1951 Hudson Estate Sale Find
A dear friend of mine in her '80's loves to go to estate sales. Knowing that I collect diecast cars, she sent me a link to one that she said, "has a lot of little cars". I opened the link and looked thru the pictures the estate company provided and saw that there were a lot of Nascar, FM, DM, and other interesting cars that the owner had collected over the past 30 or so years. Unfortunately, they were all exposed on open shelves and were very dusty, as you can see. No boxes or paperwork. I already had many of the cars, but there were a few that I was interested in. However, they would be duplicates so I didn't really have to have them. If you're not familiar with how a professional estate sale is conducted, it goes something like this: The family doesn't want to deal with cleaning out the house, so they hire a company to liquidate the contents in the house. The company prices everything in the house, and I mean EVERYTHING, from the piano to the pictures on the walls, based on their expertise. The estate sale runs for three days, usually from Thursday to Saturday for 5-6 hours per day. The first day, all items are sold at their marked price, no exceptions. Day two, everything is marked down 30%, and day three, all remaining items are half price. The estate company will deal on the last day because everything that doesn't sell is donated or thrown out.
Screen shots from my phone of some of the collection.
Most of the FM and DM cars were priced at $80 each. Based on condition, many were overpriced, but there were some that were bargains at that price, in spite of their condition. In looking at the pictures, one car caught my eye. It was Franklin Mint's Hudson Hornet stock car. It was hard to tell if it was the early Smokey's issue or the later Pure Premium model. It became clear after the estate company posted new pictures after they dusted the cars and move them around, but in the process the antennas of the Hudsons were missing. 🙁
My friend went to the sale on the first day and grabbed the Hudson stock car and was able to get it for a $5 discount, complaining about the missing antenna and it being so dusty. I could just envision her doing that, lol. So, here's the car as I got it and then, cleaned up. It really is a cool looking model, and the big plus being a Smokey's version!
I went back with her to the estate sale on day two hoping to find the antenna on a dusty shelf or on the dusty carpeting, but no luck. However, we did manage to get an old working German cuckoo clock for the amazing price of $24!
Geoff Jowett was kind enough to send me an antenna from his '54 Hudson kit he built and posted a couple of days ago. Here's Smokey's Hudson all cleaned up:
To make the antenna match the FM antenna as closely as possible I went to my parts bin and modified an emblem to act as the base of the antenna. I think it worked out very well. Thanks Geoff!!
Sorry for the long post and thanks for checking my estate sale bargain!
what an incredible transformation Pete. Looks new now. Well done and thanks for posting. And my pleasure with the aerial, really pleased to see it has worked out so well.
Great find there Pete. It cleaned up nicely and great job on the antenna fix.
Great find Pete. Thank you for explaining the auction process.
Nice find Pete and great fix and cleanup, model looks sharp. It is a rare find, Franklin Mint was asked to discontinue the "Smokey" version by the widow of Marshall Teague. As to story goes, she said Smokey was only the tire changer for one season on the stock car team and apparently took offense at the prominence his name was given on the model. Franklin mint then changed production to the Pure Premium model with all new paperwork as well. Congratulations and enjoy this hard to find beauty.
Thanks for the information on why Smokey's was taken off the fender. I knew someone was unhappy about this version but didn't know the backstory. I've never seen one in person, just pictures from the D4C car list. I feel fortunate to find it.
What a great find Pete! And once again I'm beyond impressed with your incredible skill to turn a "Barn Find" in to a "Restored Classic". That Hudson is one and only race car I'd love to park on my shelf. Primarily because I love the late 40's, very early 50's Hudson's so much. I have all the other Franklin Mint versions of the model. Thank you for sharing your great talent.
You're welcome, George, and thank you. It was really no big deal. I just put it on the top rack of the dishwasher and pushed the wash button. Kidding!!
Amazing what some cleaning up can do. Nice find, Pete.
Nice post Pete. Several years ago we had an estate sale of my mother in laws condo when she went into an assisted living facility. The auction company gave us a choice of an open to the public sale or a closed sale limited only to dealers. Her recommendation was the closed sale for security reasons, and she felt we would get better results with the dealers based on the items that were for sale. We were very pleased with the results.