The final accounting is done and Worldwide Auctioneers reports that the sale Saturday of the contents of the Hostetler’s Hudson Auto Museum produced 32 world-auction record prices for the 69 vehicles sold and a sale total of $7.5 million.
In addition to the vehicles, hundreds of pieces of Hudson-related automobilia were sold.
The first vehicle up for bidding, the only surviving 1952 “Fabulous” Hudson Hornet NASCAR race car, sold for a Hudson auction-record price of $1.265 million (prices reported here include buyer’s fee).
Among other record-setting sales was a 1955 Hudson Italia that brought $682,000.
“This collection was born of the late Eldon Hostetler’s life-long passion for the marque, encompassing dozens of rare, beautiful and truly special examples from across the decades” John Kruse, Worldwide Auctioneers co-principal, was quoted in the news release.
“Today’s record results are a testament to the care and expertise that went into building that incomparable collection. This sale attracted bidders from across the United States and overseas, with many of the cars offered in Shipshewana now on their way to other very significant collections.
“We look forward to seeing them out in the world at future concours and events and indeed on the road, continuing to build on the great legacy that the Hostetlers began.”
Eldon Hostetler grew up on an Amish farm family in northern Indiana and became fascinated by Hudson’s when a neighbor arrived in a 1936 Hudson Terraplane sedan to help Hostetler’s father with a wheat harvest. Almost immediately after becoming old enough to drive, Hostetler bought a second-hand 1938 Hudson.
Hostetler became a successful inventor of poultry feeding and watering equipment. He held 65 patents and the Ziggity Systems Inc., manufacturing company. He and his wife, Esta, drove Hudsons until 1954 when the company merged with Nash to become American Motors. He collected them later in life, eventually donating the collection to the town of Shipshewana, which provided a building to house the museum.
However, Hostetler died in 2016 and Esta in 2017 and almost immediately there was talk of closing the museum unless a new source of funding could be secured. When the funding never materialized, the auction was scheduled.
Top 10 sales, Worldwide Auctioneers Hudson museum sale 2018
- 1952 Hudson Hornet 6 Twin-H Herb Thomas NASCAR racer, $1,265,000
- 1955 Hudson Italia, $682,000
- 1937 Railton Special limousine, $462,000
- 1918 Hudson Series O town car by Murphy, $313,500
- 1928 Hudson Super Six Series O convertible sedan, $214,500
- 1927 Hudson Super Six supercharged sports tourer, $220,000
- 1917 Hudson Shaw Special racing car, $187,000
- 1952 Hudson Hornet 6 NASCAR re-creation, $165,000
- 1936 Hudson Deluxe Eight convertible coupe, $162,250
- 1934 Hudson Series LU Deluxe convertible coupe, $156,750
(Prices include buyer’s fee.)
Worldwide Auctioneers next sale is scheduled for August 23 at Pacific Grove, California, as part of Monterey Car Week 2018.