Fabulous Hudson Hornet
No better title than the one on the sign. Inside, along with a wonderful collection of racing history, is a complete, functional “moonshine still”. Part of Stock Car racing grew out of “moonshiners” who built cars strong enough to haul 100 gallons of untaxed whiskey and fast enough to outrun the law. When NASCAR asked for a “model” of a “moonshine still”, legendary ex moonshiner, NASCAR driver and owner “Junior” Johnson insisted on providing a real still. He delivered and assembled it personally. NASCAR enlarged the planned exhibit space to accommodate Junior’s donation. In 1956, Junior had the misfortune to be caught at his Daddy’s still and served 11 months of a 2 year Federal sentence. Junior still makes “shine” but legally, 80 proof “Midnight Moon”, using the same family recipe and copper still process as 1956. Unlike 1956, it is available in North Carolina State Liquor stores. Junior describes his moonshine as “Smoother than vodka. Better than whiskey. Best shine ever.” In 1986, President Reagan granted Junior a Pardon for his Federal conviction.
This car and few more like it dominated the 1951, 1952 and 1953 races. My earliest memory of an automobile is riding in the back seat of a Hudson when I was about 3 years old. It seemed enormous and compared to current automobiles, was. My father owned a “Hornet” and a “Wasp”.