One more thing about the Hudson Jet convertible story

It’s a great cover story (Cars & Parts, July 2010). You don’t often read about Hudson prototypes, and it’s nice to see something positive about the Jet, the car that sank Hudson.

However, it seems to me that writer Bob Stevens buried the lead. It seems like he spent a lo-o-o-o-o-ong time setting up the story. I love auto history, but the story might have been more engaging if the history of the Jet had been arranged in graphic sidebars. That way, Stevens could have told us about the Jet convertible prototype much more quickly. After all, that’s the story that the magazine’s cover promises us.

Also, I would have loved some quotes from Virgil Boyd, an actual historical figure in the story. Oral history is almost always more engaging than historian history. It’s more authentic. (Full biased disclosure: I videotaped an interview with Virgil Boyd at his home in Sedona, AZ, in 2000. I wish I’d known about the Hudson convertible. I would’ve grilled him about it.)

However, once Stevens gets to the prototype’s story, I thought it was a great read. Kudos to Cars & Parts for a great Archetypal Prototype story. Joseph Campbell would be very proud.

Some Hudson Jet convertible video

While I was writing the Archetypal Prototype story, I did a little surfing on the web. For those of you who thought they were getting some news about an absolutely unique Hudson Jet convertible, my apologies.

As penance, I offer you this YouTube video, which shows the Jet convertible’s unique motorized top in action.


The Hudson Jet convertible is the latest Archetypal Prototype story.

I love stories about orphan car prototypes. They’re the rarest of the rare, because they often read like heroic epics.

The prototype was made in the dying days of Belly Up Motors. One courageous Oskar Schindler-type executive whisked it away before it could be crushed or destroyed. It was a daily driver for years until it vanished. Its absence gives storytellers enough time to give birth to a legend. It’s very name could only be uttered in hushed whispers at national meets and parts swaps.

Then one unexpected day, the prototype emerges. Weathered. Rusted. A battered chassis compared to the mythic Chariot of the Gods as immortalized by the epic storytellers (aka marque historians).

One courageous Belly Up fan outbids all others to acquire the prototype and works tirelessly to restore it to Religious Icon status. Against all odds, he triumphs. The prototype once again proudly sits atop the Turntable of Glory inspiring awe, reverence, and envy among the collectors who were outbid when they had their chance at the auction.

The End (until an earthquake/fire/flood damages the facility where the prototype is restored. Then the Belly Up fan has to heroically struggle yet again to restore the car.)

I wrote that little Archetypal Prototype Story after reading Bob Stevens’ article about the only Hudson Jet convertible built. Look for it in the July 2010 issue of Cars & Parts.

Stevens’ excellent story is more than auto history. It’s genre nonfiction. I’ve read this story over and over. Replace Hudson Jet with Nash Metropolitan station wagon or Packard Panther Daytona. Replace Hudson uber-collector Ed Souers with Joe Bortz. I’ve heard this story many times with different details. And every story is entertaining.

I hope Cars & Parts writes more Archetypal Prototype stories. What other types of genre classic car stories do YOU like to read?