October 29: The last Hudson Hornet was built on this date in 1954

Justin Hyde

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For the first 40 years of the U.S. auto industry, cars were built much as carriages had been — by dropping a body on top of a frame that held the axles and engine. Only after World War II did the engineers and designers at Hudson attempt a different way; blending the body and frame into one monocoque piece, that would weigh less, ride lower and offer far better protection in a crash. The Hudson Hornet of the late '40s and early '50s became a monster on the stock-car circuit, and its "step-down" construction made it stand out. But sales tapered off, and by 1954 Hudson had been forced to merge with Nash to create American Motors, with the last true step-down Hudson leaving the factory on this date in 1954. Here's the famed Marshall Teague showing off the Hornet's advantage at Daytona Beach in 1952:

Photo: Armchair Aviator via Flickr

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