Where will the HET be in 50 years?

50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 1,735
There is something to glean from this announcement concerning the Tucker Club.  Obviously with less than 50 cars ever made it is tough to be a driving club.  However, as time goes on and technology changes one has to wonder what will become of Hudsons, Studebakers, Packards, Kaisers, Nashes......  When I joined the HET in 1985 I was under 30 and consumed with Hudsons.  I was one of the youngsters.  Most of the old timers I met and learned from are now gone.  We see less and less tech articles in the HET from those with years of experience and the club becomes more of a social organization.  

Anyway, something to consider:  https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2017/12/29/tucker-club-merges-with-aaca-museum-clubs-are-not-what-they-used-to-be/?refer=hccweekly#comments-block


  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 1,593
    The “club” aspect of cars has always been the coordination of area owners interest to achieve more bang for the buck.  I have newsletters where The President of the (10 year old) HET club talks about the club creating a fund to buy up the HET parts stocks of defunct dealerships. Another idea was to establish a club restoration garage and sell shares to get more Hudson’s back on the road.  Great ideas?  A club lasts only as long as the candle of excitement burns in a go getter member.  When the flame dies the club becomes a time burden and the members drift away as they no longer have something to emulate.  I suspect the HET club will disappear as a single company  club.  Maybe, just a thought, it will become an orphan element in a club of those small car companies whose parent disappeared. 
  • LanceLance Posts: 706
    Dan, I understand the concern you have with regards to the H.E.T. and how it relates to what happened to the Tucker club.   I would like to offer a few observations about this if I may. 1)   The Tucker produced one type of car for essentially one year of which 50  plus or minus examples were made. The Hudson was produced for many years selling many different models  and having many different customers. The observation here is that by the very virtue of the number of cars produced they would have many more people interested in them. 2) Since I sell a lot of Hudson parts I have observed that I sell more parts to non club members than club members. Hence there is  a constant in the number of club members but that really does not effect the interest in Hudsons. As an example : is Jay Leno in the club?   to my knowledge he has 3 Hudsons. Point being there are a lot of people interested in Hudsons but not necessarily interested in the H.E.T. club per se. Yes in time there may be a decline in club membership but not necessarily the brand of Hudson itself. Clubs of all kinds are now facing declining membership(  Lions, Masons, Elks, VFW etc etc)  This has really more to do with society than  with H.E.T. ...sadly. 
  • Jon BJon B Posts: 6,768
    Young people in the 60's through 90s's were part of a large car culture and the Club benefited from this, attracting a certain modest percentage of that pool of young people (not to mention their parents and grandparents).  Today's twenty-somethings have little interest in antique cars (or indeed, any sort of cars).  And they are not "joiners", as Lance points out.  Even those few who are car crazy have little connection to Hudsons; neither their parents nor grandparents drove them on a daily basis, so there's no nostalgia factor at work.)

    So, with no new, younger members we watch helplessly as the older members die off and our numbers steadily shrink.

