The Hudson Project was the Foundation’s sponsorship of a 1947 Hudson Racing Truck that was designed to be driven by Michael-Ryan; or any other quadriplegic or paraplegic.
The innovation of the Hudson Project was in the custom designed controls that enabled Michael-Ryan to drive the vehicle. A one-of-a-kind mouthpiece allowed Michael-Ryan to control the throttle and steering while a bite pressure sensor in the mouthpiece controlled the speed. Three sensors inside the mouthpiece controlled steering direction.
Randy Simmons, who co-drove the Hudson handled gear selection, braking, and could assume total control of the Hudson in case of emergency.
Along with the custom mouthpiece, the Hudson had a custom containment seat designed to hold Michael-Ryan comfortably in a driving position. The powered seat was designed to swivel out of the vehicle, and the truck bed held a lift crane that swung out to pick up Michael-Ryan and place him into the vehicle.
“The Hudson Project provided me with something more than just working out,” said Michael-Ryan, “it was something I was able to do independently.”
Michael-Ryan and the Hudson were featured in two exhibition events in California:
- Irwindale Speedway (October 28, 2010). Michael-Ryan was able to control the throttle while going just over 100 mph on a 1/8 mile drag racing strip. (http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Quad_Drag_Racer_Los_Angeles-106314368.html)
- Mojave Mile (March 6, 2011). Michael-Ryan was featured in an exotic car showcase. The showcase featured Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s, and over 15 Ford GT’s. The Mojave Mile is a “standing start one-mile speed trial”. The competition is to see how fast you can go in one mile from a standing start. The track is a section of runway exactly one mile in length. One vehicle at a time is on the track. Electronic Timing triggered by laser beams is used to determine speed. The “speed trap” used to measure speed consists of the last 132 feet of the one-mile track. MR’s fastest speed trap was 137mph.
The Foundation sponsored the project to send a message of hope– to show that anyone can accomplish dreams no matter how great the hardships. The Hudson had the capability to not only reach high speeds, but also the ability to spread the Foundation’s message of hope to all that had the opportunity to see it.
- Designed/owned by Randy Simmons
- Built at XTreme Motorsports, Inc.
- 1947 Hudson Truck with 3-inch top chop
- 7.3 Liter Power stroke diesel engine with 88 Millimeter Turbocharger
- ATS racing transmission
- Produces 800 horsepower and 1,500 ft. lbs. torque
- 9-inch Floater rear end
- 272 gear ratio
- Custom forged 20-inch aluminum rims
- Top speed of 237 mph