Hudson Hornet: NASCAR’s Fabulous Favorite

The National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) may have crowned the Rocket 88 as its first king, but the Hudson Hornet is definitely is its most memorable racer. Hudson became the first automobile maker directly involved in stock car racing. It was one of their products, the Hornet, which dominated the NASCAR and AAA circuits in the 1950s.

Hudson Hornet 1951© Ananthkrish | – Old Hudson Hornet Car Photo

In 1952, racer Marshall Teague and his Hudson Hornet nicknamed Fabulous ended the AAA season with a 1000-point lead over its closest competitor. Together, Teague and Fabulous won 12 out of the 13 scheduled racing events. They repeated their streak the following year with 14 wins, bringing the Hudson team’s record to 40 wins out of the total 48 races. The team finished with an 83% winning percentage.

Hudson Hornet  rear jpg© Steirus | – 1951 Hudson, Photo

The Hudson Hornet made a name for itself in the NASCAR with its 27 wins out of 24 races in 1952, 22 of 37 in 1953, and another 17 of 37 in 1954. With drivers like Herb Thomas, Dick Rathmann, Frank Mundy and, Tim Flock, and Al Keller in the Hudson team, they were an indomitable force in the NASCAR in the early 50s. Driving Today’s Nerad Jackson wrote of the record in an article as “an incredible accomplishment” coming from a vehicle with “legitimate luxury credentials”.

Hudson Hornet horn ring jpg © Steirus | – 1951 Hudson, Detail Of The Grill Photo

The Hornet driven by Marshall Teauge in the 1950s has been fully restored and is now on display at the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum. The museum stands on where Hudson’s last dealership, Miller Motors, once stood.

Produced from 1951 to 1954, the Hudson Hornet was one of the best sellers of the Hudson Motor Car Company of America. Its first generation models featured a lowered design that had a dropped floorpan. The chassis had a lower center of gravity for better handling. The lowered design was complemented with a streamlined look which overshadowed the popularity even of Cadillac.

The first Hudson Hornet introduced in 1951 had four versions. One may opt for a two-door coupe, a two-door convertible, a hardtop coupe, and a four-door sedan. Prices for these models ranged from $2500 to $3100 at the time of their release. Every unit of the Hornet produced that year featured 170hp, Straightsix-H145 engines.

Hudson Hornet grill  jpg© Lthomas57 | – 1952 Hudson Hornet Sedan Photo

Marshall Teague’s Hornet was a 1952 model that had the twin-H engine with dual one-barrel carburetors. This was an option offered by the factories for an additional price. The twin-H engine produced 145hp of unadulterated power and a top speed of 112 miles per hour (mph). The combination of Teague’s natural driving prowess and the car’s overbuilt, overpowered engine made them an unbeatable team at NASCAR’s dirt and paved tracks.

One memorable Hudson Hornet reference in popular culture may be found in the Disney-Pixar 2006 animated movie “Cars”. Doc Hudson, the judge of Radiator Springs, was a Hornet. When Lightning McQueen got lost while en route to his next race aboard his trailer, he found himself in a town in the middle of nowhere. He created mayhem and was sentenced to fixing the roads he destroyed in the process. During one of McQueen’s outbursts, he challenged Doc to a race. Only then was it revealed that Doc Hudson was actually Fabulous, the famous NASCAR race car of the 1950s.

One thought on “Hudson Hornet: NASCAR’s Fabulous Favorite”

  1. Hudson’s racing dominance was achieved with a 308 C.I. L head in line 6 cylinder engine. Its then revolutionary low center of gravity and powerful torque enabled it to out corner the V8s and build lead with every turn. These were real STOCK cars, right off the showroom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Recent Facebook Posts

21 hours ago

Muscle Car Fan

Using aluminum foil to clean pitted chrome ... See MoreSee Less


Comment on Facebook

Try it with tin foil and coca cola. Use diet Coke so you don't get all sticky and attract ants. Rinse the coke off and rub it with a good wax.

but anyway everything remains scratched, it needs a new chrome plating

I use that also, but my friend told me about this and for some reason it fills in quite a few of the pits

Mark Dunn 🤔

I have used , SOS Pads 👍

Works good on wheels

Gordon Louis Harris


Peter Mallen

+ View more comments

3 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

If you enjoy our pages please encourage other to like us. Thanks Pat Caporuscio ... See MoreSee Less


Comment on Facebook

Thanks everyone!

Yes I do that.

sure do.

+ View more comments

4 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

Another short video of our barn find that has been tucked away since 1955, 7800 miles on it, brakes work, trans shifts. Viswo of it running to come soon! ... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

1952 Olds Super 88 convertible with J-2 Tri-power for sale ... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

1952 olds super 88 convertible for sale awesome car ... See MoreSee Less


Comment on Facebook

It can actually go for more than that

But need rear fender skirt!

That has style, what a car. Love it!


Now cars all look alike and made out of plastic.

Sweet Ride

The sheer size of my beloved 55 Olds rocket 88, saved my life from a combined 100 mph head on impact, back in1975

That's my style new paint job bling it up yo

What a magnificent car

Timing seems a bit off


My grandfather always bought Super 88s. This one's a beauty.

God please let me win the lotto so I can buy this car thanks

Clean car

Needs a little motor work but last ride

Let’s see the top operate down and up.

Alan Knott

That's when they built cars. Not a bunch of plastic. Today's cars, one touch of the "bumper" and you end up painting the entire car to match. Very nice Olds. A real car.

Michele Mebane Cohen show lee

Cool convertible. Packed a punch with the Rocket 88

James Dawson

Definitely a

Elder Fred White



+ View more comments

Load more