questions/advice/information for a 1953 hudson super wasp

bigbry13bigbry13 Posts: 10Member
hello all,
I have not posted here in a while. unfortunately i did not purchase the hudson convertible i was looking at for a while but i am still looking around for them from time to time. I did go look at a 1953 hudson super wasp 4 door sedan recently that I am thinking about buying. the car appears to be all original. it has no rot, the paint is very presentable (original as far as I can tell) and just needs a good cleanup. the car does not currently run and has not been on the road in probably 20 years but it is very clean overall and will likely run with some tlc. and a good tuneup. the interior is very nice grey and greenish cloth which im also not sure is original but appears to be. does anyone have photos of original interior patterns? any advice on things to look for, and more importantly. what are these cars going for? I want to make a fair offer but dont want to get in over my head. any advice would be appreciated. thanks!
Bryan

Comments

  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 1,877Expert Adviser
    edited February 5
    Here is a picture of an original interior.
  • railknightrailknight Posts: 345Expert Adviser
    How many miles are on this Super Wasp and any idea why it hasn't been driven for the past 20 years?     
  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 1,877Expert Adviser
    more pictures


  • bigbry13bigbry13 Posts: 10Member
    Thanks for the pics! What are these cars worth in solid condition?
  • railknightrailknight Posts: 345Expert Adviser
    Bryan,  that's a tough question to answer without knowing the condition of the engine once it's fired up.  But, if it is of any help, I paid 10 G's for my '53 Super Wasp sedan about seven years ago, 2012, at the Central Regional Hudson Meet at Kalamazoo, MI.  It has a nice original interior just like seen in the photos that Mr. "Glowplug" provided (no hole in the upholstery driver's side seat on mine but worn arm rests), a great original headliner, really nice dash, very solid body and frame (one of the big selling points for me), three speed with overdrive, relatively new green MAACO paint job, a lot of extras on it like Twin H carb set up (badge on trunk), rear radio speaker, windshield washer (not working), working turn signals, wire wheel hubcaps, headlights relay, Kleenex dispenser and finally it had a running engine whereby I was able to test drive the car.  Basically a "turn key" car when I bought it.  You can see a photo of my car in the foreground on the front cover of the latest (Jan/Feb, 2020) WTN.   Hope that helps you some.

    Dan



  • KdancyKdancy Posts: 2,398Senior Contributor
    When you say it has no rot, have you had it on a lift in order to view the parameter frame?
    Is the motor free/turn over? Condition of wire harness? Brakes? Gas tank? Is there a knowledgeable club member in the area that can take a look?
    Is it an auto or stick?


  • bigbry13bigbry13 Posts: 10Member
    Kdancy said:
    When you say it has no rot, have you had it on a lift in order to view the parameter frame?
    Is the motor free/turn over? Condition of wire harness? Brakes? Gas tank? Is there a knowledgeable club member in the area that can take a look?
    Is it an auto or stick?

    i haven’t had it up on a lift but it looks very solid underneath and I didn’t notice any Rot. The motor is free but I didn’t hear it turn over as the battery was out of it. Brakes are probably locked up, not sure on gas tank. Wiring looked pretty good but then again it may need attention. The car has been off the road for at least 10 years and I think more like 15-20. It’s a 3 speed manual and I think it was a single carb setup not dual carb. Engine compartment did look fairly tidy. I just have no idea what to offer her. I don’t want to insult her but I also know it’s going to need at minimum very thorough tuneup and rebuilding of many components. Tires are old and will need replacing too 



  • railknightrailknight Posts: 345Expert Adviser
    edited February 10
    You mention that this Super Wasp looks very solid underneath.  Still, you want to look at the rear perimeter frame that's underneath the car between the fuel tank and the rear bumper and goes around to the rear wheel wells.  That's an area of the unibody Hudson frame that often will rust out before the rest of the frame as it's made of a thinner metal in comparison to the rest of the frame.  I've seen some Hudsons where the frame in the middle of the car is solid, but the rear frame is pretty much shot.  So, do check it out and I hope it looks to be in great shape!
  • Jon BJon B Posts: 6,994Administrator
    Just to ease your mind: if the car is NOT rusted by this point in its life, the frame is probably going to last indefinitely.  (Assuming of course you garage it, and do not drive it on salted highways.)  Stored correctly and not abused, Hudsons are not fated to have their frames rust away. 

