Walt Mordenti is now 100!

Jon BJon B Posts: 7,294Administrator
edited July 26 in HUDSON
Walt Mordenti, known by many for his technical knowledge of Hudsons, turns 100 years old on Monday, July 26, 2021. He's currently enjoying life in his San Francisco home, and would love to hear from his many friends.

If you haven't sent Walt your birthday greetings yet, now is the time to do it!

I've posted Walt's contact information over at the H-E-T Forum where you can read it under the 'Hudson' sub-forum, at https://hetclub.org/index.php?option=com_kunena&view=topic&catid=18&id=5775&Itemid=1367 .

If anyone has difficulty reaching that forum discussion, please e-mail me for Walt's contact info, at xxxdetailed@verizon.net (drop the xxx before sending!).


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Comments

  • HansHans Posts: 178Senior Contributor
    Hi Walt,  Happy New Year and Happy 100 too !
  • dholckdholck Posts: 184Expert Adviser
    So, Walt Mordenti does not see this forum?  Can we talk here where Walt won't see us?  Does anybody have a nice digital picture of Walt and his 53 two-door?  We can put it on a fleece blanket, coffee mug, or something, for his 99-1/2th or 100th.

     
  • Uncle JoshUncle Josh Posts: 2,653Senior Contributor
    edited January 25
    these were originally provided by Joyce Mordenti and Carl Germain
  • Uncle JoshUncle Josh Posts: 2,653Senior Contributor
    bodyy
  • Uncle JoshUncle Josh Posts: 2,653Senior Contributor
    edited January 25
    this isn't working
  • Old Fogey UKOld Fogey UK Posts: 732Expert Adviser
    I met Walt at the 1995 HET National and remember him telling me he'd been in the USAAF in England during WW2.
  • dholckdholck Posts: 184Expert Adviser
    edited January 25
    John B; hopefully she recognizes this as an attempt to make a surprise gift and keeps it quiet - and maybe provides the pictures. 
    Uncle Josh; no, it appears it never did work and no images came.  Even better for our purposes, send as an attachment with the dog-eared paper icon.
    Fogey;  Walt would have been 20 at the start of the war, so, just the right age.  My history with him only goes back to when he worked on my car at his shop in San Mateo, CA (somewhere around 15 to 30 years ago).
    Surely somebody has written up a "History Of Walt" by this time?  Where can I find it?

  • Hornet54Hornet54 Posts: 7Member
    edited January 27
    Try this one - 2009 All California Meet

  • thekid1950thekid1950 Posts: 51Member
    Great Idea to honor Walt.  His 100th is coming up in July.  Joyce & I put together a tribute to Walt last year.  It was published in some local chapter news letters.  I'm hoping I can attach it.




  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 2,200Expert Adviser
    Your newsletter opens fine read the whole newsletter... nice job!  I am the South Texas Chapter newsletter editor... please send your newsletters to Carmen then we can see them each time you publish.  Our chapter membership receives each newsletter I get from Carmen.  
  • Jon BJon B Posts: 7,294Administrator
    edited February 3
    Joyce Mordenti sends along the following photo taken during WWII:



    Old Fogey UK mentioned that he talked to Walt about being in Army Air Force in England in WW2.  Here is picture Walt in uniform that he sent to his mom (Your loving son Wally) and a link to his service biography in The American Air Museum in Britain  https://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/242927  .  Maybe this will be of interest to WW2 buffs?  Walt was drafted into the Army Air Force in 1942. He was stationed at Kimbolton Airfield in England and served in the 8th Airforce Air Corps, 1st Bombardment Division, 41st Bombardment Wing, 379th Bombardment Group, 525th Bombardment Squadron.  Walt was a Master Mechanic and Aircraft Carburetion and Ignition expert.  He was assigned to the Ordnance Crew.  According to the American Air Museum of Britain, the 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy) flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the 8th Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group.  On June 5, 1944, Walt worked all night, loading bombs and setting the fuses as the B-17 bombers were preparing to take off on D-Day.  Along with these duties, Walt repaired planes and rebuilt engines.  

  • thekid1950thekid1950 Posts: 51Member

    A true Hudson Legend …...Walt Mordenti by Carl Germain



    Walt’s dad was an automotive mechanic at the Moody-Wilcox Hudson Motor Car Company in Waterbury, CT. The service manager, Ray Hayden, fixed cars at night in his backyard; in 1934, he offered young Walt (13 years old) an opportunity to work with him after school hours. In 1937, Walt began working fulltime at Moody’s to help support his family. He stayed until he was drafted in 1942. He served in the 8th Airforce Air Corps as an Aircraft Carburetion and Ignition expert until 1945. He returned to Waterbury, CT and opened his own business servicing all cars, but he was always a Hudson-man at heart. In fact he sold Hudsons and later AMC as a subdealer for Moody’s son. Over the years, Walt had many automotive roles that included specialization with Hudson, AMC, and Cadillac.

    Walt was involved with auto racing during his career. He owned a Ford V8-60 midget, and he reluctantly switched to Offenhauser when the choice became obvious. He raced with ARDC and NEMA chapters on the East Coast. In February 1956, he set the fastest time on the sands of Daytona Beach in a non-Offenhauser midget (118.421 mph). In 1957, he won the Ford championship with ARDC. He sold the midget in 1966 to send his son to college, but in 1968 he was back into racing...only this time behind the wheel! That’s right, he was owner, mechanic, and driver for an AMX-powered stock car, which he raced every Saturday night on the 1/2-mile high-banked dirt track in Lebanon Valley, NY. In 1969, he was Rookie of the year; in 1970, he was recognized as the most improved driver. He raced his 394 cubic inch AMX-powered Gremlin until 1978.


