Hudson produced since 1919 the budget Essex line. In 1922, the Essex Motor Company was integrated into the Hudson Motor Car Co. It is generally attributed to the Essex to have made closed automobiles affordable.
Declining sales of the Essex and the growing financial pressure of the global economic crisis forced Hudson to replace the Essex with a redesigned car with lower production costs and a lower sales price. The redesigned 1932 car was called Essex-Terraplane . Hudson asked well-known aviator Amelia Earhart to support the launch of the first Terraplane. Because he was a small but powerful car with a very well-built steel frame, Orville Wright bought one of the first cars. The model of 1932 looked very similar to the Essex predecessors. The model of 1933 still had the name Essex Terraplane on the grille, but was already asTerraplane marketed.
The Terraplane models 1933 and 1934 were available with an optional eight-cylinder engine. The Terraplane Eight had an eight-cylinder inline engine with 244 cu in. (3998 cc) displacement. (The Hudson had a comparable engine, but with 254 cu in. (4162 cc) displacement). The Hudson Eight engine had a bore of 3 "(76.2 mm), the Terraplane engine one of 2 15/16" (74.6 mm). Both had a 4.5 "(114.3 mm) stroke.
The Terraplane Eight had a longer chassis, a longer bonnet and longer front fenders to give the big engine enough space. He had in contrast to the six-cylinder vents on the side of the hood. It is said that a 1933 Terraplane Eight Coupé set a new record in the mountain race at Pikes Peak , which lasted more than 20 years. The Terraplane was used by the gangster John Dillingeras a preferred escape car.
The Terraplane was produced until 1939. Then Hudson called his simplest model Hudson 112 . The number was based on the wheelbase in inches.
The chassis and engine of the Terraplane was also used for the British Railton (built from 1933 to 1939). This company was bought in 1939 by Hudson.