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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Family Car: 1954

Family Car: 1954

Here in 1954, this 1949 1948 Hudson was to remain our family car for two more years. (Since posting this, I've remembered the true model year.) Inside on the front seat you can barely make out my mother on the left, then me in the middle and Father behind the wheel. We're parked just down from the corner of 5th and B in San Rafael, California, probably about to head up Highway 101 to our summer place at the Russian River. In the background, the service bay of a Union 76 station shows this to be the days when gas stations were called service stations for a reason. My brother shot this on 2-1/4 square Ektachrome. Here I am "driving" it. And here's another shot of it. View full size.

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Family car location today

Just this afternoon we nailed down the exact location, and I've modified the caption to reflect that it's just down from the corner of Fifth Avenue and B Street in San Rafael. The only building that's still there is the one at the left behind the 76 sign, not visible in this Google street view I grabbed.

Hudson Six

Cool...Lots of Hudsons at auto show here in town, Macungie Pa (Das Awkscht Fescht) first week in August. Classic cars and locomotives on display at

Green Machine

Now she's a thing of beauty forever.

Do you recall if the "push" truck at the service station was an International?

Hudson Model

Good timing! I was about to post about this. My memory has been jogged by some web searches: it's a Super Six two door sedan (not the coupe).


Is the model a Commodore Eight?

MC Decal

The MC on the windshield is a decal for Marin Catholic High School, placed there by my brother.


What's the big M little C sticker in the passenger's side of the windshield represent?

Step Down, Please

I'm currently working my way through my 1949 Old Time Radio episodes, and the 1949 Hudson gets mentioned rather often, usually in conjunction with a gag based on the Hudson's marketing pitch of motorists having to "step down" in order to get into it.

Other products which suddenly saw a lot of mention in 1949:

Dr. Scholl's foot pads
Bluejay Corn Plasters
Life Savers (candy)

Mom warned me about this

As long as I can remember, my mother has complained that she feels old because her childhood is now regarded as "history." Every time we go into a museum she laments everything that she remembers as her childhood.

Old Hudson

I started driving in 1955 and gasoline in Ohio was around 25 cents a gallon.

During the period from then to around 1959, I had four Hudsons, including a 1949, which didn't look nearly as nice as this one.

If we didn't have whitewalls, we would get Porta-Walls, which were white and fit under the wheel rim, making them into whitewalls (except when they began to pull away from the tire).

Great Photo

That is a great shot and scan. The colors just pop. It's too bad that there aren't a lot of these great cars around any more.

Hudson Brothers

I'm 61, my brother 70. Depending on what part of the year this was, I was in either the second or third grade, and my brother a junior or senior in high school. This was taken with a 120 roll film camera he rented. He'd just caught the camera bug, and had been borrowing our big sister's Kodak Duaflex until she went off to nursing school with it; he didn't get his 35mm Lordox until the following year.

We got the Hudson in a roundabout way. Being one of the first postwar-design cars, it was in high demand. My Uncle Frank had one on order, but when the new Buicks came out got one of those and offered us the Hudson. It replaced Father's 1934 Plymouth. Unaccustomed to such a wide car, Father scraped off a section of paint from the right side rear fender panel on his first attempt at getting it in the garage. I liked playing with the spotlight on the driver side door.


If I recall correctly, in those days gas sold for about 15 or 20 cents a gallon when a price war didn't lower it. I was hoping to see a price sign in the background to confirm that. How much older was your brother? I'd guess you (tterrace) are in your early 60's?

The Hudson

No whitewalls? You monster! Other than that, nice car.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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