Are you ready to hit the road and tour the country in your '14 Hudson? Do you have visions of riding with the top down and your hair blowing in the breeze? You probably would not want to venture too far in this vehicle, because this model was not made in 2014...it was released in 1914. A brand new Hudson Six cost $2,250 and featured a 40-horse power six-cylinder engine and had a wheel base of 135 inches.
Forget about the modern conveniences like front-wheel drive, power steering, power brakes and shocks. This was one bumpy ride. The Hudson Motor Car Company might sound familiar, and for good reason. The sleek Hudson Hornet was a NASCAR champion in the fifties.
The Star Garage, located at 609-613 French Street in Erie, PA, across the street from the public library. It was owned by Albert L. Nelson. Ads in travel guides touted the Star Garage Company as the Erie's only fireproof garage. Nelson's dealership sold Stearns, Hudson and REO automobiles and Alco trucks. They sold new vehicles and repaired cars.
Here's an interesting fact about the Star Garage. "Earl Sandt and his brother, Walter J., have sold the Star Garage, 613 French Street, to A. L. Nelson, owner and manager of the Park Garage adjoining the Star property. The Sandt bothers have taken up aviation and their engagements as flying men are interfering with their garage business." -Automobile Topics, September 7, 1912.
It's no wonder Earl didn't have time to run his garage. "First Flight Across the Great Lakes. On February 20th, Earl Sandt, a young biplane pilot, flew from Erie, Pennsylvania 40 miles across the lake to Port Rowan, Canada. He had a mishap during his return trip while ten miles out above Lake Erie from North East, PA and fell on the ice. His machine was wrecked and he lay unconscious for several hours. He finally regained consciousness and managed to walk to shore guided by a pocket compass. He did not reach North East until 10 p.m. He was finally discovered by some skaters and was rescued. That he escaped with his life after his perilous trip is well nigh miraculous." -Scientific American, March 2, 1912.
None of the buildings shown in the photo exist today. They were demolished long ago. A surface parking lot currently occupies this site on French Street.
Find more fun facts about Erie, Pennsylvania at: Old Time Erie