My 1916 Hudson Super Six engine, which threw a rod on the 2005 Great Race at the base of Mt. Rainer in Washington state, came back to life this week when the boys at Honest Charley Garage finished rebuilding it. The engine is back in the car now and later this week it should be on the road again for the first time in nine years. The car is the only 1916 Hudson Cabriolet left in the world.
It’s hard to believe it has been that long. It was Championship Run – the 14th day on the race from Washington, D.C., to Tacoma, Washington. The car did great until we crossed the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The engine started making a slight knocking noise, but we took it easy on it for the next few days, and she seemed OK.
We were in the Top 10 when we pulled into the lunch stop in tiny Naches, Washington. The float on the carburetor had a small hole in it and had sunk so during lunch Chad Caldwell and I drilled it out and patched it with J.B. Weld.
After lunch we started to climb higher and higher as we approached Mt. Rainer. All of a sudden, the knock the engine had been making for three days stopped the Hudson purred like a well-oiled sewing machine.
But 15 seconds later we heard it – the loud bang as one of the rods came out of the side of the aluminum block. We were out of the race – the only day in more than 10 years of racing that I was on the sweep truck.
The Hudson Cabriolet’s days of Great Racing are done, but it will make a wonderful parade and tour car. In the video you will see Hal Everett, Ben Giuliano and Keith Brown as they make my day by firing my Super Six.
Click here to see the engine run (and Hal Everett dance): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n12Nx-Qrq_8