The Hudson Project

Sponsored by the Michael-Ryan Pattison Foundation and developed to be quadriplegic and paraplegic accessible, The 1947 Hudson Race Truck was designed and built by Randy Simmons, a California entrepreneur and inventor specializing in robotic engineering.

The Hudson is the first ever race vehicle designed to set land speed records while being controlled and driven by a quadriplegic who has no mobility below the collar bone.

As driver, Michael-Ryan uses a one-of-a-kind pressure sensitive mouthpiece to control the throttle and steering while co-driver, Randy handles gear selection, braking, and has the ability to assume total control of the Hudson in case of emergency.

The Foundation is sponsoring this project to send a message of hope--to show that anyone can accomplish dreams no matter how great the hardships. The Hudson has the capability to not only reach high speeds, but also the ability to spread the Foundation’s message of hope to all that have the opportunity to see it.

This season will include numerous racing events and car shows for the Hudson. After the season, events will be held to allow others with spinal cord injuries to drive the Hudson. Randy has also developed hand controls, much like the ones used by paraplegics to control their personal vehicles, to make it easier for more people who are disabled to control the Hudson.

A Hudson Update:

So far this year we raced the truck at two events the Mojave Mile and El Mirage dry lake bed. During the Mojave Mile Michael-Ryan Pattison and myself raced the truck on a mile of Mojave's air strip. Unfortunately we could not get the transmission to shift into high gear and at a 3rd of the track we maxed out at 120mph. I thought it might be in the programming but could not find the problem. A couple weeks a go I raced at El mirage and thought I may of found the problem why the truck did not shift but after the first run I found out I was wrong. At that point I realized it was an internal problem. That very next day I called ATS Diesel where I bought the transmission from and they were great at helping me figure out the problem and we found it was the solenoid control valve in the transmission was stuck, ATS sent me a new one and with in a few days I had it installed and up and running and now all gears work great!

June is gonna be a busy one for the Hudson! First, the truck will be on display at the Huntington Beach Concours d'Elegance on June 5th. Then on June 6th it goes to the 14th annual Show and Shine at Mel's Drive-in in Rancho Cucamonga. June 19th and 20th it will be at the LA Roadster show in Pomona. Then we are off to Wendover, Nevada for the Bonneville 100 open road race the 25th and 26th.

We are looking forward to racing the Bonneville 100 (read the Bonneville update here), I have the truck in top working shape and we are entering in the 130mph average Grand Sport class. Michael-Ryan will be navigating and making sure we are on time for our target speed and I will be making sure we stay on the road with my foot to the floor! The course starts in Wendover and we race south 50 miles on hwy 93a and then the second leg is 50 miles back to Wendover.

O Yeah! check out the newest issue of Truckin Magizine  ( vol. 36  No.8) The truck has a nice 6 page spread. Also I was told the same article was published in a few European magizines as well!

-Randy Simmons

View these pictures and more in the DEI Vehicle Gallery

Photos courtesy of Randy Simmons

Visit their website for more information on the Michael-Ryan Pattison Foundation and the Hudson Project: