Dieselpunks.org | July 6, 2012
Another all-but-forgotten American car make – the Hupmobile.
Here is its story, brought us by HowStuffWorks:
Robert C. Hupp was an engineer who worked with Ransom Eli Olds and Henry Ford before setting up his own car company in November 1909. His first product, developed with help from several colleagues he hired away from Olds, was the Model 20, a little 16.9-horsepower four-cylinder job on an 86-inch wheelbase. Hupp priced it at a modest $750, a full $75 below Ford’s recently introduced Model T. With features like high-tension magneto and two-speed sliding-gear transmission, this first Hupmobile garnered 1618 sales. By 1913, Hupp production was over 12,000.
1914 Hupmobile 32 Coupe. Photo by stkone @ Flickr
Hupp left in a huff during 1911 (his next venture would be the unsuccessful RCH), but Hupp Motor Car Company prospered through the Teens and ’20s. A straight-eight debuted in 1925, and six-cylinder models replaced fours in 1926.
Photo by sjb4photos @ Flickr
1927 Hupmobile Eight Roadster via aldenjewell @ Flickr
1927 Hupmobile 8 Sedan & Roadster via aldenjewell @ Flickr
By that point the firm had inked a favorable contract with the Murray Body Corporation, and the considerable talents of its chief designer, Amos Northup, were evident by 1928 in Hupp’s stylish new Century line of Sixes and Eights. Buyers responded, and registrations that year totaled some 55,500.
1928 Hupmobile Century Sedan, Coupe & Roadster via aldenjewell @ Flickr
But that would be the peak, and Hupp never built more than 9500 cars a year after 1932. Though its post-1933 “Aerodynamic” cars were among the better examples of period streamlining, the public didn’t go for them. As a result, Hupp closed down midway through 1936, reopened to produce a handful of 1937-38 cars, then struggled on without much success into 1939.
1929 Hupmobile Century Roadster via aldenjewell @ Flickr