    Nevertheless, I think that those of us with Hudsons ought to get them out to car shows so that the public has a chance to see them.  You never know when someone will become a lasting enthusiast upon beholding a Hudson for the first time.  The alternative is to keep our cars garaged so that no one can see them, as we sit around bemoaning the shrinking of the Club.  
  • ValVal Posts: 674
    Jon B I agree with you 100 percent. My son in law became interested in Hudson's because of my 39. He now loves and wants to own very badly a Hudson Jet. He has attended one of our local chapter meets and has high interest in joining. He is 32. I hope to keep him interested for years and one day see him own the jet of his dreams 
  • ken1962ken1962 Posts: 204
    I think as time go on, clubs will evolve into multi brand - I'm a member of a HET club but also a member of a club called Motorfrenz which is a social club of members who own a car they like to drive as a hobby car. Members have a car 25 years old or more and don't mind what the car is - Down the track I think that our cars are headed into what happened to the carriage drawn by horses once electric cars and driverless take over the roads and government start to restrict us - cheers Ken 
  • 33kc198933kc1989 Posts: 337
    I believe in 50 years that the old car hobby in general will look totally different in a sad way.  I could be wrong but 50 years is short and long with wants and trends.  The 60s muscle car era I believe will out do all.  
  • As long as we can still get gasoline, there will still be an interest in Hudsons.
  • Uncle JoshUncle Josh Posts: 2,557
    Reminds me of the guy getting married for the first time at 97 yrs old.  In response to why, he said "Well, if she's a good woman, she'll be worth waitin for, but if not, I won't have long to put up with her."
  • Jay GJay G Posts: 337
    Speaking of gasoline it looks like they are going to introduce a bill in California soon that will outlaw for sale all vehicles that emit greenhouse gases or criteria pollutants by 2040.  So that leaves electric and maybe hydrogen? ....... what can you say about the left coast.
  • KdancyKdancy Posts: 2,236
    Electric conversions the next big thing?
  • We in the Chicago-Milwaukee HET chapter have an annual joint meet with the Kaiser Fraser local chapter at Sublette, IL.  The last time I was there some of the K-F members were discussing the demise of their club as there seems to be less if any interest by younger people in these independent long gone auto brands.  Perhaps the writing on the wall is when you go to an old car meet be it Hudson or a just a cruise night.  There are far more grey haired individuals with their "vintage tin" than young folks.  And it's the same at the major swap meets such as Hershey, Carlisle, Pate (TX) and so forth.  I recall talking to a frustrated vender at the "big one" at Hershey in Fall, 2013.  When I asked this vender, who was selling vintage vehicle toys, how things were going, he replied, "well, not so good.  No one's buying anymore."  And then he said, "look at the crowd, all older people and no young ones. This show will probably disappear in the next ten years."  The next year, 2014, I was attending the Fall swap meet at Carlisle.  I purchased some cloth wiring for my Super Wasp from a guy selling parts for Ford 1930's - 40's flathead V-8's.  We discussed the fate of the old car hobby and he said that the word in his chapter of old Ford V-8's was "sell your car now, while you can."  He also admitted at age 59, he was the youngest member of his local chapter.  Just my "two cents worth."



  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3,503
    Here in New Zealand the Hudson fraternity is fairly static, and few younger members as seems the  norm everywhere.   We also have what many call the "Not-so-Vintage Car Club" which started allowing 30 year old cars into membership, so now you go to a rally and you get the old farts driving their Mitsubishi Galants, Chrysler Valiants, Daimlers, Jags, Toyota Corollas, Ford Falcons, etc. so they can turn the heaters on if it gets cold!   Not many younger members have bothered to join, which was the main  aim of relaxing the rules of car eligibility.   We recently had a rally with some dirt roads, and a all-sealed route for slower and old cars.  Guess who went the sealed roads?  
  • In 50 years, the car culture (and society in general) will roughly resemble Mad Max: The Road Warrior.  I suspect the 1%ers on the Martian Colony will have a vibrant Moon Buggy Club scene, however.
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 1,735
    I am also a member of the Studebaker Drivers Club and so far it has been holding its own and perhaps a little up tick.  The SDC forum is a hotbed of activity.  

    One thing that I find and have commented on before, is that technical support is key to keeping folks interested.  We do a fine job on this forum, and the less active HET forum in helping all that need it, but the WTN has slowly become a social publication and classified ads with the tech articles by Geoff Clark, and Charlie Nau for the Hash crowd.  These help but they are not in response to problems from HET members.  The articles by the old timers and those with years of experience have all but disappeared.  A Q&A section benefits not only the one posing the question but all the readers that have the similar problems or questions.  It is not much fun to own a car and not be able to find help when you need it.  Orphan cars are the worse than the big 3 since most ceased operations years ago.
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3,503
    In reply to that, I  would be most happy to respond to any requests for specific problems to be covered, but  nobody asks.  
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 1,735
    Geoff this is in no way a knock on you.  You do a great job.  WTN has never really had a Tech question area that owners can write in about their problems and get help.  The Studebaker mag has it and it is always full of questions and detailed answers.  If we had this in the WTN I am sure you would be busy!
  • lostmindlostmind Posts: 1,194
    This is the era of instant answers. Not likely you will find many that want to wait a month or two for answers. Most everything can be answered here or on facebook. The club sight is lacking access and input. I joined HET in the 60's , I was under 30 years old, 
    The meets and club were the only way to gain access to parts and info to keep my 46 and 52 and 54 Hudsons running.
    Not the case today , only old timers have a desire to read magazines.
    The " club" is a social group now , most young people have all the social they can handle.
    Most Hudsons are being modified into modern cars , look at all of the requests for power steering and performance and disc brake info.
    The surviving Hudsons will eventually end up as steet rods or hot rods.
    The Studebaker club always encouraged modified drivers , Het only recently has begun accepting them.
    I have owned 15 Hudsons , now I don't have any. I enjoyed them all , but I like my " modern cars better.
    There will be no Hudson club in 50 years , my prediction.
    Enjoy it while you can.
  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 1,593
    Lostmind...on point❗️
  • DocHublerDocHubler Posts: 977
    Have to say I agree with the points above.  Driving itself is in danger with all this damn self-driving car nonsense.  I like my cars stock because I enjoy the historical aspect and because I want to know what it is like to "drive" the car.  Not many interested in that anymore, sadly enough.  
  • Ken U-TxKen U-Tx Posts: 3,578
    If interest in old cars is waning, why am I swamped with work on them? LOL