  • KdancyKdancy Posts: 2,398Senior Contributor
    edited February 10
    If it has the original wire harness in place, I would figure on replacing it. The cloth covered wire is rotted at this point. Look very closely at the bottom of the rear quarters and behind rear bumper panel for any sign of surface rust in those areas,  if any there, they will need to be pulled to treat the parameter frame rust. Too many people just cover it up with paint and don't fix the cause. Like putting lipstick on a pig!
    I've  learned not to trust the condition of any car without taking a deep look myself or by someone really knowledgeable about that paticular model.
    Looking at the a and b pillers in your pictures is encouraging, also the color of the guage dials, not yellow and nasty,  good sign as well----
    One more thing I will add, the body is the area you can easily sink a lot of time and money into, drivetrain, not as important in that respect.
  • bull_islanderbull_islander Posts: 559Expert Adviser
    Bryan, probably going to need to show some pictures for better opinions.  And if it's not running/driving that's going to bring it down as you won't know for certain what needs to be done to get it back.  Could be minor tweaking, could turn out to be major rebuilding.
  • bigbry13bigbry13 Posts: 10Member

  • bigbry13bigbry13 Posts: 10Member
    Here are pics of the car I know they’re not great it’s in a tight garage that doesn’t have a whole lot of light 
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 1,855Senior Contributor
    On the surface looks like a really nice vehicle!

  • railknightrailknight Posts: 345Expert Adviser
    edited February 11
    Yeah, one sharp looking Super Wasp!  Too bad you can't test drive it, but hope you're still able to strike a fair deal buying it.  Good luck! 
  • bigbry13bigbry13 Posts: 10Member
    Yeah, one sharp looking Super Wasp!  Too bad you can't test drive it, but hope you're still able to strike a fair deal buying it.  Good luck! 
    I hope so too. I just really don’t know what it’s worth/what I should offer. I imagine it will need a lot of work to make it a reliable driver again assuming the engine and transmission are ok 
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 1,855Senior Contributor
    edited February 12
    If there is no rust underneath and the looks of the photos is that everything else really looks great, even the firewall and engine compartment.  So I can't imagine it needs a whole lot of cleanup otherwise.  The interior seems very nice and not rotted or cracked.  Have you tried to see if the engine will at least turn over or is free?  If it can turn and there are no stuck valves it may be just an issue of just cleaning the gas tank (don't try to start it with the old gas) and doing a little fuel line blow out and possibly checking the points to make sure they are not stuck and you may be on your way to having a great Hudson on the road again.
  • bigbry13bigbry13 Posts: 10Member
    50C8DAN said:
    If there is no rust underneath and the looks of the photos is that everything else really looks great, even the firewall and engine compartment.  So I can't imagine it needs a whole lot of cleanup otherwise.  The interior seems very nice and not rotted or cracked.  Have you tried to see if the engine will at least turn over or is free?  If it can turn and there are no stuck valves it may be just an issue of just cleaning the gas tank (don't try to start it with the old gas) and doing a little fuel line blow out and possibly checking the points to make sure they are not stuck and you may be on your way to having a great Hudson on the road again.
    The engine is free. I’ll have to take one more closer look underneath but from what I saw it looked fairly  clean. I think it will run with a clean fuel system but then all the other systems brakes, transmission etc.. will need doing. I know he mentioned one of the wheels was pretty stuck and he had to free it up. I’m just wondering what people think it’s worth. I don’t want to insult the seller but also don’t want to get in over my head with a massive project that will take a lot of money to get back on the road 
  • BrowniepetersenBrowniepetersen Posts: 3,057Senior Contributor

