1951 Hudson Hornet
Low to the ground with a road-hugging stance and gracefully tapering lines, the Hudson Hornet was a remarkable car. Unibody construction enabled so-called “step-down styling,” a moniker coined because passengers actually sat lower than in competing body-on-frame cars of the period. Overall, the look was a cut above its competition.
Now, why would I want some porcine relic from the 1950s in my dream garage? Well, it’s simple, show me a modern sedan that looks this cool and has this much soul. That’s right, one doesn’t exist, plus it’s my list and if you don’t like it you can go read Nancy Drew.
The Hudson Hornet is one of the prettiest four-doors ever built, plus it packs a heavyweight wallop. Under its voluptuous hood sits a monstrous 308-cubic-inch inline-six – that’s a full 5.0-liters of displacement in metric measure. With optional “Twin H-Power” induction it delivered a potent-for-the-time 145 horsepower and a steam-shovel load of torque.
The flathead beast thundered like a piece of World War II field artillery and gave professional drivers enough firepower to take home a bevy of stock-car racing records during the middle of the last century. In the process they assured the Hudson Hornet’s cool-car credentials for decades to come.