'49 Nailhead Hudson
KustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
in Street Rods
So recently I picked up a new project now my 52 Buick is complete - a 1949 Hudson Super.
Story goes I was browsing auctions with no intention of buying anything just cyber tire kicking so to speak.
"Hey a cool old barn find car has surfaced 45 mins away. Want go take a look" i ask my better half.
With a promise that we would go get something tasty for lunch we pile in the old 52.
Walking up to it & seeing the fast back shape and roof that looks chopped straight from the factory the better half mutters "I wont say no if you want to buy it"
^^ what more can i say... talked the price down for cash & shook hands with plans to pick it up the following day.
Next day swapped the fat wad of bills for the original registration papers, original ownership papers showing two owners (father then son), a few old photos from 1962 and a set of keys to a car that hadn't been started for 47 years.
Now I already have a Straight 8 in the buick and not really interested in another inline. NASCAR history big brother or not. Saying this im not into chevy swaps. I do like Buick Nailheads... rare here in New Zealand and always catch my attention when dressed up. I look at the Husdon, scratch the ol chin and go "yus sir that would be mighty fine". Nailheads have a old school look that would suit that engine bay more than any Buick ever did.
Images from the Auction & First Look.
So what the old timer said was wrong with it:
- Fuel tank out as he has had it patched cus had a few small leaks.
- trunk floor has a split where fuel tank mounts. guessing due to weight & old NZ roads being not the best etc
- small patch rust on left rear skirt.
- patch rust on right front panel.
- front right door pillar has a split at bottom. apparently he use to chat to people leaning on the open door and thinks this might of been the issue.
- brake Master cylinder needs put back in as its and all the drums have been redone.
- Water pump is at a shop getting redone.
- Rats have nested in seats.
All easy stuff really. the splits are clean stress splits with no rust or nasty to be seen.
Still trying to figure out my build. Any help or ideas are most welcome. I do know the history of Hudson and NASCAR etc but I already have a restored car and dont want another. im after a more custom look. I haven't been in a Hudson moving under its own power so im unsure of many things like suspension etc.
Plan so far:
- worked 401 Nailhead. (hard to get here so may need import)
- Worked 700R4 trans
- rewire using American Autowire highway 22kit.
- Wilwood disks all around.
- Media blast.
- Shave the handles. French the lights. and do all the normal custom shiz
- Change up the grill.
- Lower it.
- new interior.
Thinking 9 inch in the rear to handle the Nailheads torque and power. Not sure what ratio.
Not sure for front end. I read how great the near 70 year old front end was. Maybe new hubs for disk brakes and a thicker swaybar. But then i think why not just throw in a jag IFS. comes with disks, power steering etc and is cheap here in New Zealand (cheaper than reworking the old hudsons setup)
Driveshaft - unsure. one or 2 piece...
So ideas? Suggestions?
This will be an expensive project for me. Being at the bottom of the world/New Zealand means expensive shipping. We have a lot of Holdens here and a fair few Euro cars.
Again note this is under Street Rod section im not after a restoration. im after a old school look & sound with if possible a more modern handling.
49 Hudson Build thread (picture heavy, may need to refresh if images dont show.)
Was kinda hopeing since we are all car guys and interested in keeping Hudsons on the road ( a brand i had never heard of till I saw the car I brought) that I may get a bit more advice from guys who know whats what.
Even simple stuff like confirmation on the rear end being 55inch etc.
Some great advice I have read on this site. People swapping out the front subs, putting in Chevy engines, upgrading to disk brakes, rewiring etc. Many of those threads have been well posted on.
Being a fellow kiwi im sure you can appreciate that I want to get it done right first time. Importing stuff from the states aint cheap. Not like we have the luxury of so many donor cars etc here in NZ.
Do you feel its better I leave these forums and just go to HAMB? Maybe im just use to Buick guys who say they dont agree but still help and offer advice cus they rather see an old car on the road and safe than not at all.
As always. Thanks very much for your insights.
I'd say that a fair number of our forum members here, have modified their Hudsons with Brand-X engines and / or transmissions, and there are even a goodly number of people with BOTH "stock" and modified Hudsons. As far as I'm concerned, it's a big tent and we have plenty of room. Get that car on the road, and to lots of car shows. It may just occur that someone who's unacquainted with Hudsons will spot yours, get turned on, and become an eventual Hudson owner himself. One never knows...
haha Ron I think I may be bothering you a lot with questions! look out.
