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Old 05-04-2009, 09:19 PM   #1
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Post Cliff Hudson

Written by Jerry Lee McGuire

A big innovator in Colorado Figure Eight racing history was Cliff Hudson, who was best known to fans for his white ‘Crown 7’ Fords.

His brother Pat Hudson turned Cliff onto the sport when it first started here in Colorado for the 1964 season at Englewood Speedway. Cliff first started pitting for Pat that year, then had to have one of his own when he bought his first car (a ’56 Ford) from 1965 Englewood Racing Association Figure Eight champion Arnie Kautz. Cliff also pitted for Arnie in ’64 to learn as much as he could of the sport from the bottom up.

The sport of Figure 8 racing was never the same once Cliff started building his own cars to race. Cliff always had to be different, and is credited to be the first to use negative camber in the front end of the car which quickly became the norm. “They all laughed at first”, says Cliff, “But a few weeks later, once they saw how well I could get around the track and pass everyone, they all started doing it.”. Negative camber in the front wheels is still used on Figure Eighters to this day.

Cliff was also known to wheel the super rare ‘Glass-top’ Skyliner ’54 Ford in the division during the early ‘70’s. Only 1% (13,344) of all Ford passenger cars produced in 1954 (1,165,942) were plexi-glassed topped Skyliner hardtops. They were virtually unseen even when they were new. Who in their right mind would gut out such a collector’s item to run as a Figure Eight? Well, that was Cliff. He just HAD to be different than everybody else. Another Cliff Hudson first was running a driver’s side window net in the division, which others soon followed.

Cliff was also known for “driving the fenders off of the car” each week as most old photos show his Figure Eighter with different colored fenders on it before he could paint them white again. Although Cliff never won a Figure 8 championship, he lays claim to well over a hundred quick times, and many track records at Englewood Speedway during his tenure in the Figure 8 division there. One time he smashed an Englewood track record using 160 octane airplane fuel in his car which the Englewood Racing Association had to call an emergency meeting to quickly outlaw. Cliff always found a loophole in the rules which always had officials scrambling to rewrite the Figure 8 rule book. Cliff was so passionate about Figure 8 racing that he actually married his wife Rae in the X at Englewood Speedway during a ceremony before the races on July 17, 1969. He then went out to break the track record again that same night. Cliff also branched out into Late Model and Modified racing, and was known to wheel Vern Dack’s #60 Modified around the Englewood oval in the early ‘70’s. Cliff Hudson never had any fear of “running the X” and was a lot of fun to watch run the 8. And personally, for those who think that Figure 8 racing is “just an exhibition”, I’ll debate you forever as to what (I believe) “real” edge-of-your-seat racing is.

Some additional photos from the Jerry Lee McGuire Collection of Cliff Hudson:
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cliff Hudson

I came across this article a few days ago and this was a great read. You see, Cliff Hudson was my Uncle (My Dad's brother) In fact, my Dad, Phil Hudson, is in the picture with Cliff sitting in the car with the 3 men hiding the non-white fender (He's the one in the middle). I shared this forum post on my Facebook page for all of my family to see. My Dad called me to thank me for posting that because of all of the memories that it brought back for him when he was younger and helping my Uncle Cliff during his racing days.

For those of you who do not know, Cliff Hudson passed away on May 6th after complications with surgery. The following is copied from the memorial card from his service.

Clifford Peter Hudson, 71, passed away Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka.

He was born March 26, 1943 in Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin, the son of Clifford Leroy and Helen Catherine (Mikel) Hudson.

He had worked as welder and mechanic on highway and heavy equipment until medical retirement in 1983.

He married Rachael Satterfield on August 17, 1969 in Englewood, Coloarado. Nine years ago, Cliff and Rachael moved to Osage City from Louviers, Colorado.

Survivors include his wife Rachael of the home; a daughter Rachael Catherine Dove of Osage City; a sister, Rita Mitchell of Lakewood, Colorado; three brothers, Paul Hudson and Patrick Hudson, both of Denver and Philip Hudson of Wasilla, Alaska.

He was proceeded in death by his parents, a sister, Jean DiBari, a baby brother, Michael Hudson and son-in-law, James Dove III.

Memorial contributions can be made to Clifford Peter Hudson Memorial Fund and sent in care of VanArsdale Funeral Chapel, 107 N Sixth, Osage City, KS 66523

Many of my family members were able to attend the service for Cliff. i have always had a wonderful family and we come together in time of need whenever possible. It was nice to see so many family members that I haven't seen in many, many years.

I want to thank everyone who manages this website. This is another way to help keep my Uncle's memory alive. If there is anyone who is active on this site, and knew my Uncle back during his racing days, I would love to hear some stories. I will keep my family up to date with any replies that are posted here.

Thanks so much.

David Clifford Hudson

R.I.P. Uncle Cliff. You will always be missed, always loved, and never forgotten.
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cliff Hudson

so sorry to here of his passing...
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:48 PM   #4
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: Cliff Hudson

Cliff was a lot of fun to talk to and especially fun to watch race. I believe he really did take the sport of racing a Figure 8 to another level. Some of the things he started doing in the '60's & '70's are still done today. So sorry to hear the news of his passing. Cliff Hudson was one of a kind. R.I.P.

Here's more photos and memories of Cliff's career in this interview I did with him back in the late '90's...
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englewood speedway, figure 8

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