Template:List of Terraplane Models The Terraplane was a car brand and model built by the Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan between 1932 and 1939. In its maiden year, the car was branded as the Essex Terraplane; in 1933 the car became simply the Terraplane until 1936 when it was brought fully into the Hudson line-up. The Terraplane was an inexpensive yet powerful vehicle that was used in both town and country, as both cars and trucks bore the Terraplane name. The car was also produced in a convertible version.

Hudson had manufactured the inexpensive Essex from 1919 as a lower priced vehicle line; the company merged Essex into itself in 1922. The Essex is generally credited with helping to make the enclosed automobile an affordable option for inexpensive automobiles.

Declining sales of the Essex, combined with the growing pressure from the effects of the Great Depression forced Hudson to replace the Essex with a re-designed automobile with a lower manufacturing cost and selling price. The transition took place in 1932 when the auto was renamed Essex-Terraplane. The 1932 model had slight resemblance to its Essex predecessors. The 1933 model still had the name Essex-Terraplane on the radiator shroud but was sold and built as a Terraplane.

The 1933 model was the only Terraplane made with an optional eight cylinder engine. The Terraplane Eight had an in-line eight cylinder engine with a 244 in³ displacement (the Hudson had the identical engine but with a displacement of 254 in³). The Hudson 8 had a cylinder bore and pistons of 3" diameter while the Terraplane 8 had a bore of 2-15/16". Both engines shared the same crankshaft with a 4-1/2" stroke.

The Terraplane 8 had a longer chassis, hood, and front fenders to accommodate the bigger engine and was distinguished by having vent doors on the hood as opposed to the shorter six cylinder version which had stamped hood louvres. Reportedly, a 1933 Terraplane 8 coupe set a record for the Pike's Peak hill climb which remained unbroken for over twenty years.

The Terraplane was produced until 1939, when Hudson simply called its low end model the Hudson '112', a number based on its wheelbase (inches).

The Terraplane chassis and engine was also used in the British Railton car made between 1933 and 1939. The company was bought by Hudson in 1939.

References in musicEdit

Blues singer Robert Johnson wrote and sang the famous song "Terraplane Blues" in which the Terraplane becomes a metaphor for sex. In the lyrical narrative, the car will not start and Johnson suspects that his girlfriend let another man drive it when he was gone. In describing the various mechanical problems with his Terraplane, Johnson creates a setting of thinly-veiled sexual innuendo.

"Terraplane Blues" has become something of a blues standard; Elliott Sharp named his blues band after the song.

The Led Zeppelin song "Trampled Under Foot" is based on Robert Johnson's "Terraplane Blues", as Robert Plant uses car parts as sexual methapors.

Marc Bolan of T. Rex refers to this car in at least two songs, Children of the Revolution and Rip Off.

External linksEdit


Hudson Motor Car Company

Hudson | Essex | Terraplane | American Motors | Dover Trucks

Commodore · Custom Brougham · Eight · Greater Eight · Hornet · Italia · Jet · Metropolitan · Pacemaker · Rambler · Super Six · Wasp

A.E. Barit · Roy D. Chapin · J.L. Hudson · George W. Mason · Marshall Teague

Joseph Lowthian Hudson None; Defunct independent

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