1935 Railton Eight

Victoria Coupe

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1935
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    148
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Blue

Description

  • A rare British-modified Hudson
  • Coachwork by Ranalah of London
  • 254 cu. in. L-head inline-eight; three-speed manual with overdrive
  • Striking two-tone blue and gray livery; cream leather interior
  • Rides on wire wheels; fitted with rear-mounted spare

Railton Cars was established in 1933 by Invicta founder Noel Macklin. He was deeply impressed by the Essex Terraplane, which American firm Hudson had just released to the British public. It offered impressive performance from its eight-cylinder engine and high-quality chassis. Macklin saw an opportunity to modify this chassis, as well as subsequent models, with stylish and lightweight British-built coachwork.

Reid Railton, an engineer and designer of land and water speed record cars, assisted in some aspects of the engineering—but perhaps most importantly, he lent his famous name to the project. In the spirit of Allard, Jensen, and the AC Cobra, the Railton paired British style coachwork with American power, resulting in one of the fastest production cars of the era. Just 1,379 Railton Eights were built before Macklin sold his company to Hudson Motor Car Company in Detroit to concentrate on building power boats, making surviving examples extremely rare.

This handsome Railton Eight features two-door coupe coachwork by Ranalah Coachworks, Ltd. of London, and is presented in two-tone gray with blue wings and body lines over a cream leather cabin. Its steering wheel, naturally mounted on the right-hand side of the cabin, features a blue rim that provides a pop of contrast on the interior. Mounted in the dashboard is, as one might expect for a car borrowing name from a speed-chasing engineer, a full suite of gauges and instrumentation.

Overall, this is a charming example of a rare British-American hybrid with a pleasing patina earned through years of enjoyment. Suitably equipped for touring, it features individual front seats, sunroof, and overdrive, which allows the powerful Hudson inline-eight to really stretch its legs. Wire wheels wrapped in blackwall tires, including a rear-mounted spare, provide a suitably sporting finishing touch. One of very few known surviving examples, it is a rare and fascinating footnote in British motoring history. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf21.