Featured is a 1934 Hupmobile Model Coupe. The Hupmobile may not be a familiar name among classic car enthusiasts, but it was a thirty year old marques that was popular in it’s era but like several other classic nameplates fell victim to the 1930’s Great Depression..

1934 hupmobile photos
1934 Hupmobile Coupe

The automobile at first was considered by some as merely a passing fad. The horse and buggy, a staple for centuries, didn’t give up it’s crown immediately. One issue of course was that there were hardly many decent roads for cars to run on. As Americans’ obsession with automobiles grew, their fondness for horses as a means for transportation declined. And the arrival of the car and electrified railways proved the horse’s death knell.

Hupp Motor Company

Before Henry Ford’s celevrated Model T, automobiles had been produced during the 1890’s. Some of these used the new internal combustion engine and others were powered by steam. Henry Ford’s first automobile was a Model A that was built in 1903.

During the latter part of the first decade of the twentieth century it was apparent to many people that the automobile was much more than a passing fad, Believers in the future of the motor car were Robert Craig Hupp and Louis Gorham Hupp, along with a group of investors, who started the Hupp Motor Company in Detroit in 1909.

Not new to the industry by any means, Robert Hupp had started working for Olds Motors in 1902 and then had joined the Ford Motor Company in 1906. Because of his background, Hupp decided that he not only knew how to make his automobile affordable but also how to make it good.

The First Hupmobile

1934 hupmobile model wThe first production model Hupmobile had a 17 horsepower four-cylinder engine and a sliding gear transmission. It’s cost was $750. During the first year of production, 2,618 Hupmobile Model 20s were built and in the following year the total was 5,340.

The first American automobile to be picked up by the military was the 1911 Hupmobile Model 20. This one car was bought by the 26th Infantry Division. It wasn’t long before the U.S. military wanted more and eventually acquired 15,750 of the cars.

A few side notes, the Hupp Motor Company in 1912 became one of two automakers who pioneered the use of all-steel bodies. The other automaker who was exploring the use of all-steel at this time was BSA in the United Kingdom. The Hupp Motor Company was the first to introduce clean air heaters. Also, the Hupmobile did very well during the 1920’s and competed fairly successfully against both Ford and Chevrolet.

The 1934 Hupmobile

By 1934 many automakers were struggling financially due to the Great Depression. The hardest hit were the independents who produced fine, quality automobiles that had relatively higher price tags.

The 1934 Hupmobile featured dramatic headlamps, a three piece windshield and a tire carrying fastback rear design. The new Aerodynamic Hupmobile’s design was a product of  Amos Northup and Raymond Loewy, two well know and respected designers. The model was offered as a coupe,sedan,and convertible.

During the 1930’s the affordable Hupmobile featured many advance design features that normally you would see on high priced luxury automobiles.

Hupmobile’s Decline

The Great Depression took it’s toll on Hupmobile. One problem of Hupmobile was that with many different models offered in a low sales volume environment, economy of scale couldn’t be achieved. Cord suffered the same problem. As financial trouble was brewing in 1935, an attempt at a hostile takeover took place in 1935.  In 1935 there  who produced was an attempted hostile takeover of the company took place. A year later in 1936 the Hupmobile Motor Company had to sell some of its plants. A year later manufacturing ceased, After that there was an effort to get back in business by using molds from the defunct Cord company but manufacturing was ceased again by 1940, this time for good. Automobiles remaining at that point were taken by creditors.

1934 Hupmobile Specifications

The 1934 Hupmobile Model W Coupe was built with a straight six with 90 HP.  Also available on the HUP Model T  in 1934 was a 261 cubic inch straight eight delivering 95 HP.

Transmission was a three speed manual.

Dimensions included a wheelbase of 122.0 inches

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below…

1936 Cord 810 Cabriolet

1935 Chevy Coupe

Reference material for this article includes...The Hupmobile Story: From Beginning To End by author Bill Cuthbert…Antique Automobile Club of AmericaThe Complete Encyclopedia of Vintage Cars: Sports Cars & Sedans 1886-1940 by Rob de la Rive Box…The Hupmobile Club.

 The Hupmobile Collector Car

34 hupmobile specsBy the 1930s, automobiles produced by the Hupp Motor Company were becoming very stylized and were considered affordable considering what you would get.  For the 1934 model year the Hupp Motor Company produced just under 49,000 vehicles.

Recent auction sale prices for a 1934 Hupmobile Coupe are in a range of from $25,000 to $30,000. Values will vary significantly if the example is in need of major restoration, etc or if the model has been heavily modified.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)