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Projects Hudson Jet Stock Car Project

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Shaun1162, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Shaun1162
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 628

    Shaun1162
    Member

    I've had this old '53 or '54 Hudson Jet for a while now, but hadn't done much with it. I had been in a slump working on my Model A RPU, and then I woke up in the middle of the night about a month ago, and could not stop thinking about this ol Jalopy- so now it's in my "new" single car garage... As you can see space is a little tight.

    The family that I purchased the car from does not want the former driver's number displayed anymore, so I have covered it up for that reason.

    Car ran in the 80's at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Vermont in what was supposed to be a "low-budget" class that never took off, and was cancelled mid-season.

    Ran with a Hudson 308, hooked to an early Ford 3 speed, and a Ford Banjor rear (still has the torque tube!), with parallel leaf springs and floater 3/4 ton truck axles (12 spline).

    I'm going to keep the talking short on this one and let the pictures do the talking... Not 100% sure on the plans yet, but it's going be on a fairly strict budget, most likely going to make it street legal and go with a 292 Chevy (just because I already have one), and a T-5.

    When I bought it...

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    In it's new home:

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    Thought about going Ford flathead V8 or SBC, but it just wouldn't feel right not putting a 6 back in it.. Regardless of brand.

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    Got all four doors opening already:

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    Well OK.... Maybe 3 and a 1/2 doors??

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    Ford....

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    The exterior body is in amazing shape after 60 years... But the floors have seen better days

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  2. Shaun1162
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 628

    Shaun1162
    Member

    Made some progess tonight... The master you see on the firewall was used as a hydraulic clutch- the actual master cylinder is under the floor (possible a Ford):

    [​IMG]

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    Homemade jacking bolt set-up:

    [​IMG]

    And I thought you guys would get a kick out of this bumper sticker:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. I had a buddy in the 70s who had a maroon 53, 4 door [white top] with a chevy DZ 302, muncie 4 speed and a Hudson Hornet dana 44 posi 4.11 rear end. He drag raced the car at the local Portland, Oregon strip [PIR] and I usta ride in it on the street occasionally. Needed slicks to hook up. Was a blast to ride in.
     
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  5. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 2,533

    k9racer
    Member

    So my question did the car ever see a race track?? Several reasons I ask. Note that the alignment shims look like they have never been moved . The have very old dirt/grease on them.. Also no dents anywhere. Did I miss shocks on the rear end. It has a nice cage but it appears to have been in another Car. Splices and the plates on the frame to locate.. You have a very good find. Was the Hudson power plant some where to be found. I know this one will turn out nice as I kept up with your coupe build.. Bobby..
     
  6. nailhead29A
    Joined: Sep 11, 2010
    Posts: 910

    nailhead29A
    Member

    man that's one hell of a project you have on your hands, best of luck. I will be following along..
     
  7. Gigantor
    Joined: Jul 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,809

    Gigantor
    Member

    Any info or pics of how the Hudson motor was mounted to theFord 3-speed???
     
  8. cad-lasalle
    Joined: Sep 1, 2010
    Posts: 23

    cad-lasalle
    Member
    from grafton nh

    That car fell into the right hands...
     
  9. Shaun1162
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 628

    Shaun1162
    Member

    I can imagine that was a rush! Jet's are a pretty light car... Fully dressed, I think they're like 2600 or 2700 pounds. I remember reading somewhere that a guy put a Hornet 308 in one, and was running 12's in the 1/4.

    When I first bought it I was told that it hadn't ever been completed, and never did race, but after looking at it (and talking to one of the builders) I'm fairly certain that it did race. They must have mismatched different parts from here and there, and then taken some off after the class got cancelled (there's shock mounts front and rear, they just took the shocks off for some reason).

    One of the big clues was from the trunk though... It had a ton of clay dust in it- I'm guessing that didn't get picked up from the street. Plus there was an outline in the clay from where the fuel cell was mounted in the trunk.

    Unfortunatel no (I wish!)... I asked the guy that helped build it and he didn't recall too well, but knew that it was a Hornet 308 and had some adapter to the Ford 3 speed.. If I find out anymore I'll post it.

    Thanks Randy- you'll have to stop by and see it some time.
     
  10. Shaun1162
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 628

    Shaun1162
    Member

    Forgot this picture...

    [​IMG]
     
  11. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 902

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA

    NICE! Subscribed! I think rescuing and streeting these old racecars is your calling.

    Are you planning on running the banjo in it or swapping that out too?

    I like your 292/T5 plan, particularly since you've got the 292 already. Good call. You should be able to find plenty enough go fast parts for it. The T5 will give you a good highway car too I'd wager.