Few to start with :
Fatmans front sub. hows it look build wise? Thickness and weld quality good? It match up to the panels and fenders ok?
401 with 700R4. What adapter you useing? Bendsens?
Man must of been a heart sinks moment when you found that crack. Followed by a few choice words i would imagine.
I have been after a 401 or 425 for over a year now here in NZ. advertising all over nationally. Its looking like I will be importing from the states one. So have decided get one that's already been gone over.
Nailhead im looking at:
May get Stage 1 bowl porting(area directly under the valve) as this gives the majority of gain in airflow. But that costs another $650 US. Thinking I rather spend that on finned engine dress up gear. Have just ordered the Eelco 2x4 intake that gets custom made. And is supposed to be the best 2x4 intake for nailheads.
if you could fire over the rear measurement that would be great.
flick over some pics man. or a link to your build if you are doing one on here.
Fatman sub looks real nice, however, they had the front of the frame too wide. I notified them and they said they were going by the dimensions on the car they used for a pattern and were going to correct it in their file. This is only a problem if they don't make the correction and you are going to use the stock radiator support. If so, you would have to remove an approximate 1/2 inch by 4 inch cut out of the inside of both frame rails to fit . Time from order to my receiving it was around three weeks. There is an order form that you have to fill out with measurements at various points on the stock front end.
I'm using the Bensens adapter. It is a quality piece and runs around $1000.
I checked the Ford rear today and it measures 53 inches from face of mounting flange to face of mounting flange. I had tried it for fit when I was mocking up the rear and it appears it may be 1 or 2 inches too wide (depends on the wheel and tire sizes you are going to use). I am in the process of having some machining done on the axles for the disc brake kit I'm using and won't know the final width for a few days.
I'm attaching some pictures so you can see what I've gotten into. I'll post some others later.
Starting to order some of the rest of my parts. Who did you get your weatherstripping, etc. from?
Sounds like your engine should give you more than enough power. Where did you order it from? I got a lot of information and parts for mine from buickrodder (Centerville auto). He specializes in nailheads and was very helpful.
Thought about a build thread, but, didn't do anything since it's modified. Will let you know if I do.
If you need the stock rear end width, mine is easy to get to and I'll measure it for you. Leave me know.
The grille will probably be stock since I've got some of the pieces re-chromed already.
Engine and tranny fit well (got the weld-in motor mounts from Speedway), built my own tranny mount, rear end mount, shock mounts and a set of frame ties. Don't know how the tunnel will fit, but will modify if necessary.
Will keep in touch.
My stock rear measures 57 inches from mounting face to mounting face on the drums.
Like the treatment with the grille. Still kicking around ideas, but I'm keeping the light up emblem and surrounding pieces, also.
Will check out the tv show link.
When I can figure out how to post larger pictures, I'll put some more up.
Keep in touch.
So have been asked via PM a few times about my choice of front ends etc and thought i would quickly post a quick rant on it.
Works been flat out this week so haven't had time to get in the garage much.
Time of the year i guess with Christmas fast approaching and clients suddenly deciding its the end of the world if XYZ isn't done like yesterday.
i just stand there baffled as there mouth is moving wondering to myself "yes all very good and nice but come on surely they must agree the old car is more important... LEADSLED GOD DAMN IT!!!!"
Its really starting to get out of control. I take it for granted its completely normal and sane if not even healthy for a guy to dream of cars n shift like that. But my dearest the other morning commented she is dreaming of cars. Cool i think to my self but whats that say about us o.0 - should note here we do live in a Bogan town so this may be common with in the local female populace..(you yanks think redneck i guess just dont youtube Bogan please)
Anyways with said working life getting in the way i haven't done sweet jack all.
Popped on the Trans adapter, ordered a few small parts i needed is about all.
Dropped more stuff off to Flockies Chassis Shop. Some of the projects the maestro is tinkering away on:
Not much room at the moment but with luck he will have some of the projects cleared soon and the Hudson chassis etc on its way.