RANDOM RIDES: The Essex Doctor’s Coupe is simply super

CarsBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh
1928 Essex Super Six Doctor’s Coupe
1928 Essex Super Six Doctor’s Coupe

When I first met the 1928 Essex Super Six Doctor’s Coupe I was simply bowled over by its vintage charm and quaint good looks.

To put it in 1920s speak, if you had the Super Six Doctors Coupe you were “the big cheese” as it was simply the “cat’s pyjamas”. 

The Six is from a time where a man’s worth was based upon the number of German fighters he had shot down during the Great War and not how many Twit-a-gram friends he has.

This car comes from an era when moustaches were pointy, hipsters were a type of trouser and your gin was brewed in a bathtub.

The moment I sat inside the prohibition era coupe I was overcome with the urge to hang out the door with a Tommy Gun.

The car’s suicide doors and long running boards are period chic and straight out of an Al Capone film and unlike most 87-year-old things, the Super has plenty of go left in its 2.6 litre straight six engine.

The interior set up is surprisingly similar to that of a modern car; the pedal configuration is accelerator, break, clutch and it has a three speed manual gearbox with a dog-leg first gear.

There’s no chitty chitty nor is there any bang bang from the motor, which started up first time and happily trundled down the road, through the driving rain.

Unlike a modern automobile, the Super Six doesn’t have a window de-mister, so when things get foggy you simply lift the glass up and get a wet face, like a real man.

At the back of the car, where the boot usually is, there’s the exterior, pull out dicky seat.

This means your children, mother in law or any other loud, monotonous or over exited passenger can be kept outside the vehicle in the elements.

The Essex Motor Company was initially developed by Hudson Motors in 1918 to be a separate brand, but in 1922 there was a change of heart which brought the Essex under the official Hudson umbrella.

Because of its enclosed cabin, four wheel brakes and affordable price tag, the Essex was the third bestselling car in the US by 1929.

But then in 1932, Essex was rebranded Terraplane, a mark which would exist until 1938 before being fully dissolved into the Hudson brand.

The Essex’s previous owner was seemingly obsessive about attention to detail as everything on this car is period correct, from the wooden wheels and running board mounted petrol canister, to the 13,032 miles it’s travelled in nearly a century.

In my time at the wheel of the Super Six I got a taste of what early motoring was like and with a wet, but smiling face I can report that it’s a rather bouncy bag of laughs.

The Essex is a super vintage motor for any collector and is eligible for Ireland’s prestigious pre 1930s Gordon Bennett rally.

The 1928 Essex Super Six Doctor’s Coupe is for sale in Bolands Car Centre for €19,950.