Hudson History: J.L. Hudson financed the Hudson Motor Car Company with capitol from his Detroit department store and built antique, vintage and classic cars from 1909 to 1957. In 1922 Hudson bought the Essex Motor Company and added the Essex as their high-end car. The 1932 Essex-Terraplane was one of their most popular cars and by 1938 Terraplane had replaced Essex. Hudson was a very innovative company, credited with the first starter, a secondary brake system, and a crankshaft balanced more accurately. 1929 was the peak for Hudson, building a total of 300,000 Hudson and Essex cars. The 1936 Hudson was advertised as having an all new 'rhythmic ride' suspension system Hudson esd promoted to be the largest car on the market. Hudson halted production during the war years to make parts for the air force and engines for the navy. After the war the Hudson adopted a new lower, rounded styling for 1945. The Hudson Hornet dominated NASCAR tracks from 1951 through 1953 and were popular with drag racers in later years. Hudson was unable to keep up with the expensive retooling that new models called for and merged with Nash Motors to become American Motors (AMC), in 1954.