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Home/Technical Info/Hudson/11. Car Models Described / 1948/
1948 Hudson Models Described

The 1948 Hudson Commodore 4-door Sedan was once again available in 6- and 8-cylinder configurations. Both Commodores combined delivered 62,474 units.
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1948 Hudson Production Figures 1948_Hudson_Production_1.pdf
Print/Download: 1948 Hudson Cars Described - 1948_Hudson_Info_1B.pdf

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1948 HUDSON - GENERAL: In 1948 Hudson introduced a completely new line of  cars, using what would shortly become a popular styling approach. The streamlined 1948 Hudson stood just 60 inches high, which was as much as 5 inches  lower than most of its contemporaries. This dramatic new styling was the result of a group of Hudson designers under the direction of Frank Spring. Conceptually, it was based on the Czechoslovakian Tatra T87, combined with some inspiration and target being GM's 1942 fastback “sedanet,” one of the last new designs introduced before the war had curtailed automobile production.

the Hudson looked like it had been “chopped” by one of the then new California custom shops. It also looked thoroughly aerodynamic, which it was , considering Hudson didn’t have a test track, much less a wind tunnel. Wind tunnel tests conducted by Nash later found that the Hudson had almost 20% less drag than contemporary notchback sedans. Despite Hudson President's A.E. Barit’s reticence, the press and public reaction to the new Hudson was favorable, if not enthusiastic.

The frame Hudson released was also new - their trademarked “monobuilt” with “step-down” interior. It had a strong semi-unit body with a perimeter frame that runs around it entirely. This requires passengers to actually step down into their vehicles. The design was beneficial for Hudson on multiple levels; it provided passengers with extra protection because they were completely surrounded by the frame, and it allowed for weight savings, and therefore overall money savings, as it required less metal in production. The major pay-offs of the low height and step down chassis  was excellent handling.

As before, both the Commodore and Super rode on the same chassis and used identical sheet metal - both having 6 and 8-cylinder availability in most models. The Commodore was merely more luxuriously appointed and trimmed; and additional options were available or standard over the Super.

Hudson four-door sedans, Brougham sedans and club coupes appeared first in late 1947, while other body styles were not available at the beginning of the new year. The Brougham Convertible in both the Super and Commodore trim was not available for most of the year - impacting sales. It did not arrive until August,

The Super Six L-head grew to 262 CID - the first Hudson engine with a pressurized oiling system rather than simple splash lubrication. It was larger than the Eight and with more horsepower.  The "Vacumotive" transmission engagement system continued - this automatically controlled the engagement of the clutch.

INNOVATIONS: The completely new line of slab-sided cars with the famous "Step Down" interior design, that drastically lowered the center of gravity and improving handling by a wide margin. In addition to the advanced styling, A new significant transmission technology was unveiled - the "Drive-Master" system, that automatically controlled both the clutch engagement and gear changing - thought the transmission was still a standard manual unit.

1948 HUDSON SUPER: SERIES 481 SIX - SERIES 483 EIGHT. The Super model line returned, and though it was very similar in appointments and options to the 1947cars, it was entirely different in design and styling. Standard equipment for Super series models included striped Bedford Cord upholstery, gray salt and pepper carpet-like rubber front floor mats, rear carpeting, cord robe hangers in sedans, wood grained dash and window garnish moldings, 30-hour windup clocks, 17-inch steering wheel, adjustable sun visors, arm rests at ends of all seats, latch type ventipanes, wing type rear quarter windows in sedans, side window reveal moldings, full opening rear quarter windows in club coupes, front parking lamps, twin standard tail lamps, carryall trunk with horizontal mounted spare tire, luggage compartment floor mat, and wheel covers.

1948 HUDSON COMMODORE: SERIES 482 SIX - SERIES 484 EIGHT. All basic features and equipment of the Super Series were standard on Commodores, along with Broadcloth upholstery: with tan with green stripes or gray with blue stripes, air foam seat cushions, taupe colored carpet-like rubber front floor mats, rear compartment carpeting, cloth covered sedan robe hangers, 16-inch rear seat center arm rest in club coupe, cigarette lighter, two-tone walnut grained instrument panel, instrument panel dial dimmer, walnut grain window garnish moldings, twin adjustable swiveling sun visors.

Also standard were plastic rimmed 18 inch DeLuxe steering wheel with horn ring, electric clock, side window reveal moldings, crank type front door ventilating wings, wing type rear quarter window ventilation in sedans, full-opening rear quarter windows in club coupe, rubber trunk mat and DeLuxe twin tail lamps and front parking lamps.


  • Super serial numbers. Super Sixes were numbered 481101 to 481117300.  Super Eights were numbered 483101 to 48311786.
  • Commodore serial Numbers. Commodore Sixes were numbered 482101 to 482117301. Commodore Eights were numbered 484101 to 484117256.

Serial numbers were on the right door post. Hudson did not provide body code numbers. In the production chart, the first three symbols comprise the series/model codes, followed by a group of numbers beginning at 101.  The first two symbols were "48" in 1948, with the third symbol signifying the model: "481" = Super Six; "483" = Super Eight; "482" = Commodore Six; and "484" = Commodore Eight. Then following group of numbers designated production sequence.

