Sex, Drugs, And Jazz – On The Road In A ’49 Hudson

Acclaimed as a book that defines the Beat Generation of the 50s, Jack Kerouac’s 1957 semi-autobiographical/novel, “On the Road,” has been reinvented for the modern audiences of today’s big screen. Although the French-made, English-language adaptation of Kerouac’s timeless vagabond tale was shot in the U.S. and Canada, with a Brazilian director and an Englishman cast in the lead role, the story is one of 3 friends who travel across America in a 1949 Hudson. 

The movie is chock full of familiar names with Francis Ford Coppola as the executive producer and featuring Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams and Tom Sturridge. While it hasn’t hit the theaters nationwide yet, there have been screenings going on since early 2012. According to most of the reviews, there isn’t much of a plot, per say, but if you are into sex, drugs, and jazz, then you will find yourself amply entertained. 

The part that intrigues us the most is, of course, the cars used throughout both the novel and the movie. The ’49 Hudson is written in as a full-fledged main character, which makes sense since director Walter Salles also directed the road movie, “The Motorcycle Diaries,” in which La Poderosa (a 1947 Norton) is personified. One of the coolest things to note about the Hudson used in the film is that it is a real driver. They “covered over 4000 miles with her, nonstop, driving around the United States for the second unit shooting,” according to Salles on, the official website for the film. 

We were able to dig up some photos from the sets of the film in Montreal, Canada and San Francisco, California. If you are a movie/car buff, it’s fun to check out screenshots from the movie on, where users take the time to wade through entire movies scouring for cars they can name so they can post them for the viewing pleasure of the World Wide Web. 

From checking out these photos, it seems that in addition to the starring classic car, the film is brimming with hot rod era cars that make our little hearts go pitter pat (way more exciting to us than Kristen Stewart). Sure, most of them could be considered “meh” to some, since most American cars of the 40s were common then, making them pretty common now, but we are excited to see them shining in the spotlight anyways. 

On the Road is scheduled to hit theaters nationwide in March of 2013, but it has been set to do that several times since January, so don’t kill the messenger if they move the date yet again. If you are interested in checking out the ’49 Hudson used in the film, it has been donated to The Beat Museum, so long as no-one ever washes it. 

About the author

Tracy Shayhorn

Tracy began in the automotive industry in 2002 as the marketing manager for a performance shop, which she helped co-found. As a marketing ploy, she found herself piloting high-powered racecars built at their shop. You may recognize Tracy from shows like Bullrun on and Ultimate Car Build Off. Tracy has used her racing career and media platforms to encourage and empower women to feel more comfortable in the automotive and motorsports arenas by starting up all women driving schools and automotive workshops. She now enjoys writing and shooting photos in her spare time for Power Automedia automotive magazines.
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