Old Car Dealer Dept.
by Jim Corbran - posted 2:50 pm, May 30, 2009
How many times have you driven by the corner of Kenmore and Delaware Avenues and seen the Bison Automotive building at 1370 Kenmore? Did you know that at one time it housed Palmer’s North Side Motors? Billed themselves as “Hudson’s Volume Dealer” they did, back in 1954.
1954, you may remember, was Hudson’s final year as an independent automobile manufacturer. In 1955 they merged with the Nash-Kelvinator Corp. to form American Motors Corp. Not surprisingly, Palmer’s eventually became a Rambler dealer.
But, back in 1954, they were advertising a new Hudson Wasp four-door sedan with heater, directional signals, undercoat, and wax and polish for $2,530.80. Less your 1950 Hudson trade of $1,200 you could buy the Wasp for just $1,330.80, or monthly life insured-payments of $42.47. No need to rush down there, as (and I’m sure the salesmen loved this part) Palmer’s was open ’til 9:30 p.m. Ah, the wonderful working hours of the car salesman!
At that same time, Nashes were selling at a similar price, but you could buy a top of the line Ford or Chevy sedan for less than two-thousand dollars. Even a V-8 Dodge Royal sedan could be had for less than the price of the six-cylinder Hudson Wasp. Which answers a lot of questions about why Hudson and Nash failed, driving off into the sunset after the 1957 model year, which saw a total production of only about 5,000 Nashes and less than 4,000 Hudsons.
Come on back every weekend as we check out an old dealership and find out what, if anything, is there now.