The Hupmobile Story

After starting work with the railways and then working for Olds Motor Works, Ford and later at Regal, Robert Craig Hupp wanted to product his own car. With paid up capital of $25,000 the Hupp Motor Car Company was established on 8th November 1908. By this time the prototype was finished that he started in a small work shop in Detroit, early 1908.

The car was first exhibited at the Detroit Automobile Show in February 1909. Orders flowed for the two seater runabout with a 2.8 litre 4 cylinder side valve engine. It was an immediate success and 1618 cars were produced in 1909 and they could not keep up with the demand.

Through the to the 20s production steadily rose to 19,225 cars with 1,700 men employed. The company enjoyed considerable success with more than 5000 men employed the mid 20s and production peaking at 66,000 in 1928. Hupmobile introduced a medium priced straight eight in 1925 followed by a 6 cylinder car in 1926 to replace the outdated 4 cylinder model.

The depression years devastated small automobile companies like Hupp with production dropping to 17,450 cars in 1931 and plummeting to about 9,500 cars in 1934 and 1935. Production was suspended in 1936 and just 1,752 cars produced in 1937. The company was placed in receivership in 1938 and after the City of Detroit wrote off the tax liabilities production was resumed. In a desperate move they produced 1500 Skylarks in 1939 and 1940. This was a luxury car with the Cord body on Hupmobile chassis.

The company was declared bankrupt in 1940 and reorganized for the war production began. At the end of the war the directors decided not to resume automobile manufacture and diversified into manufacture of home appliances and electronics. It became a subsidiary of White Consolidated Industries in 1967.

Members Vehicles