Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

A 1949 Hudson Brougham named Christine

“She would be gone by now if we hadn’t towed her out.”

Marisa Rosales points to her outsize carburetor
Marisa Rosales points to her outsize carburetor

It’s the night before La Vuelta, on Logan Avenue. Jesse Amaro is up a ladder finishing a mural, a kind of permanent poster for the Barrio Logan festival built around low rider culture. Amaro has just finished with the part that reads “Cruising Is Not a Crime.” “The police always used to hassle us,” he says, “but we’ve proved just how great it can be, out of a lot of struggles. Come look Saturday.”

Marisa’s baby, Christine, the 1949 Hudson Brougham

So two days later, I do. And great ain’t the word for it. Under another mural at Sampson and Logan that says “Life is a Dream” (“La Vida Es Un Sueño”), Marisa Rosales sits back in a beach chair while hordes of folks like me swoon over her red-on-red, two-door 1949 Hudson Brougham. Low? The thing is an inch above the pavement. It has perfect chrome, the detailing lines are exquisite. The rear window has Venetian blinds. And in the trunk, the chrome cylinders of the low-rider hydraulics gleam.

It also has another plaque that says “Third Annual La Vuelta. First Place.” Wow. Number One out of all these cars?

Marisa’s prize: First place in the low rider contest

“This is about the eighth time I’ve won,” says Rosales.

Of course the Hudson didn’t look like this back in 1991, when Marisa and her boyfriend, Arturo “Mijo” Palma, first saw it in San Ysidro. It was by the Tijuana River. “She was sinking, in three feet of mud. There’d been a lot of rain. She would be gone by now if we hadn’t towed her out.”

They decided to turn this Hudson into a special car. It might have been a little bit of destiny: each day on the way to school, Marisa had always passed a junkyard full of Hudsons.

“Also, we had a mechanics’ yard to the right of my aunt’s house where I lived, and a body shop to the left. I used to spend hours on the porch watching them work.”

So when Arthur introduced her to the low rider world, she was already hooked on cars.

“Unfortunately, my boyfriend passed away in 1999. I decided to carry on restoring her, as a kind of tribute to Arthur.”

The main message

She joined the Hudson Essex Terraplane Club, and worked on the Brougham between working, looking after her baby boy, and going to college. (She’s now a senior Protective Services social worker.) Of course, back then, in 1999, the car was just a body. The restoration has taken years.

She installed a 454-cubic-inch Chevy Big Block motor from a ’69 Camaro. She got ahold of Pasco hydraulics straight out of an aircraft where they had been used to lower the landing wheels. (Thanks to them, she can lower the Hudson to the ground when she’s parked. “I want her to look like she floats.”) She added touches like 13” Zenith wheels, spotlights, a windscreen visor, and grill guards. “I really favor the grille on this car. It has that mean look I like.”

Which is partly why she also named the car Christine.

“I named her after the movie Christine. Remember? John Carpenter directed, 1983. It’s the Stephen King story about this car that killed all its owners? My boyfriend bought it. He died. His friend bought it. He died. The old man who was the original owner, he died. But I’ve had her nearly 30 years. I’m still here. I think she just doesn’t like men.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

How to get to the river path from Sports Arena Boulevard

Maybe you shouldn't try
Next Article

A poem for Independence Day by Francis Scott Key

His poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” became the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Marisa Rosales points to her outsize carburetor
Marisa Rosales points to her outsize carburetor

It’s the night before La Vuelta, on Logan Avenue. Jesse Amaro is up a ladder finishing a mural, a kind of permanent poster for the Barrio Logan festival built around low rider culture. Amaro has just finished with the part that reads “Cruising Is Not a Crime.” “The police always used to hassle us,” he says, “but we’ve proved just how great it can be, out of a lot of struggles. Come look Saturday.”

Marisa’s baby, Christine, the 1949 Hudson Brougham

So two days later, I do. And great ain’t the word for it. Under another mural at Sampson and Logan that says “Life is a Dream” (“La Vida Es Un Sueño”), Marisa Rosales sits back in a beach chair while hordes of folks like me swoon over her red-on-red, two-door 1949 Hudson Brougham. Low? The thing is an inch above the pavement. It has perfect chrome, the detailing lines are exquisite. The rear window has Venetian blinds. And in the trunk, the chrome cylinders of the low-rider hydraulics gleam.

It also has another plaque that says “Third Annual La Vuelta. First Place.” Wow. Number One out of all these cars?

Marisa’s prize: First place in the low rider contest

“This is about the eighth time I’ve won,” says Rosales.

Of course the Hudson didn’t look like this back in 1991, when Marisa and her boyfriend, Arturo “Mijo” Palma, first saw it in San Ysidro. It was by the Tijuana River. “She was sinking, in three feet of mud. There’d been a lot of rain. She would be gone by now if we hadn’t towed her out.”

They decided to turn this Hudson into a special car. It might have been a little bit of destiny: each day on the way to school, Marisa had always passed a junkyard full of Hudsons.

“Also, we had a mechanics’ yard to the right of my aunt’s house where I lived, and a body shop to the left. I used to spend hours on the porch watching them work.”

So when Arthur introduced her to the low rider world, she was already hooked on cars.

“Unfortunately, my boyfriend passed away in 1999. I decided to carry on restoring her, as a kind of tribute to Arthur.”

The main message

She joined the Hudson Essex Terraplane Club, and worked on the Brougham between working, looking after her baby boy, and going to college. (She’s now a senior Protective Services social worker.) Of course, back then, in 1999, the car was just a body. The restoration has taken years.

She installed a 454-cubic-inch Chevy Big Block motor from a ’69 Camaro. She got ahold of Pasco hydraulics straight out of an aircraft where they had been used to lower the landing wheels. (Thanks to them, she can lower the Hudson to the ground when she’s parked. “I want her to look like she floats.”) She added touches like 13” Zenith wheels, spotlights, a windscreen visor, and grill guards. “I really favor the grille on this car. It has that mean look I like.”

Which is partly why she also named the car Christine.

“I named her after the movie Christine. Remember? John Carpenter directed, 1983. It’s the Stephen King story about this car that killed all its owners? My boyfriend bought it. He died. His friend bought it. He died. The old man who was the original owner, he died. But I’ve had her nearly 30 years. I’m still here. I think she just doesn’t like men.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Corbin’s Q’s Scrumptiously SLO barbecue

Dee-Lish. I mean, an exceptional combo of tastes.
Next Article

Corbin’s Q’s Scrumptiously SLO barbecue

Dee-Lish. I mean, an exceptional combo of tastes.
Comments
4

Interesting story and interesting car. I think the car driven by Jack Nicholson in his sequel to Chinatown, which was entitled "Two Jakes" and set about 1950, was a Hudson of about that same vintage. But his was a convertible, a symbol of his prosperity.

Having a woman pull this off is most unusual. Maybe there's more to the story than reported here?

Sept. 4, 2019

Cool story. And a nice ride. Cruising is not a crime, and ladies can get into restoring cars too! It sounds like she grew up with it. Have fun Marisa! Thanks for sharing your passion!

Sept. 4, 2019

Actually, in some places, cruzing is a crime. They are called anti cruising ordinances.

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a15133548/the-end-of-cruising/

Sept. 6, 2019

Cruising is a "right of passage." By law, there are probably anti cruising ordinances throughout the country. I had fun as a teenager in the 70s...

Sept. 6, 2019

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close