Engine numbers were the same and were found on a boss near the top left side of the cylinder block and also between the first two manifold flanges.


  • Black
  • B Banner Blue
  • C Platinum Gray
  • G Gallant Gray
  • H Harness Tan
  • J Jockey Blue
  • M Maroon Deep
  • N Navajo Beige
  • P Piedmont Green
  • Q Quartermaster Gray
  • R Ruby Red
  • S Savory Green 


  • Super and Commodore Series Six: Inline L-head six-cylinder. Chrome alloy block. Displacement: 262 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.5625" x 4.375". Compression ratio: 6.5:1. Horsepower: 128 @ 4000 RPM. Torque: 200 @ 1600 RPM. Four main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter two-barrel WDO type Model 647S.

  • Super and Commodore Series Eight: Inline L-head eight-cylinder. Chrome alloy block. Displacement: 254 cid. Bore and stroke: 3.00" x 4.50" inches. Compression ratio: 6.5:1. Brake horsepower: 128 @ 4200 RPM. Torque: 198 @ 1600 RPM. Five main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter two-barrel WDO type Model 648S.


  • Wheelbase: (all) 124.00".
  • Overall length: (all) 207.50".
  • Front tread: (all) 58.50".
  • Rear tread: (all): 55.50".
  • Tires: (all) 7.10 x 15.


  • Six-cylinder aluminum cylinder head ($11).
  • Eight-cylinder aluminum cylinder head ($13).
  • Vacumotive Drive ($44).
  • Drive-Master, including Vacumotive Drive ($112).
  • Oil bath air cleaner: Six ($6), Eight ($8).
  • Overdrive manual transmission ($101).
  • Vacuum booster pump ($9).
  • Standard rear axle gear ratio was 4.10:1 on all models.
  • Optional 4.55:1 or 4.30:1 gear ratios were available at no extra cost. With overdrive transmission the 4.55:1 rear axle was standard with 4.10:1 or 4.30:1 axles no cost options. The 4.10:1 rear axle was used with Drive-Master.


   Standard on Commodore - Optional on Super -

  • Commodore steering wheel ($20).
  • Directional indicators ($26).
  • Electric clock ($17).
  • Foam rubber front seat cushions ($14).
  • Foam rubber seat cushions ($28).
  • Front bumper guard ($13).
  • Front fender ornaments ($6).
  • Hydraulic window regulators on Super Six convertibles ($63).
  • Large hub caps ($10).
  • Radio ($84).
  • Rear window reveal moldings ($4).

   Optional All Series -

  • Brown cloth and Maroon leather or Gray cloth and Maroon leather trims were no cost convertible options.
  • Chrome wheel trim rings ($13).
  • Convertible Brougham top rear window glass ($21). 
  • Convertible Broughams came standard with 7.60 x 15 tires, antique grain Maroon leather trim and hydraulic window regulators (not in the Super Six Convertible).
  • Convertible tops came in Black, Gray or Maroon.
  • Directional indicators ($20).
  • Foam rubber front seat back ($16).
  • Heavy scale front and rear springs for Sixes (no cost). Heavy scale rear springs (no cost).
  • Leather trim options for closed cars were available at prices between $83 and $145, with the cost depending on body style. Leather trims came in Russet, Gray or Dark Red.
  • Police and Taxi equipment including large clutch, heavy rear springs, 11" brakes and heavy construction seats ($11).
  • Radio ($77).
  • Red or cream wheel colors (no cost).
  • Right fender door arm rest ($4). 
  • Three-quarter leather grain trim ($25-$41 per body style).
  • Three-quarter leather trim ($32-$53 extra per body style).
  • Tires, extra-ply tire construction.
  • Tires, oversized 7.60 x 15.
  • Weather Control heater ($64).
  • Weather Master heater ($50).
  • Wheel trim rings ($13).
  • Whitewall tires

NOTE: Specific upholstery trim and top colors were recommended with certain exterior body colors, though variations could be special ordered. 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: The newly styled 1948 line was offered for sale in December 1947. Hudson dealers in New York City began one of the first T.V. automobile advertising campaigns in late 1947 for the introduction of the 1948 models.

PRODUCTION: The addition of the “step-down” body resulted in a 50% sales jump for Hudson in 1948.. Model year sales hit the 117,400 unit level. This was a great shot in the arm for Hudson and proved that they were on the mark with consumers. Hudson was ranked as America's 11th largest maker this season.   See attached chart for production numbers.


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The 1948 Hudson Commodore 2-door Club Coupe was also available with either the 6 or the 8. Both 2 and 4-door Commodores combined delivered more units than the Super line for the first time since the end of WW II.

The 1948 Hudson Commodore Convertible. 114 Commodore Convertibles and 86 Super Convertibles were built in 1948, due to their late introduction.

The 1948 Hudson Super 4-door Sedan also was available with either 6- or 8-cylinder power.

The 1948 Hudson Super 2-door Brougham Coupe was a new model this year and available only as a Super. With 6-cylinder power it would later morph into the Hornet.

The 1948 Hudson Super 2-door Club Coupe was also available with both powerplants.

1948 Hudson Production - Super and Commodore Series.















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