“Doc” from “Cars” visits Union Station Museum

How cool is this. Ogden’s Union Station has a real movie star visiting!


If you’ve ever seen the Disney movie “Cars,” you know there’s a star of the show called “Doc,” the old Hudson that teaches the new brash kid how to drive in a race and win. The character was voiced by Paul Newman.


Paul Newman is not visiting Union Station. His being dead is just one problem with that.


“Doc” is, of course, just an animated character, but the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Historical Society has created an exact replica of him out of a 1951 Hudson Hornet that is currently touring the nation. For the next month, at least, the car is visiting Union Station, staying in the Browning-Kimball Car Museum.


Here’s the really cool part: You can touch the car.


Heck, sit in it, turn the wheel, fiddle with the knobs, kick the tires. One kid even honked the horn, scaring the bejeebers out of everyone. The owners want you to see what cars of the 50s were like.


I must stress: This is the ONLY car in the museum you can touch. All the rest are off limits unless you are naked.


Hudson has a proud history. Information from the society says the company was in operation from 1909 to 1957 and was, at one time, the third largest automobile company in America. Hudson Hornets won NASCAR three years in a row — which is why Doc, in the movie, may look big and slow but knows his stuff.


Steve Sherwood, one of the volunteers in the car museum, said his uncle owned a 1949 and 1951 Hudson and really loved them.


As I looked at it, I was reminded of other cars of that era — big and round and solid. My dad bought a used 1954 Ford as a second car when I was in  high school, and this Hudson is similar, with all the chrome on the dash, the big bumpers, the cloth seats and enormous headroom. Really a fine ride.


This one even has a button on the floor just to the left of the clutch pedal. Some cars had starter buttons down there, but this one is for the high-low beams on the headlights. Steve showed me the starter button on the dash.


This is a great and fun addition, even if temporary, to the museum so don’t dawdle.


Sherwood said it’s already turning heads. “One little kid went over and went all around it, looking and looking,” he said. “And then when he left he said ‘Good-bye!”


The author in the 1951 Hudson Hornet