- The Essex was very competitive with its low-price and guaranteed top speed of 70 mph.
- Its success made Henry Ford think seriously about replacing the Model A with a higher performance car.
The Essex was introduced in 1918 by the Hudson Motor Car Company as a low-priced line. Essex models came equipped with a 4-cylinder engine until 1924 when a 6-cylinder appeared. The combined sales for Hudson and Essex cars in 1929 was 301,000 vehicles, which put Hudson-Essex sales in the third place behind Ford and Chevrolet. Sales began to slump in 1930 and, in 1932, the Essex name was superseded by Essex Terraplane. After two years as the Essex Terraplane, “Essex” was dropped from the name altogether in 1934.
The 1929 Essex Speedabout was a definite challenge to other manufacturers with its guaranteed top speed of 70 mph. The car was reported to be so competitive it made Henry Ford think seriously about replacing the Model A with a Ford of higher performance.