In 1919 the Hudson Motor Car Company was a major player in the American automobile industry and in 1925 their Essex line of cars put them in the number three position, behind Ford and Chevrolet. As with Ford and Chevrolet, the success of the Essex was due to its appeal and affordability.
The first models were typical open top touring cars but when they offered a totally enclosed vehicle for only a few hundred dollars more in 1922 it was a hit with consumers and was soon emulated by competitors. The Essex introduced a variety of innovative features such as a transmission that would shift automatically (with the use of a clutch, a vacuum operated clutch, four wheel mechanical brakes and warning lights to replace gauges. In 1919 the Essex traveled over 3,000 miles at an average speed of just over 60 miles per hour and an Essex won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1923.
In the early 1930s Hudson began changing the Essex name to "Terraplane" and as a result cars were produced under the Hudson-Essex, Essex, and Essex-Terraplane badges. By 1934 the Essex name was dropped completely in favor of Terraplane and in 1938 it became the Hudson 112.
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