Monday, February 13, 2017

Remembering the Hupmobile

Outside of hard-core classic car enthusiasts, few people have ever heard of the Hupmobile (I hadn't before researching this photo), so this really is a little bit of Lost America Found. I was having difficulty in identifying the car when I remembered rule number one: look at the back of the print, because sometimes, just sometimes, you get lucky and the photographer might have made a note. There, in light pencil, was written "Billie C. and our Hup." A quick scan through the manufacturers list at and Hupmobile popped out, and sure enough, there's a Hupmobile club with a pretty comprehensive website. This appears to be a 1924 or 1925 two-door sedan. I still don't, however, know who Billie C. was.

Robert Hupp, who had worked for Ford and Olds for a bit, partnered with his brother Louis to form Hupmobile and came out with their first car, the Model 20, in 1908. The company hit its stride in the 1920s, giving Ford and Chevrolet some decent competition. Hups generated a reputation for being reliable yet unpretentious. The Great Depression hit them hard, and to try to generate consumer interest, they turned to famed designer Raymond Lowrey for a couple of designs, but to no avail, and with resources becoming scarce at the beginning of WWII, the company folded.

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