    I do not want to throw a damper on your excitement but there are some conflicting things about this car you are looking at.  The interior is not original, the "Pot Metal" trim on the outside is pitted and needs repair and cleaning, there is rust dripping out of the stainless side trim indicating that the brackets holding on the trim are rusted and most likely the holes where the fasteners attach the trim are rusted,  I am not buying no rust in the trunk, under the carpets (Mostly in the front floorboards-inside and out) some dents and then the engine... I expect it will need a clutch and rear end work, breaks replaced and so on.  I would guess this car has had some work done to it about 25/30 years ago and most likely a repaint.  Now to value.  I would place it at about $2,500.  I would walk away at $3,000.  This could be made to be a daily driver for between fifteen and twenty thousand. I would also be prepared for some issues like wire harness, gas tank and so on.  I have owned a 50, 52, 54 stepdown restoring two of them.  If you can buy it right it may be a nice project if you can do it all yourself.  Keep in mind that my opinion does not mean anything.  I am not there, I cannot see or inspect the car and I would rather spend between fifteen and twenty thousand and get a nice car that is totally turn key;/.  Good luck with your decision.  Grab a local Hudson owner and have him look at it with you.



  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 1,877Expert Adviser
    If you want a Stepdown of this era; Brandon Wight has  really great 1952 Pacemaker sedan that he would like to sell.  This car has had a nut and bolt restoration with many NOS parts.  The car is shown on HET Facebook page. It is currently licensed and is ready to drive Any Were you want to go. He has the car posted for sale @ $11K with a detailed set of bills totally > $50K.   Take a look that is a superior car to the car being discussed.  Good Luck ...my valuation on the car shown and the concerns expressed would be $7K in the very high side.  Even doing your own work you will burn through $3K minimum getting it road worthy.  
  • bigbry13bigbry13 Posts: 10Member

    I do not want to throw a damper on your excitement but there are some conflicting things about this car you are looking at.  The interior is not original, the "Pot Metal" trim on the outside is pitted and needs repair and cleaning, there is rust dripping out of the stainless side trim indicating that the brackets holding on the trim are rusted and most likely the holes where the fasteners attach the trim are rusted,  I am not buying no rust in the trunk, under the carpets (Mostly in the front floorboards-inside and out) some dents and then the engine... I expect it will need a clutch and rear end work, breaks replaced and so on.  I would guess this car has had some work done to it about 25/30 years ago and most likely a repaint.  Now to value.  I would place it at about $2,500.  I would walk away at $3,000.  This could be made to be a daily driver for between fifteen and twenty thousand. I would also be prepared for some issues like wire harness, gas tank and so on.  I have owned a 50, 52, 54 stepdown restoring two of them.  If you can buy it right it may be a nice project if you can do it all yourself.  Keep in mind that my opinion does not mean anything.  I am not there, I cannot see or inspect the car and I would rather spend between fifteen and twenty thousand and get a nice car that is totally turn key;/.  Good luck with your decision.  Grab a local Hudson owner and have him look at it with you.



    Are you sure the interior is not original? It looked pretty correct? And it looked like possibly original paint to me but I’m not sure 
  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 1,877Expert Adviser
    To bring my comments above life;

    For Sale 1952 Hudson Pacemaker Model 4b
    Asking (11,500) obo
    Originally a New Mexico car, it absolutely has no frame or body rot. One of the most solid stepdowns you will find.

    Very scarce model, as Pacemaker only totaled about 7200 of total production with approximately 30 examples currently known to survive.

    This car has been given a cost no object total and complete mechanical and electrical rebuild that has spanned 7 years and receipts totaling over 50,000. With very high degree of detail given to correct details and function.

