11/2/1951

Marshall Teague drove a Hudson Hornet to victory on the beach oval of the 160-mile Daytona Grand National in a Hudson Hornet.

In 1948, Hudson introduced the revolutionary "step-down" chassis design that is still used in most cars today. Until Hudsons innovation all car drivers had stepped up into the drivers seats. The "step-down" design gave the Hornet a lower center of gravity and, consequently, better handling. Fitted with a bigger engine in 1951, the Hudson Hornet became a dominant force on the NASCAR circuit. For the first time a car not manufactured by the Big Three was winning big. Excited by the publicity generated by their success on the track, Hudson executives began directly backing their racing teams, providing the team cars with everything they needed to make their cars faster. The Big Three, fearing that losses on the track would translate into losses on the salesroom floor, hurried to back their own cars. Thus was born the system of industry-backed racing that has become such a prominent marketing tool today. The Hudson Hornet would contend for nearly every NASCAR race between 1951 and 1955, when rule changes led to an emphasis on horsepower over handling.

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