The Future of Sir Vival, A Safety-Minded Custom Hudson, Is Uncertain as Bellingham Auto Sales Closes Its Doors – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

The Future of Sir Vival, A Safety-Minded Custom Hudson, Is Uncertain as Bellingham Auto Sales Closes Its Doors – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

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In Bellingham, Massachusetts, the last active Hudson dealership in the world holds several treasures.”Right now, the place is like a landmark,” owner Ed Moore says in his thick R-obliterating accent. “We had to move the two-headed Hudson away from the corner when they were doing construction on the intersection, and everybody was asking when it was coming back.”

The most visible vehicle—ensconced behind one of the garage doors facing Mechanic Street—is a one-off Hudson-based safety car dubbed Sir Vival. Pretty soon, Moore will need to move it and everything else out of Bellingham Auto Sales before the wrecking ball comes for the garages

Moore’s connection to the corner of Mechanic and Maple Streets goes all the way back to his infancy, when his father, Donald, bought the single-room two-pump gas station there, added two rooms off the back, and moved his small family in while selling used cars on the side. In 1946, with postwar demand for cars off the charts, Donald did well enough that he felt comfortable taking a chance on a fledgling carmaker out of Buffalo and bought a Playboy Motors franchise. More than 700 other service-station owners did the same, and while their investments didn’t pan out as they’d envisioned, Bellingham Auto Sales fared better than most. Bellingham eventually owned as many as 11 of the 97 (or so) Playboys produced, including the prototype, final production car, and a demo car that Mrs. Moore drove. It also had the mahogany buck used to hammer out

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