate!! The crowd is going nuts!! Ladies step back please and give him some air!” He looked at me shouting “I think I hear the crowds roaring”. His face somewhat perplexed.
His ears rang for a few more minutes as we gathered the wreckage, banged some of it back into place and returned the jet engine Twin H canisters to the Hudson trunk. Dad discovered them some time later with a vexed look on his face “Hmm. I thought these were in better condition than this?” dismissing his doubts as only in my later years would I become the instant culprit for any oddly discovered mechanical variances in our garage.
Little Bro went on with excellent hearing, no fires were ever started, and the wooden cart relinquished itself to makeshift jack stands when I started welding the frame for the gas powered cart. The Twin H brothers live on. I will see little bro in a few weeks at another little go cart show on Pebble Beach*.
* Raffi Minasian is an Automobile Designer teaching at California College of the Arts. He will be one of the judges at Pebble Beach this year. Raffi has worked with one of the key designers of Studebaker’s famed Avanti, Tom Kellogg. As a lad of 10, Raffi was given encouragement to become a stylist by none other than Raymond Loewy. He comments frequently at Bring A Trailer and last year won the Bellcord Memorial “Most Valuable Commenter” award from BaT community by voting.
See the ’53 Hudson Hornet once owned by Steve McQueen >>HERE<<
“Quickly I fixed a plan to purloin these seemingly jet-fueled canisters …”
Comment from the post at Bring A Trailer: “The Hudsons looked like they were going 60 miles per hour while standing still. No wonder the Hornets so dominated NASCAR’s early years, they were more aero, lower slung and more powerful than anything else coming out of Detroit, with maybe the Rocket 88s being the only car that was comparable in the power department. It’s a pity that Hudson fell by the wayside along with so many other great marques.”
Comment from the post at Bring A Trailer: “Fender skirts, all metal dash, three on the tree, ash trays in the doors. Can’t get much more 1950’s than this.”
Above: “Super-Matic Drive” was Hudson’s term for overdrive.
It’s a green vehicle, so what’s your problem with my parking it here?!