1927 Essex Speedabout

1927 Essex Speedabout

Between World War I and the Great Depression, it was trendy for high-end automakers to introduce “junior marques,” which offered the same quality and beautiful design as the larger models, but in a smaller and more affordable form. The Essex, designed by Hudson as a smaller Super Six, featured a smooth four-cylinder engine, but they were later replaced by a powerful six. Essex eventually gained a reputation for its fine quality, reliability, and interior room, and until sailing into the rudders of the economic downturn in 1929, it remained one of America’s most popular mid-priced cars, for good reason. The most exciting Essex built in this period was the Super Six Speedabout, which was introduced in 1927. It was bodied by Biddle & Smart, the Massachusetts coachbuilder that supplied many limited-production bodies, and it boasted a sleek “boattail” with a full leather interior. Underneath, special gear ratios were fitted, and those, combined with the 55-horsepower engine, resulted in the Speedabout traveling a reported 80 mph. The Essex Speedabout was reportedly built as a “halo car,” to draw customers into showrooms and auto show displays, where they would then purchase a more economical sedan or coach. The exact number produced is not known, but it is certainly very few, and reportedly, fewer than a dozen survive today; some of which are held in permanent museum collections.

1927 Essex Speedabout

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