∙Super rare 1922 Roadster Coupé ∙Well-known to the Antique Car Club of America ∙Recent UK import ∙Fully restored by previous owner
Brothers Robert and Louis Hupp founded the Hupp Motor Car Company in 1908. Their little four-cylinder "Hupmobile" runabout premiered at the 1909 Detroit Automobile Show and became an immediate success, with more than 5,000 built in 1910. Robert Hupp left in 1911, but the company continued to grow, hitting a peak annual production of more than 65,000 cars in 1928.
Among them was the R Series of models of the 1920s, which were steel-bodied and higher quality than many of their contemporaries.
The Roadster Coupé is a [particularly unusual variant. Introduced in 1932, it was a fully enclosed coupé (even its name suggests otherwise) and was essentially a two-seater touring car aimed at young adults. The pre-war equivalent of an Audi TT, if you like.
Today, Hupmobiles are sought after among enthusiasts who know the company for its innovation. Before it was killed off by the Great Depression, Hupp was one of the most forward-thinking car companies in the USA, its later designs in particular setting new aerodynamic benchmarks. The Roadster Coupe is one of its rarest models.
This car has recently arrived in the UK from long term ownership with a well-known US enthusiast called Dick Wood, from West Milton, Ohio.
Mr Wood bought the car in the early Seventies, and kept it a secret from his wife for the first six months of ownership. He even tells the story in a hand-typed letter in the car’s history folder.
Luckily both his marriage and the car survived and after almost 30 years it was finally returned to the road.
It came to the UK at the end of 2020 via an importer of unusual veteran automobiles and is now looking for its next home.
As well as the aforementioned letter, the Hupp comes with two box files full of paperwork and receipts documenting its comprehensive restoration.
In addition, there are several magazine articles relating to the R Series Hupp itself, some owners’ manuals and repair guides and a selection of certificates and trophies from events that Mr Wood attended with his car.
There is also a selection of service items and a box of useful spare parts that will be supplied with it.
The Hupmobile looks great in contrasting claret and black and is exactly how you’d expect it to be for an older restoration. It’s in great order overall with only a few minor marks, and nothing that detracts massively from its overall appearance.
The underside is spotless and beautifully presented, being almost as clean as it is on top.
It comes with a vinyl covered roof (hence the Roadster Coupé name) and neatly detailed wood-spoked wheels, with whitewall tyres and a spare whitewall mounted on the car’s torpedo shaped rear.
It’s a very pretty example of a 1920s veteran and is bound to be a talking point at shows.
As with the exterior, the inside of the Hupp looks very smart and in good order.
The bench seat has been recovered in black leather, the wooden steering wheel fully refurbished and a new black rubber mat fitted to the floor.
Other than that, it’s all pretty basic with none of the accoutrements you find in more modern cars to detract from the job of driving it – and a job it truly is!
Under the bonnet, the Hupp has a 182.5 cu in inline four, which translates to just over 2,990cc. That’s a pretty big capacity for a four pot, so it’s no surprise that it has plenty of torque.
It’s not powerful, though. 35hp of peak power at just 2,200rpm tells you exactly how the car is geared – it’ll pull like a truck, but it’s not built for speed.
Power is fed to the road via a three-speed dry plate transmission attached to a crash gearbox, meaning you need to perfect the art of double de-clutching to make the most of it.
It comes with its original starting handle and a booklet documenting the starting procedure – proof that modern motorists just have far too easy a life!
The vendor reports that the car drives spot-on, exactly as it should in line with its full restoration, though adds that that car will need a new heavy duty 6 volt battery .
This is a curious beast and a very rare car in the USA, let alone in the UK. Indeed, DVLA records don’t show any other Hupmobiles registered in the country, though super low volume cars often don’t show up in the data. Either way, you’re unlikely to see another one coming the other way.
So, if you want a car that’s regularly greeted with cries of ‘What on Earth is that?’, or which gets sage nods at veteran car events from the cognoscenti, here is an incredible opportunity to own something that’s a guaranteed talking point as well as a really pretty and beautifully restored example of pre-war styling.
It’s a curiosity, it’s eccentric, it has a brilliant name and it’s wonderful.
**The photographs in this listing were provided by the seller**
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