Hostetler’s Hudson collection smashes marque record at auction
Huge collection of late Hudson aficionado Eldon Hostetler auctioned off in Indiana; multiple price records broken, including $1.2 million for NASCAR racer
On August 4, 2018, the world’s largest collection of Hudsons went up for auction. Over $7.5 million was made and 32 price records were broken – including that of the most expensive Hudson ever.
The cars from the now-defunct American marque, which ruled the roads from the 1930s through to the 1950s, were from a museum in Indiana. This contained the late Eldon Hostetler’s collection of Hudsons, and was supported by him until his death aged 93 in 2016.
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Since the museum shut down the site had provided storage for the automobiles, and it was also the location of the recent Worldwide Auctioneers sale. In addition to the 69 cars on offer – including the last-known factory Hudson NASCAR racer in existence – was a variety of marque-related memorabilia that was previously on display at the facility.
The 1952 Hornet 6 Twin-H Power NASCAR car, driven in period by stock-car racing legend Herb Thomas, was of course the star of the auction. It sold for a record-breaking $1.265 million (approx. £980,406) – the highest amount ever spent on a Hudson.
Since 2006 the car has become even more renowned, due to it being the basis of the character Doc Hudson in the Disney Pixar animated film Cars.
Meanwhile, an exceedingly rare 1955 Hudson Italia (above) sold for $682,000, while a luxury 1937 Railton Special Limousine (below) with one-off coachwork by Rippon Brothers changed hands for $462,000.
Buyers came from across the world for the auction, and many of the cars are expected to appear in other famous collections – potentially on public display. Due to the care that was given under Hostetler’s ownership, many of the models are also ready to go straight back onto the road.
The next Worldwide Auctioneers event, the Pacific Grove Auction, takes places in Monterey on August 23. It will be headlined by a 1931 Duesenberg Model J SWB Sport Convertible Sedan.
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