    It has been driven daily and I have put about 20,000 miles on it since rebuild. Absolutely no smoke, runs strong, 6v and properly set up, all lights are very bright, cranks fast and always starts. This is a turn key car that I've depended on and does not disappoint.

    It comes with a flash drive with about 28 gigs of photos detailing every part of the restoration, plus receipts, manuals, new rubber,and much much more.

    Engine is the numbers matching 232 with the original single lever overdrive transmission with a 4.11 rear axle gear which gives a final ratio of 2.877

    This car runs without trouble at modern highway (70mph That I  average) speeds and tracks perfectly with very tight but easy steering.

    Paint does have blemishes and the interior is not finished though seats are reupholstered correctly. body is very straight and with an only exception of someone backing into my passenger rear door and indenting it slightly it has absolutely never been wrecked and is otherwise laser straight. Doors shut easily and solid.

    Comes with 2 complete 52 Pacemaker interior patterns, plus a huge amount of trim to complete the car. Nothing is missing.

    Clear Title in my name

    Located in Canton Ga

    (Asking 12,500) obo

    Contact Brandon Wight

    seven one 4-33six-4two90

    -A summery of the work complete

    ENGINE

    All cylinders sleeved to standard and bored with a torque plate and honed to size

    all new valves, tappets and guides

    all tappet bores were sleeved with high quality hard bronze

    nos cam shaft and randy mass full roller timing chain (unfortunately makes some chain noise but is subtle)

    NOS pistons and rings properly fit and wrist pin bushings

    all new bearings crank ground .030'' over

    entire rotating assembly including clutch and driveshaft professionally balanced to 1/10th gram runs as smooth as butter

    oil pump has been rebuilt with new timing gear

    water pump has been completely rebuilt

    all new freeze plugs

    cooling system has been cleaned using a rust dissolving solution and looks like new metal inside.

    block was three staged cleaned and was also run in a lab grade ultra sound cleaner

    Cylinder head CC matched

    all valve seats were three angle ground and all ports were polished to a mirror shine.

    The ports were also gasket matched, the exhaust manifold was also polished internally and the heat riser was fitted with a dummy stainless shaft that looks like it is still present externally

    new engine mounts

    BRAND NEW RECORED RADIATOR  AND HEATER

    rebuilt heater sending unit

    -TRANSMISSION

    Completely disassembled  and cleaned

    all new or nos bearings, seals, bushings, and thrust washers were used. New synchronizer stop ring fabricated

    correct and very rare 4.11 speedometer gear located to match rear axle

    brand new rebuilt clutch and new throwout bearing

    bell housing completely rebuilt

    new transmission mount

    nos ring gear used

    -REAR AXLE

    4.11 rear axle gear with all new or nos thrust washers and bushings used.

    differential cross shaft hard chrome plated back to correct size

    end play shimmed to correct tolerances

    -DRIVESHAFT

    balanced and new seals and u-joints used

    -TIRES

    Brand new BF Goodrich bias ply tires that have been match balanced

    brand new with less then 2500 miles less then one year old

    new center carrier bearing and mounts

    -SUSPENSION

    All NOS hard parts used and new rubber parts used shackles,king pins, bushings, shock absorbers, coil springs, and rear springs were re arched.

    Special tools were made or located to set preload to suspension threaded bushings

    -STEERING

    Center link rebuilt using brass bushings and lap fit to shaft

    steering box completely rebuilt with new bearings and seals then adjusted correctly

    shift column completely rebuilt and paint matched to original color

    -GAS TANK AND FUEL SYSTEM

    all new fuel lines fabricated with proper routing observed and correct factory clips used

    Custom stainless steel construction gas tank

    sending unit rebuilt and calibrated

    gas gauge works and is accurate!

