Rhodora - '49 Hudson Brougham

Hello all,

Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Wilfred from a small country called The Netherlands on, for the most of you, the other side of the Atlantic.

I have been a member of the AACA forum for a few years from back when I was looking for my dream car (a 1949 Buick Super Sedanet).

This year a very special Hudson crossed my path and now I am her caretaker. The car is a 1949 Hudson Super Six Brougham with Arizona patina. I also started a post at the AACA and got the tip to also go to this forum. Alas, until this week I could not get online here. Somehow I wasn't allowed to visit the hetclub.org website. Luckily this changed so here I am.

The previous owner saved her from the desert and took her to Sweden. He gave her a new lease on life and now it is my turn to take care of her and make her better so she can be with us for a long time to come.

We call her Rhodora. This name is a tribute to her first owner, called Jade Rhodora. She was an exotic dancer and a beautiful lady with a good taste for beautiful cars. The title says the car was in her possession from 1949 until at least 1964. That was the year her husband, Hollywood actor Wes Hudman, was tragically shot by a next door neighbour.

Next year we are planning to visit California and Arizona and amongst other things we would like to visit her grave to pay respect to her. Also I hope we can find some like minded people who own Hudsons / Buicks and if possible even visit Bill Albright and maybe some other places I don't know about yet. I'm here to learn and listen, and share the story of (the car) Rhodora.

Of course pictures say more than words:

Cheers, Wilfred


  • Nice Hudson, low and long like our 1942 Buick custom. Thanks for sharing!
  • BigSky
    BigSky Senior Contributor
    Very cool tail dragger, Welcome!
  • Welcome, as stated above very cool!
  • Rhodora
    Rhodora Member
    edited November 2019
    Hi Fred, very nice! 

    My other unicorn car (as in: I don’t own one but would love to) is a ‘42 Buick Roadmaster Sedanet. Love yours too!

    Thanks BigSky & Val! She was even lower when I bought her but with 1 inch of travel in the front I replaced the springs for a little bigger. Also, at the back the bags were much too stiff. The car drove like a kart. The bags at the rear are now of another design and much softer.
  • Rhodora
    Rhodora Member
    edited November 2019
    In this topic I mentioned my adventures about buying cars in Sweden. Because I've bought Rhodora in Sweden too it may be cool to share the video, and I will also share the older video of my DeSoto as well.

    Back in april 2011 I got the DeSoto from Sweden. I got a little cocky after hundreds of miles and the radiator cracked while driving just a little too fast.


    In april 2019 I got the Hudson from Sweden. This trip fell short just a little earlier. The seller already told me about what the trouble could be but I was assured that, when I wouldn't make it home, I would get the car back anyway and had an adventure to boot. What's more, when in trouble one meets the most friendly people, especially in Sweden. Swedes are very friendly and trustworthy folks and they all know someone who knows all about classic (American) cars. :)


    I hope you can enjoy it :)
  • I’m currently in SoCal, gonna go to AZ as well. One thing I want to do is take along some parts with me but I run into the issue of: where to ship?

    Good parts are scattered everywhere and I have no address that I am tied to right now (plan is to just go out and drive, motel hopping). For instance: Eshelman out in Idaho makes the left door striker plate (mine is broken in two) but that’s not a place to drive out to. 

    Is there a shop maybe in SoCal or AZ that has lots of Hudson parts in stock? Or a good solution for shipping to a pickup location in SoCal maybe? We’ll be departing at LAX in 3 weeks so somewhere there would work too. 

    Besides the door striker I need some new door & window rubber, a New Port wiper motor set, Holley parts set, air filter housing, distributor (original has play), door key set, gear changers for Th700R4 (60 MPH indicates 3 on the gauge), rubber for engine and front suspension. I’m not sure where to find some of those parts too.

    For my other car (49 Buick) I need the 49 Dynaflow trunk reflectors from Bobs automobilia. Unfortunately he’s not quite close to SoCal too. 

    I heard that there’s a swap meet this weekend at Long Beach and later today a meeting at the NHRA museum. Will some of you attend / are those good places to go for finding Hudson related stuff and cars or at least cars older than 1970? My girlfriend is a huge sixties Mopar fan so I hope we both can enjoy :)

  • If you’re wondering about the time of posting: still in jet lag mode :) it’s 12:04 in my home country right now. 
  • Kdancy
    Kdancy Senior Contributor
    Jason has helped overseas owners with collecting and shipping Hudson parts. He is in California.

