How many of you know anything about the Hudson Motorcar Company, beside knowing about the Hudson Hornet that dominated NASCAR in the early 50’s? Show of hands….. Well, at one time it was the most popular of the “independent” car makers in America. They “stepped out” of the shadows of the others when they introduced the “Step Down” Hudson models in 1948. Before this time, they did produce a conventionally styled car, with a companion pickup truck which was discontinued in 1947. After that little history lesson, I want to introduce you to one of those Hudson Pickups, only radically altered in many ways.
The Michael-Ryan Pattison Foundation sponsored the development of a quadriplegic and paraplegic accessible 1947 Hudson Race Truck called the Hudson Project, and has been featured in various auto magazines, and displayed at several auto shows throughout the US. Driven by Michael-Ryan Pattison, this is the first ever race vehicle actually controlled and driven by a quadriplegic who has no mobility below the collar bone. Pattison has used a newly designed mouthpiece to control the truck!
Powered by a 7.3 liter Powerstroke diesel, it is said to produce around 800 horse power on bio diesel. It will be entering a number of events to test the potential of this truck, as well as the technology that makes it possible for Pattison to drive it at speed. The race truck is the inventive effort of Randy Simmons, President of Robotic Integrated Technology LLC. Simmons, who has created other devices to help disabled persons, has also designed and built world record-holding and award winning race cars.
According to the Michael-Ryan Pattison Foundation Website, “The Hudson project will accomplish more than just a quick thrill ride–it is a project that has been taken on by the Foundation that will continually send a message of the willingness to accomplish dreams no matter what hardships we may face. The Hudson has the capability to not only reach high speeds, but also the ability to spread the goals of this foundation to a much broader spectrum of people. The truck will be featured in car shows around the United States, where we hope to get news coverage that not only highlights this very cool ride, but also the mission of the Foundation.”
It’s a fascinating story, and one that should be followed closely in the coming months. I will try and do a couple of follow-up postings in the near future. In the meantime, read about the Michael-Ryan Pattison foundation, and see if this isn’t inspiration for us all.