Harriet the Hudson

updated May 2000

and again 5 May 2018

In about 1960 my father Bill Andrews spotted a 1930 Hudson Straight Eight Sedan in a used car yard not far from where he worked in Prahran. It ran, although a little difficult to start; and the brakes sort of worked. And the price was right.

The family transport at the time was a motorcycle with sidecar, so anything was going to be an improvement. We also owned an ancient Buick but mechanical woes had it confined to the back yard awaiting a miracle.

So Dad brought home the Hudson and named it "Harriet" (the Buick was "Mabel"). The starting difficulties were solved by drilling and tapping small holes in the intake manifold and using a plastic squeeze bottle to prime the motor. Started every time after that. The mechanical brakes were another thing. But who cared when you drove in a car straight out of "The Untouchables".

I vaguely remember going on family outings. It had well sprung leather seats and space to move that none of our friends could beat. No seat belts, airbags, crumble zone, roadworthy test and the like.

Age soon caught up fast with Harriet and after about twelve months service she came off the road for major repairs. The poor starting was caused by burnt exhaust valves. The engine was overhauled and the brakes relined.

Somehow the project got bigger and other distractions came into play. It never recovered. It lay in the weather for several years and then later was garaged. After Dad's death the family thought of selling it. Various members harbored ideas of restoring it but only managed to disassemble it further.

The years outside did Harriet no good with the roof material, the timber framing and door hinges suffering. We did manage to start the engine in the '90s, by hand cranking it. Amazingly it ran smoothly, blowing lots of smoke. I think we got our money's worth.

Harriet was finally sold in 1999 to a gentleman from Bendigo. He had great plans. Hopefully she's been restored to her former glory.

                Hudson Sedan
Chris Andrews at the helm

Great Headlights, Wooden Wheels

Original Rego Papers

Hudson today (1999)