  • VicTor Z
    VicTor Z Senior Contributor
    Hello Rhodora, look at web site : http://www.socalcarculture.com/events.html   I have window channeling for your Hudson brougham Email is( thez@verizon.net). I will be at the Long Beach Swap meet with my '54 Hudson Coupe.
  • Awesome car, love the patina! 

    Maybe one day our Hudson's will meet in Europe...
  • Glowplug
    Glowplug Expert Adviser
    edited March 2020
    Rhodora, any trip to Arizona for Hudson parts should include Al Saffrahn’s HET extravaganza located in Maricopa, AZ.  - RUST FREE western sheet metal and tons of Hudson parts and cars, Engine, transmission and overdrive rebuilding is his specialty. Phone 520-568-2911
  • Wow guys, thank you so much for all your tips and answers. I’ll be sure to visit Al when we head out East. I’ve bought an American sim so now I can call and surf as much as I want. 

    I’d love to meet up with you Victor, I’ll send you an email when I’m back at the hotel :) Then I’ll check Jason’s web site out too.

    It’s so great to be here and meet all these magnificent people. Can’t wait for the swap meet!

    I’d also love to see your car in person, Monkeyspinner. I’ll take her to KKF in Germany again this year if all goes well.

    Allright, I’m off to get a bite and enjoying myself in SoCal again, keep y’all posted about Hudson / classic car related stuff. Cheers!
  • I have been meaning to go to KKF since I met the organisers in Japan and the MOON Hot rod show on 2012... But I have never made it. 
    When is it this year, end of May? 
    I think it may be a struggle for me to get the Wasp ready for then but you never know...
  • I'm not too far from Vintage Coach, and would enjoy meeting you, and showing you our Hudsons too. If you can arrange being in Ontario, ca. on Thursday, the 19th of February, I would like to invite you to our local chapter's board meeting. It will be held at my parent's home, and your evening meal is provided. There are usually 20-30 club members present. There are lots of interesting things to look at there, and the people are great. I'm sure we could arrange a tour of my brother's metal fabrication shop while your're in town as well. He is "Bent Metal" in this forum. 
  • VicTor Z
    VicTor Z Senior Contributor
    The HET CIC Board meeting is a great place to meet fellow Hudson owners. Also Donut Derelicts is a great place to go, but early in the morning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chOdotuT0o4&t=574s
    Huntington Beach* - Donut Derelicts - Magnolia & Adams - 6AM - 9AM
  • Rhodora
    Rhodora Member
    edited March 2020
    @ Monkeyspinner: KKF is invitation only so be sure to contact them before going. They’re strict about it (probably because of strict German safety rules - they probably have an upper limit - and they want cars that are fitting to the show). No exceptions.

    @ 54coupe: thanks so much for the invitation! Not sure if we’re back in town again that day. We fly back 24th of March from LAX and we’re also planning to head out to San Diego and AZ.

    @ Victor: We were there this morning :) No Hudsons today though we met some wonderful folks and that Donut shop is great! Good food and drinks and very high value for your money. Best way to start the day! :)
  • Thanks for the info, I'll get in touch with them... 
  • We’ve had a wonderful time in California and Arizona and met some of the sweetest people and got excellent advice. It was truly unforgettable. 

    We would have stayed until 24th of March but because of the escalating virus crisis back home we are leaving tomorrow morning. Reason being: maybe all flights to Europe will get cancelled. Also: if the crisis will hit America like it is now in Europe we are stuck here for months.

    Anyway: because I respect the privacy of the people I met I won’t share details and pictures. I do have some pictures of a famous parts yard. :)

  • VicTor Z
    VicTor Z Senior Contributor
    Rhodora , I bought a '54 Hudson parts car for the radio delete plate that's on the dash of the '54 Hudson picture. I did use some of the other parts, but the delete plate was the deciding  factor. Also hope you got home safely.  
  • We’re back home but heavily jet lagged and culture shocked. Our country is, like many European countries right now, closed & locked and normal life has been paused.

