Monday, May 5, 2014

Hudson Terraplane: A Story About a Real American Car

The American car named Hudson Terraplane used to have a very reasonable price, and therefore after careless exploitation, it was doomed to be thrown to junkyard.  But the destiny of our “hero” was quite different, probably because it was specially designed for a US ambassador in Germany. It is reasonable to assume that an embassy car enjoyed incomparably better conditions and wasn’t used too much.
As for how the Hudson appeared in Armenia and how was its “odyssey”, is an interesting story which told me the owner of the car Smbat Balayan.

The Second World War was about to come to an end.  The Armenian legendary 89th Tamanyan Rifle-Division commanded by General Nver Safaryan was among those who invaded Berlin first. The General’s driver came across this beautiful car in ruins of the US Embassy in Berlin and reported on the find to the general. The car, as a war trophy, was taken to Russia and then to Armenia. The General was said to be in love with this “belle”. It was not only fantastic in appearance, but also had some revolutionary innovations for that time: an automatic transmission, electronically convertible roof, heating, powerful engine, top speed of 200km/h, etc.
Soviet car factories wanted the General to provide the car for technical researches and after numerous talks and attempts at persuasion, the General agreed to sell only the engine of the car, after which his love for the car seemed to have cooled and he gave it to his son. Afterwards, the car changed many owners who apparently didn’t treat it in a proper manner, since it reached to its present owner in an awfully worn-out condition. It was Mr. Safaryan’s immense persistence that did not allow the car to rest somewhere in a town dump. After hard restoration works for 7 years, the car got its present look. Of course, particularly in our country, it was almost impossible to find all the original spare parts and details for a car which had gone down in history. The majority of missing parts were either recreated manually or replaced from other retro cars.
Now I’ll try to give some insight into the history of this car.

The Hudson Motor Car Company was founded in 1909 by two prominent men: Joseph Hudson, a Detroit department store owner and founder of Hudson's department store, who provided the necessary capital and gave permission for the company to be named after him and Howard Coffin, a talented engineer and the owner of a little car factory, who had great plans but little financial possibilities. The company was named after the magnate not for the reason that money could dictate terms but simply for marketing purposes-we all know what the word coffin means and it is hardly imaginable that a car named Coffin could have a success.
To be continued...