Air conditioning at a good price in 1955 Hudson Hornet

(May 20, 2014) The Hudson Hornet was redesigned for 1955 under the auspices of the merged Hudson Motor Car Company and Nash-Kelvinator, formed in 1954 as American Motors Corporation. One of the new features of the Hornet was an air conditioning system.

This television ad proclaimed that the Weather Eye heating and ventilation with optional air conditioning kept folks cool in summer and warm in winter with filtered air. It was more efficient than the competition, according to the commercial, because the system was located up front under the hood. And the ad promised that it was "hundreds less" than in other cars.

The system was a $395 option, which was, indeed, about half the cost of competing nameplates.

A new V-8 engine was also touted in the ad. It was a Packard-built 320 cubic inch (5.2-liter) engine making 208 horsepower mated to Packard's Ultramatic automatic transmission.

Alas, the Hudson nameplate and the famous Hornet name were short lived after the American Motors merger. Sales slumped from 13,130 in 1955 to just 4,108 copies in 1957, the car's last year.