    This could be a good car for traveling to shows and swaps in. It has plenty of room and I'd bet you can squeeze 20MPG/HWY out of it without much trouble.

    I can see you having a nice ride there pulling that nose back into shape, some fresh sheet in the floors, lights, glass/plexi, mechanicals, etc... ah, you've got the formula down already, so the real question is, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO PAINT IT?
     
  12. Shaun1162
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 628

    Shaun1162
    Member


    Hey Pat, I think you might be right... There's just something about bringing and old race back to life that's more appealing then a regular old car. I guess it's because every one is built different, and they all have the unique stories behind them.

    I'd really like to keep the Banjo under the car... For some reason, that's one of my favorite parts about the car. I've been thinking about the T-5 and other options, and I've been giving more thought to putting a '39 Ford transmission back in it. I could keep the torque tube that way, as well as the transmission mounts already in it. Plus I think I have a good case- Just need internals. But with 4.11 gears in the rear, I might regret that decision later (altough I could always switch to a T5 later).

    Still up in the air about paint... The car was originally red, and then painted white. I think all the hubs and rear end were painted red too (the numbers are also red). So it'll likely have a red and white combo.. Just not 100% which way to go.
     
  13. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 902

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA

    I think the T5 will be easier to mate up to that 292 than the 39. I'd save that 39 for another project. Even with the pricetag of an open drive conversion, I'd wager you'll come out ahead on the budget this way. You've already got parallel leaf springs in the back, so you don't necessarily need the torque tube (but adding a torque bar or ladder bars wouldn't hurt).

    I like the sound of the Red & White. I think painting the body white with red accents and your rear, trans, & engine red with a black frame would be a good scheme. Maybe paint the hood red too... That would make it pop and show the vent holes in the front nicely and cut down on a little glare maybe.
     
  14. Shaun1162
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 628

    Shaun1162
    Member

    You're probably right.. I think I'll try searching local yards and see what I can come up with for T-5's. The '39 wouldn't be too hard to adapt, but would still limit the top end with 4.11's (although not as bad as my other car with 4.86's :rolleyes:)

    Hadn't thought about painting the hood red, but you might be onto something there. It does look like they left it red.... I do plan to paint the big "6" cylinder on the hood (hard to see in the pictures, but it was in red white and blue).
     
  15. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 2,533

    k9racer
    Member

    bell housing bolt pattern on the 292 /250/230 is the same as a 283/350 so all you need is a old adapter for a chevy to a 39 trans. Speedway still sells them but this item should be found around old race car guys.
     
  16. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 902

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA

    Check CL too. I see T5's up your way on there quite often. A T5 will add a good highway rod to your stable and round out your herd ;)

    With the body lines on that car, you could carry the red all the way back over the roof, tops of the doors, on to the trunk as well.
     
  17. sidevalve8ba
    Joined: Jun 16, 2009
    Posts: 764

    sidevalve8ba
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Holley 94 Group
    2. Virginia HAMB(ers)

    Do you know if 308 engines were available in from the factory in the Hudson Jet?

    Reason I ask is when I was a kid back in the early 60's there was a man that lived down the street who had a Jet and I swear I remember that it had a Twin H emblem on the trunk lid.
     
  18. THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 1,252

    THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Member
    from FRENCHTOWN

    After decades of racing I can say I treasure the dusty boxes of trophies sitting in my basement more that the paltry prize money I was given for winning them.
     
  19. Shaun1162
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 628

    Shaun1162
    Member

    I'm thinking the same- still plenty of them around. Not sure if the starter set-up is any different on the 292 (I doubt it though). That's what had me thinking about running the '39... Would keep everything old school.

    I've seen a couple on there, just haven't been able to follow up on any... They're still around though for sure. Maype I'll play with some photoshop and see how the red/white combo comes out...

    I beleive both the Hornet and Jet were available with the Twin H set-up. When you think about it, it's pretty cool with a factory dual carb set-up, aluminum head, and 8.0 CR on a little 202 Cu. Inch 6 cylinder.

    There was (at least) one guy who ran a 308 in a Jet by changing the firewall and convinced someone to let them run in a "stock" drag class.. I think it turned somewhere in the 12 second range if I remember right??

    I think that's true for alot of old racers... The memories were more then the money. The guy that built the other old jalopy I have, said one season he earned a total of $2.00, but said they made a lifetime of memories.
     