    The pictures in my previous posts of the Hudsons I made at Desert Valley Auto Parts near Maricopa. They’re nice folks and very cooperative but nothing beats Allen’s knowledge, friendliness and willingness to help other Hudson enthousiasts out. His advice and technical knowledge were truly priceless. I now know how to get the timing dwell in order, how to check the oil pump (when bushings for the dizzy do not work), how to mount a search light on a Hudson, how to remove a steering wheel on a Hudson without ruining the wheel and your face, how to test and repair the door locks and how to repair the front seat sliding mechanism. And we’ve seen some of the most beautiful (preserved / restored / patina) Hudsons at diverse places. I feel so privileged that that knowledge and eye candy was shared with us. :)

     As I said we’ve met some great people in the US, you are definitely high on the list too. We also had lots of laughs with some guys too. At Donut Derelicts we met some nice people and at the swap meet at Lakewood the day after we met them again. It almost felt like old friends. In this small classic car world you get acquainted so fast. We had lots of laughs with the guys that sold seatbelts as well. We ran into them all morning :D

    As our planned holiday is still running I’m now cleaning some Hudson parts up that I bought in the US and brought home in a suitcase from Goodwill. :) We went with two small bags but flew back with a big suitcase extra.
  • VicTor Z
    VicTor Z Senior Contributor
    Hi Rhodora (W & J) sorry you HAD to cut your trip short, but glad you got back home safe. Please post some of the pictures You and J. took on your travels in the U.S.
  • Rhodora
    Rhodora Member
    edited April 2020
    *coming back home in the midst of this virus crisis was quite startling*

    SoCal was cool but Arizona was something else too. I’ll post some pictures here (small size to keep the database from clogging up).

    Because I’m posting this on my phone the layout goes a bit haywire so I’ll explain the pictures here:

    first up I’m not sharing pictures of people I met and their collections online as I respect their privacy. So I’m sorry for not sharing some cool Hudson pictures. Here are some other general pics, I see they’re not chronological so I will describe them from top to bottom:

    1. street view in greater LA area (was it Burbank? Can’t remember but I loved the sunset and silhouette)

    2. panoramic view between Phoenix and Prescott

    3. Me at Big Boy - love the strawberry milkshake there!

    4. Upside down view inside Hotel Congress where we stayed at in Tucson

    5. PIMA airplane museum - Air Force one of Kennedy

    6. PIMA

    7. PIMA - one of many flight jackets (A-2) from WW2 on exhibit there. Great stuff!

    8. Nice vista of Picacho Peak - upside down

    9. Longtop at Donut Derelicts (great folks there) - upside down

    10. Big Boy Burbank at Friday night - upside down

    11. Swap meet at Lakewood - upside down again. After Lakewood we drove the coastal route to San Diego by the way and somewhere in a picturesque village we came across a cool fifties diner. San Diego was cool too. LA traffic really s*cks XD

  • Rhodora
    Rhodora Member
    edited April 2020
    So I’ve been doing some stuff now that I got some extra time at hand with the #stayathome and all…

    First off I’m selling my dream car in favor of the Hudson - because I drive the Hudson much more (handles better, modern automatic and way cheaper at the pump).

    So I made some pictures of my dream car (featuring the Hudson in the very start). It’s my ‘49 Buick Super Sedanet.


    It’s a loooooong film so it’s not that interesting maybe. 

    Much shorter but also related: I built in the Bluetooth radio today (into the Buick):


    Now back to the Hudson. 

    In AZ I found a new steering wheel but it’s just a little bit different so I’m not sure if I’ll use it - although it’s in much beter condition. It’s big(ger) and blue (no not from Sesame Street). So the Hudson is now steeringless until I figure out which one I want to use and what I want to do with it. 

    It’s bigger by around 1.5” and blue. But it doesn’t tear up your fingers. 

    In the meantime I also redone my radio of the Hudson. Now with 2 x 30w stereo motivating the 6 x 9” DVC Retrosound speaker and a 1 x 100w mono sub amp. Bluetooth built in with name “Rhodora” and a dsp built in. 

    Here’s the pics & bench test.
    Due to being a left paw most of my pics are upside down. Sorry ‘bout that. 

    Functions now are;

    - volume button has on-off switch that engages amps. Volume is not controlled (yet?). Volume is purely done on the phone. 