    Fuel pump has been rebuilt with parts that are ethanol resistant valves lapped and works flawlessly

    -EXHAUST

    Stainless steel exhaust

    stainless clamps

    Original hangers restored with new very strong rubber. all proper mounting points observed

    wrapped to shield engine bay and gas tank from heat.

    usually never have problems with vapor lock even in summer driving

    -CARBURETOR

    all parts sourced from NOS carburetors with intact plating.

    kit from Daytona carbs used

    all adjustments professionally done with factory carter tools

    all throttle linkages are rebuilt and tight with no play.

    Throttle response is very smooth and instant

    -ELECTRICAL

    Distributor painstakingly rebuilt and calibrated with new vacuum advance

    Generator has brand new coil winding and the armature has been rewound.

    new bushings and Timkin precision bearing used

    starter also has all new winding and the armature is rewound with new bushings and an nos bendex

    voltage regulator has been converted to solid state from Precision Power and works great. ( odd perk of this is under high rpm without electrical load the amp bulb may flash) no negative effect has been found in the system and turning on any lights or heater will stop flashing

    all switches have been disassembled cleaned lubed and all rivets soldered to insure good connections throughout system

    all overdrive electrical parts were thoroughly rebuilt ad work perfectly

    all gauges have been restored and work perfectly and accurately

    manual clock was also was rebuilt, works and does keep accurate time

    brand new wiring harness fabricated using the upmost care and originality

    all bulbs in the car have there own separate ground straps to a solid frame ground. thus everything is very bright and does not flicker as with some faulty grounding conditions

    heater blower and housing completely restored

    new or nos lenses used in lights

    --TRIM

    all chrome with exception to the front bumper has been rechromed or is nos

    all beltline trim and retainers included

    -PAINT

    paint on the body is fair with blemishes

    dash was painstakingly matched to special correct color

    GLASS and wipers

    new windshields and rubber

    wiper motor rebuilt

    rear door glass is new though has water spots that wont come out

    all new door channeling

    all window winder and door latched rebuilt

    Much much more work done, hopefully this gives you an idea of the quality put into making this a dependable car.


  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 1,855Senior Contributor
    That Pacemaker is a helluva deal that is for sure.  However, as for the '53 Wasp.  It boils down to what a "driver" means to the buyer.  If you want a high 3 to low 2 car, well yes it is going to cost you some money, more it you are going all out, like the Pacemaker, but if you want to buy the car, and about $2.5 - $3K is about right with all the unknowns and "defects (pot metal, etc.)"  I think you could have it as a drivable, presentable vehicle for about $2K - $2.5K depending on how much you do and how much you have done by a mechanic.  If you do all the work yourself it may not be all that much.  New brakes, possibly brake lines, clean out the carb and fuel line, points and plugs (may not need them), new gas tank (I think someone on ebay was selling them for about $600) for that price why bother to have yours redone.
  • BrowniepetersenBrowniepetersen Posts: 3,057Senior Contributor

    50C8DAN  I have tried to go this route a few times with stepdowns.  The most milage/time I have been able to get from one that has sat for years is about 3 months/500 miles before the engine went bad.  The last two I had the interior was perfect with the exception that the seat foam was aged and each time I sat in the car the foam went and soon the old cord cover gave out.  This car needs a total restoration.  In my humble opinion, If you want a project, can do most, if not all the work yourself, and have deep pockets--it is a good start.  Otherwise, get one that someone has done a lot too and gave up.  There are a lot of nice cars out there (the one referenced above) that are a good buy.... Not everyone was ment to--or can build a car from this condition to dependable daily driver...



  • RichardDRichardD Posts: 663Member
    This is for original poster BIGBRY, since most have seen my car photos.
    It is basically the same color scheme as the car he is looking at????

    https://goo.gl/photos/a2dCQaWVmu1KT1QFA
  • bigbry13bigbry13 Posts: 10Member
    RichardD said:
    This is for original poster BIGBRY, since most have seen my car photos.
    It is basically the same color scheme as the car he is looking at????

    https://goo.gl/photos/a2dCQaWVmu1KT1QFA
    Your car is absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing and yes I believe it is the same color 
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