  • Fifty years is quite a while, by then publicly-owned autonomous electric cars will be the norm.....it's conceivable that we won't be allowed to drive our "dangerous" old monsters as they won't safely integrate with the automatic traffic flows. They'll be like industrial/sculptural art works owned by collectors only able to be driven on closed roads using specially made fuel. There definitely won't be a dedicated Hudson club I wouldn't think and any needed part will be 3D-printed and created as required. As surely by then all NOS parts will have been long since discovered, sold and used up. In the meantime, we can still enjoy using them pretty freely in 2018....
  • lostmindlostmind Posts: 1,194
    Ken U-Tx said:
    If interest in old cars is waning, why am I swamped with work on them? LOL

    Because you are one of the few capable. I was an auto Mechanic / technician for 47 years,
    specialized in diagnostics and electrical. I could " name my price" and be busy day and night because there is no one in the area that knows " old technology" such as points and carburation. Even early fuel injection is tough to find someone who understands and can diagnose it. 
    They aren't teaching it anymore , and most guys aren't self learning it. Old repair manuals used to sell as fast as I could acquire them , now they set unsold. 
    Part of the reason is because it's on the net , part is  because of lack of interest.
    "I'll just pay someone to fix it" , hence you're so busy.
    I find a lot of guys want the expertize , but are unwilling to pay for it, cuts into their 
    " investment" . But there are many that are grateful to have mechanics like yourself and 
    are willing to pay fairly. 
    I just decided that 47 years tracing problems was enough.
  • The next generation has an interest. I know because I am part of it. What we don't have is access. All of last year, I did not see a single Hudson at a Washington State car event unless I drove it.  Not one Essex or Terraplane. My sad, smoking, rusty Hornet is the only example showing the flag in Seattle, apparently. I'm thankful to have my rat rod Hornet because after four years of looking, I still haven't found a good quality driver.

    At the national in San Diego I was talking with someone, I don't remember who, who had something like six stepdowns, including two Hornets of the same year. Same body style. Same COLOR.  The guy had two identical cars, and didn't drive either one very often.  I think he had a convertible or something as his driver. My point is Share the Wealth. It's hard to want to be a member of a car club when you can't actually find one or see one in person. 

    I have a 30 Franklin that I bought through an estate sale. It was at least the second and perhaps the third estate sale this car has been through. It had not moved in 10 years, and the lovely widow gave me a good deal on it because she knew I was going to get it back on the road. It looks like I'll be pulling another Franklin out of a barn in a couple of months. That one is in the hands of a car hoarder as well. I'll probably need a rabies shot and whatever you need for hanta virus to get it out of its shed.

  • RichardDRichardD Posts: 581
    edited January 2018
    Join the HH Franklin Club, if you haven't already; super archived tech. and all the blueprints over 30 years for download. I also have a '31 Franklin Victoria along with the '53 Hornet. Couldn't maintain them w/o the car clubs. Also belong to a Healey club.
    Oh, the 6 cylinder air-cooled engines are 'something else'.
  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 1,593
    Richard have you been to the Franklin Museum in New York?  Great experience. 
  • Richard I am a member of the Franklin club.

    For the rest of you, It is a surprisingly active and prosperous club considering what we have to work with. There are about 650 members who stage two big meets a year. At the big Trek in New York, they get about 70 cars and 300 participants. WestTrek gets about 30 cars. Not bad considering the last car was built in 1934. 

  • Nevada HudsonNevada Hudson Posts: 1,255
    edited January 2018
    Geoff, how about some more mechanical  info on Jets?
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3,503
    Glad to.  anything specific?  I have rebuilt two of them.  
  • How they are unique including the engine, dry clutch, body, more glass area, how to work on them, etc. ....
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3,503
    I have already done that a few years ago.   Will review and get back to you.
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