IMPOSTER! 1950 Hudson Commodore


One of the aspects of this particular hobby is that I get to be an artist and a researcher. Most salvage vehicles are not labeled with dates, which means I have to go home and do some research.


Last month, I came across this lovely vehicle. As is my habit (and because I tend to cover a lot of ground in the limited amount of time that I have) I took multiple pictures of this car with the plan to research the model year at home. This usually works quite well, but this time, I ran in to a problem. I cross reference body styles, grills, hood shields and ornaments with pictures of existing vehicles, print ads, and so on to identify a vehicle. Hood ornaments, in particular, are a great way to date a car.


This car is a Hudson. It says so on the front. It also says so on the rear.

Shadow Commodore

The interior also indicates it is a Hudson.

Thus, it is a Hudson. A Commodore, to be specific. Now I need a year.

Looking back at the hood ornament, I start trying to date the vehicle. The problem is that Hudson never used a hood ornament that looks like this one. But one company did. Chrysler used this particular hood ornament from 1946-1948 on all of their models.


Upon closer examination, one can see that this particular piece of decor has been welded (a bit poorly) on to the hood of this vehicle.

Chrysler on Hudson

So, it appears that I have photographed a 1950 Hudson Commodore that is sporting a late 1940s Chrysler hood ornament. This car has been sitting in this spot for a minimum of 30 years, so someone, many years ago, decided to swap out the ornament. I can only suspect that whoever did this thought the Chrysler bird was more interesting or aesthetically pleasing than the standard Hudson flair. Whatever the reason, it does make for a more unique find.