    - I wanted the M-button to be used as a mute switch but the M-button wasn’t working reliability anymore so now the 1 button mutes the system (actually it’s a standby switch)

    - all devices fit into the original housing, well pleased with that!

    - seek control knob now only serves a visual purpose

    - backlight is done by LED 2400K strip (high end, not the cheap Chinese ones with ugly colors)

    - Connectivity is done by using an ISO car radio plug. Because I obeyed the standard I had to route the sub speaker cables as a separate bundle. 

    - A single blue LED is also coming from the back of the radio and I would have to place it somewhere to show if the Bluetooth connection is made. The output was too low for usage behind the seek window - and a blue color there would look off putting anyways.  

    - The Bluetooth antenna is an external on and placed beneath the radio. 

  • Rhodora
    Rhodora Member
    edited April 2020
    I’ve been doing some work on Rhodora in my spare time. As I bought some stuff in AZ I could finally install it and I have to say: it’s a joy tinkering on a Hudson. Everything is put together so simple and effective that it’s easy to work on.

    First I installed another steering wheel (it’s bigger and less broken, in the meantime I’ll try to mend the original a bit).

    I also installed a new transmission lever knob that fits the car more. Also also a new clock and speedo. Although this speedo doesn’t work as well (original says I’m driving 30 when I’m doing 60, this one says 15 when I’m doing 50, but I do really like the ivory numbers much more).

    I don’t have pics of that but I do have a short movie I will come back to later that has the clocks in them (although that movie is from before I disassembled and repainted the speedo white on the inside - after a repaint it’s much brighter).

     I also replaced the door striker and added the missing seat set lever.

    Original door striker - broken 

    New door striker

    back in place

    Seat skeleton
    Temporary storage
    Lifting up the seat to install lever
    There you go! Works perfect!

    Another thing I did was clean up the wiring a little behind the dash. It’s far from perfect but all small steps help. 

    One of the things that bothered me was the position and installation of the 6 volt converter. So I soldered in a new one and attached it directly on the back of the gauge housing. I think it’s neater this way. 

    And of course I installed and tested the ‘radio’ and it works perfect.

  • Rhodora
    Rhodora Member
    edited April 2020
    Got me some new rims, they’re from a Lincoln I have been told. They currently have 225/75R15 that are just a little too wide for a 7.10 replacement (215 is better). My 7.10’s are quite big as it is (full lock isn’t even possible). Two of the four tyres are shot anyway and all of them have extreme camber wear in the inside.

    The reason I bought them is because I don’t like the bias ply wheels. Also they are a little square and they have tubes so if they blow it’s a handful. 

    And busy with the steering wheel. Not restoring it to perfection but making it safe to use without cutting open my hands ?

  • Rhodora
    Rhodora Member
    edited April 2020
    I know it’s only original once but steering felt like I was grabbing Gillettes.

    So here’s some pics of what I’ve made of it. 

    I’m ok with it, it’s not perfect, but it’s usable now. And now I know how to fix it so I can change it if I am fed up with the look.

    Here some steps:

    1. Original broken & sharp
    2. Plastic 2k ‘glue’ fast hardening, then a lot of sanding. Until the sun went down.
    3. Trying on some One Shot ivory for size.
    4. Blackmarking and sanding sanding sanding. 

  • Aaaaaand back in the car!

  • Hello everybody, hope you're doing fine. This year has been crazy for all of us. I've had an accident on the softball field and waiting for the fractures in my face to heal. In the meantime I had some time 'off' from digital devices. I noticed Ken U-Tx isn't on the forum anymore?

    He helped me out tremendously with a refurbished carburetor, dizzy and some other stuff. I'll upload some pictures later when all is well. I'm still looking for some parts to finish it up. Ken also had some of these parts so I'm sad to see he's not here anymore.
  • Browniepetersen
    Browniepetersen Senior Contributor
    I see Ken all the time on the Hudson Essex Terraplane Facebook page.  You might look for him there.  I have a Facebook page called Hudson Modified.  Check us out there.  Watch for my avtar, it is the feature photo for the page-it once looked like yours. 
  • Thanks Brownie, I'm not (actively) on Facebook but Ken reached out to me. It's been a while now so I'm checking other sources too.