  20. Tnomoldw
    Joined: Dec 5, 2012
    Posts: 1,569

    Tnomoldw
    Member

    :)Grats on the move to the JET project and new garage. There was a fella here in the Summit City owned and operated a crankshaft shop for many years, down town not far from the courthouse. He was totally committed personally to Hudson. He raced them. His shop truck was a Hudson pickup truck. A high school chum of mine worked in his shop after stint in the navy, till it closed with passing of the shop owner.
    One disadvantage to Hudson engines is ,they have poured rod bearings not inserts, and the sealed clutches were one of a kind with cork facing on the disk and used a special oil to cool them. Hudson was such an interesting automobile ,always.:cool::D
     
  21. super-six
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 189

    super-six
    Member

    What Hudson engines are you referring to with poured rod bearings? All sixes before 1948 and all eights used poured bearings. All sixes from 1948 up used insert bearings.
     
  22. bigboy308
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 70

    bigboy308
    Member
    from Merlin, OR

    No 308's from factory in the Jet---However, a Twin-H dual carburetor setup was an option on the 202 engine that the Jet (and other Hudsons) used. You are correct in remembering the Twin-H logo!!
     
  23. Tnomoldw
    Joined: Dec 5, 2012
    Posts: 1,569

    Tnomoldw
    Member

    :) I was referring to the older Hudson engines.
     
  24. 4444Design
    Joined: Aug 25, 2012
    Posts: 291

    4444Design
    Member

    next cool project!

    lookin' forward to the progress
     
  25. sidevalve8ba
    Joined: Jun 16, 2009
    Posts: 764

    sidevalve8ba
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Holley 94 Group
    2. Virginia HAMB(ers)

    Good, it's nice to know at least some of my memory still works. :rolleyes:

    Were the Twin H Hornets all 308s?
     
  26. super-six
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 189

    super-six
    Member

    All stepdown Hornets are 308's. '55 and '56 either 308 or V8. All '57's are V8.
     
  27. Shaun1162
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 628

    Shaun1162
    Member

    I'm at a crossroads about my transmission choice... What do you guys think?

    - Ford Flathead 3 speed toploader:

    · Pros: I already have a "48" case with nice '36 style gears (no brass synchros), I can keep my torque tube (which I think is kinda cool to have), transmission mounts already in the car, makes it more "original". I think I already have a '50 Merc pressure plate to use with the adapter.

    · Cons: I would need to find a new shift tower (mine came with the earlier style which won't work), the housing/mounts for the back, and the U-joint. Need to find adapter and the correct starter. Car has 4.11 gears in the back though, which wouldn't be TOO bad on the road, but a little "wound up" in RPM's.

    - T5 Transmission:

    · Pros: 5 Speed, overdrive, keep RPM's lower with 4.11 gears, better MPG. Would probably be more "fun" to drive. Possibly hold up better behind the 292 then the Ford trans?

    · Cons: Have to buy another transmission (somewhere between $100-$300), need driveshaft, yolk, U-joints. Need open drive conversion for the rear-end ($250-$300), need to build new transmission mounts (not a big deal though).

    So what do you guys think? I'm really, really trying to keep this car on a budget- I'm shooting real hard for the $2500 mark (so far only have $400 between car and engine), but I'm still undecided if the T-5 is worth the extra cost.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  28. Tnomoldw
    Joined: Dec 5, 2012
    Posts: 1,569

    Tnomoldw
    Member

    [​IMG]:)I believe your choice of modifications would depend on ,how much you want to dress it up the type of driving you plan to do. Changing ring and pinion is a basic chore . If going to open drive, you might even consider using a Power Glide for comfortable driving. They have a good reputation for dependability. There are many options but it all comes down to your choices and what you want as an end product.:cool::D
     
  29. sadayo
    Joined: Apr 9, 2008
    Posts: 101

    sadayo
    Member

    I'm excited to see what comes of this one! The Jets only came from the factory with a 202 in them that produced 104 h.p., but the Twin-H option would boost that up to 114 h.p. There was also some interesting mods made by Jack Clifford featured in a Hot Rod magazine article. Even if you're sticking with a non-stock engine, it's a good read. I might not be able to answer all your questions, but can either find the answer for you or a part you may need. I've got several pictures of other modified Jets if you're looking for inspiration. If you go with the red and white combo, a red body with white roof is more common than you'd think on these Jets. Not as many white with red accent. I've got pictures of both if you want a visual.
     
  30. Ramblur
    Joined: Jun 15, 2005
    Posts: 2,090

    Ramblur
    Member

    There "may" have been factory Jets prepped for the Mexican road race by using Wasp firewalls to stuff a 308 into these Super Jets. Either way,crafty drag racers were able to race these in Stock classes well into the 60's before they were banned.
     

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