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    Sep 2006
    The Netherlands

    Hudson Wasp (1st gen) 1951-1954

    The Hudson Wasp is an automobile that was built and marketed by the Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, from the 1952 through the 1956 model years. After Hudson merged with Nash Motors, the Wasp was then built by American Motors Corporation in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and marketed under its Hudson marque for model years 1955 and 1956.

    The Hudson Wasp can be classified by two distinct model year generations: from 1952 to 1954 when it used Hudson's existing short-wheelbase platform, and in 1955 and 1956 when it was built on the full-sized Nash platform, with completely different designs for each of these two model years.

    First generation (1951-1954)
    The Wasp (Series 58) was introduced by Hudson for the 1952 model year as an upgraded version of the Hudson Pacemaker, replacing the Hudson Super Custom models from 1951. The Wasp was available in two- and four-door sedan, convertible, and a 2-door hardtop designated the Hollywood. The Wasp was built on Hudson's shorter 119-inch (3,023 mm) wheelbase, using the company's unitized, "Monobilt" step-down chassis design with an overall length of 201.5 inches (5,118 mm). Hudson's unitized structure used a perimeter frame which provided a rigid structure, low center of gravity, and side-impact protection for passengers.

    The base Hudson Wasp used the 202 cu in (3.3 L) L-Head straight six from the Pacemaker. Hudson also offered the Super Wasp which used improved interior materials and a more powerful Hudson 6-cylinder engine. Instead of using the Pacemaker's 232 cu in (3.8 L) straight 6, the Super Wasp used Hudson's 262 cu in (4.3 L) L-Head six fed by a single 2-barrel carburetor. The 262 cu in (4.3 L) engine was rated at 127 hp (95 kW; 129 PS) (with single 2-barrel carburetor) while the top-of-the-line Commodore Custom Eight's 254 cu in (4.2 L) straight 8 was rated at 128 hp (95 kW; 130 PS). The 262 cu in (4.3 L) six's power was underrated so it would not outshine the flagship straight 8. The narrow block 262 cu in (4.3 L) engine was the basis for the stroked and reinforced Hornet 308 cu in (5.0 L) 6-cylinder engine, introduced in 1951 which dominated NASCAR from 1952 to 1954. The Super Wasp was also offered with an aluminum "twin H" manifold and twin 2-barrel carburetors. Super Wasp performance with the "twin H" induction matched the performance of the big 2-barrel 308 cu in (5.0 L) equipped, but heavier, Hudson Hornet.

    Wasp model year production saw 21,876 units in 1953 and 17,792 units in 1954, its final year before the Hudson merger with Nash-Kelvinator Corporation.

    Source: Wikipedia
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