    Walt & Margaret Mordenti were dedicated Hudson folks. They so enjoyed their numerous road trips in Hudsons. Together, they attended nearly 30 Hudson National Meets.......at least 17 in his beautiful WALTS53. Their travels contained 150,000 miles of adventure, crossing the country 19 times, visiting all 48 States, 5 Provinces of Canada and friends and family along the way. They were road warriors and they had their favorite places to stay and places to eat. Walt loved to drive fast and consistently took the 53 up to 80+....even rumored to exceed 100mph!!!

    Walt’s Masterpiece…. a 1953 Hudson Hornet Coupe was acquired from Bill Albright. It needed everything. Walt rebuilt everything, added A/C, power steering(rack&pinion, custom brackets...no cutting the frame) which Walt calls “power steering by Walt”, 2.73 ring & pinion in the stock Dana 44, and numerous other goodies to provide for: better cooling, oil filtering, enhanced fuel delivery, hotter reliable spark with AMC distributor & electronic ignition, heavy duty Ford 12v starter especially machined to fit the Hudson bell housing, massive sway bar, cruise control, enhanced gauges & tachometer, working clock, under front end cooling air scoop, halogen headlights, etc…...a famous work of automotive art…...could certainly be the most widely known Hudson in the country.

    Margaret kept a journal to record their trips, which captured their experiences and included comments about how the car was performing, the weather, the changing scenery, traffic stops, delays due to crowds admiring the 53, anticipation of eating something special at a favorite diner etc. Walt’s faithful navigator and was always at his side.

    Walt is among the unique of HET members. He actually lived in the Hudson era, worked on them when they were new, wrenched and raced them, restored them and drove the wheels off of them.

    Walt shared his expert knowledge with our Club with his column “Walt’s Garage” for over 15 years and provided HET advice, support and encouragement by email & phone daily til 10pm PST.

    Walt, the HET community takes pause to honor a true Hudson Legend and to thank you for all your effort and contributions to keeping our cars fit and on the road.



  • hudsonsplasher1hudsonsplasher1 Posts: 777Senior Contributor
    Great story and congratulations Walt and thanks for you service.
  • PaulButlerPaulButler Posts: 922Administrator
    I have put all comments re Walt into this thread, please feel free to add to this rather than starting new ones. Hopefully at some stage we will be able to export this and get it passed over to Walt to read as well
  • 7XPacemaker7XPacemaker Posts: 491Senior Contributor
    Walt is a red blooded true American. This is a man that everyone should respect. Although I have not had the privilege of meeting Walt, his reputation, kindness and knowledge precedes him. As I remain a student to the Hudson hobby, I look up to individuals like Walt. What a great man with a great life and story!
  • thekid1950thekid1950 Posts: 51Member

  • dholckdholck Posts: 184Expert Adviser
    I'm not sure what happened, or why; my separate, secret, stealth (for Walt not to see) picture request posting was combined with all the other stuff - not what I wanted.  Thanks to the couple folks who contributed photos.
    What I was looking for is a "glamour shot/beauty shot" of the 1953 two-door, either with Walt standing beside it, or not - or even better, he and his wife standing next to it.  The idea was to put this image on an item - coffee mug, mask, blanket, or whatever.  I have a 34 Terraplane face mask going to him already - a car that he worked on.  I hope it turns out to be as fun for him as it is in my mind. :)


  • PaulButlerPaulButler Posts: 922Administrator
    I combined the posts to keep them all in one place, made sense to me.
  • SystemSystem Posts: 12Member
    edited January 29
    This discussion was created from comments split from: Walt Mordenti is 99-1/2!.
  • PaulButlerPaulButler Posts: 922Administrator
    There you go , back in its own thread again, let me know if there is anything else that needs to be split out
  • Uncle JoshUncle Josh Posts: 2,653Senior Contributor
    Gonna try it again
  • BigSkyBigSky Posts: 942Senior Contributor
    Congratulations Walt!!!  While never having the opportunity to meet you I still today have gotten a wealth of help from all your Hudson Technical Articles.  I’m Forever Grateful, Brian 
  • ValVal Posts: 1,009Member
    Hey Walt! Congrats buddy, quite the achievement reaching the lifespan you have. And the knowledge you hold in the Hudson community is so valuable. Thanks for call your b help over the years. So greatful  to have you  to learn from. 
  • thekid1950thekid1950 Posts: 51Member

  • thekid1950thekid1950 Posts: 51Member
    edited February 3

    Walt (on left) with his 1934 Terraplane, brother Hector (middle) and father Ettore.  Photo taken in Cape Cod.
  • thekid1950thekid1950 Posts: 51Member
    Walt & Margaret
  • thekid1950thekid1950 Posts: 51Member
    Walt's 53 Coupe
  • thekid1950thekid1950 Posts: 51Member
    A road trip
  • thekid1950thekid1950 Posts: 51Member
    Walt racing
  • thekid1950thekid1950 Posts: 51Member
    Walt's service station & tow truck
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