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1953 Hudson Hornet Has Been Hiding in a Barn for Too Long, Still Fabulous

There's no shortage of barn-found classics in the U.S. nowadays, but most of them are rather common nameplates. Not that I don't love old Chevrolet Impalas, but I've seen one too many in recent months. Well, here's a car you won't see too often in a barn: the Hudson Hornet.
1953 Hudson Hornet barn find 6 photos
1953 Hudson Hornet barn find1953 Hudson Hornet barn find1953 Hudson Hornet barn find1953 Hudson Hornet barn find1953 Hudson Hornet barn find
Built for only seven years in the 1950s, the Hornet was one of the most iconic nameplates of its time. Not only revolutionary due to its "step-down" chassis design and streamlined appearance, but the Hornet also made a name for itself on the race track.

Mildly modified Hudsons won more than 60 races in the NASCAR Grand National series from 1952 to 1954, dominating stock car racing when they were actually running stock cars. And it did while using an inline-six engine instead of the more popular V8. We could say it was one of America's first muscle cars, but you can find out more about it in our extensive coverstory.

The Hornet was sold for two generations, but they didn't have much in common. The second-gen car arrived Hudson became part of the American Motors Corporation (AMC), which saw the nameplate move away from the "step-down" platform and morph into a re-bodied Nash.

The Hornet was discontinued in 1957, the year that also marked the end of the line for Hudson-badged automobiles.

The Hornet you're about to see below is part of that desirable first generation. And it's been stashed away in a really old building for quite a few years. There's no specific info as to how much time it spent hidden from sunlight, but the classic presents itself in fantastic condition.

And get this, it's as original as classic cars get, including the paint, the engine, and the interior. Yes, maybe it's not that surprising given that the Hornet spent most of its retirement years under a cover, but it's still proof that a 1950s automobile can soldier on for decades if properly maintained.

Downright fabulous on the outside, the Hornet may need a bit of work on the inside, but the upholstery is also in fantastic condition. And check out that two-tome combination of dark and light green.

The engine could also use a good scrubbing, but hey, it's a numbers-matching unit that will probably fire right up with just a bit of work. And yes, it's one of those "Twin H-Power" mills. A 308-cubic-inch (5.0-liter) inline-six, it was the largest-displacement six-cylinder when it came out.

The engine was originally rated at 145 horsepower and 275 pound-feet (373 Nm) of torque, but Hudson upgraded it to 170 horses in 1954. With only 45,000 miles (72,420 km) on the clock, the inline-six should have plenty of oomph left.

While it's far from rare since Hudson made about 27,200 Hornets in 1953, cars in this condition are really difficult to find. Check it out in the video below.

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