Just as horse racing started whenever people began riding horses, automobile racing started with the invention of the automobile. Proving which cars were the fastest as well as the most durable became major selling points in the early days of motoring, just as it is today.
The Pick of the Day is a direct result, a 1912 Hudson Model 33 Mile-A-Minute Speed Roadster, a lightweight sports car that could be transformed quickly into a competitive track car. This was the fledgling Hudson company’s own sporty version of such stripped-down speedsters as the Mercer Raceabout and the Stutz Bearcat, with the boast that it could run at the heady pace of 60 miles per hour – a mile-a-minute – while being available at a more-affordable price.
“This racer for the road followed the formula of Mercer and Stutz, with two exposed seats, a monocle windscreen and mudguard-style fenders,” according to the St. Louis, Missouri, dealer advertising the Hudson on ClassicCars.com. “Fenders, lights and valances were easily removed for racing, the seats and steering column were lowered, and a large fuel/oil tank was fitted behind the seats. The light body combined with Hudson’s powerful engine returned truly exciting performance for the era.
“This 1912 Mile-A-Minute Speed Roadster is a wonderful example of the rare and exciting veteran Hudson road racer. “
The Hudson was discovered in derelict condition in the 1950s after decades of neglectful storage, but a series of committed owners gradually brought it back to its current splendid condition, the seller says.
It’s easy to see today how the rakish roadster represented the raciest elements of automotive performance back in its day, still looking every bit the agile sports car just as it did then. This is what the cool kids drove.
The seller points out that the Hudson includes such period-correct details as “the circular trunk that also doubles as a spare wheel carrier, accessory manual oil pump, Castle headlamps (discreetly converted to run LED bulbs) and E&J cowl lamps.” The Monocle windshield makes the Speed Racer look a bit like Mr. Peanut.
Naturally, this rare and apparently exceptional piece of motorsports history does not come cheap, with the seller asking $189,500. But just like way back when this car was new, that’s still more affordable than a comparable Mercer or Stutz.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.