The history of Hupmobile lasted from 1909 to 1940. This was no small feat when compared to the 200 other start-ups during that period that never made it much past first base. Robert Craig Hupp founded the Hupp Motor Car Company in Detroit. Hupp had worked for Oldsmobile and Ford. Bobby Hupp had partners. Charles Hastings, whom Hupp knew from his Oldsmobile days, helped with initial seed money. Others followed, including Edwin Denby, Walter Drake, John Baker, and Joseph Drake. Their first car, the Model 20, was a two-passenger runabout with a four-cylinder engine and a two-speed transmission. It sold over 1,600 in its first year. The car was rugged enough to serve as a Detroit Police Car.
Peaking and Fading
In 1910, the Hupp Motor Car Company introduced the Model 30, a four-passenger touring car. The Model 30 was also successful.
Hupmobile went on to make sedans, coupes, roadsters, and trucks. The company also pioneered certain designs, such as the use of all-steel bodies in 1912.
Hupmobile’s popularity peaked in the 1920s, when the company became one of the top ten automobile manufacturers in the United States. However, the company’s fortunes began to decline in the 1930s, as the Great Depression took its toll on the automobile industry.
In 1939, Hupmobile introduced the Hupmobile DeLuxe, a new model that competed with the luxury cars of the day. However, the DeLuxe was not a success. Hupmobile ceased production in 1940.
Here are some of the key features that made Hupmobile cars unique:
- All-steel bodies: Hupmobile was the first automobile manufacturer to use all-steel bodies in its cars. This was a major innovation at the time, as most cars still featured wooden bodies. The use of all-steel bodies made Hupmobile cars stronger and more durable, which contributed to their reputation for reliability.
- Six-cylinder engines: Hupmobile was the first automobile manufacturer to offer a six-cylinder engine in its cars. This was a major step up from the four-cylinder engines that were common at the time. The six-cylinder engine gave Hupmobile cars more power and performance, which made them a more attractive option for buyers who wanted a car that could handle long trips or heavy loads.
- Independent front suspension: Hupmobile was the first automobile manufacturer to introduce independent front suspension on a mass-produced automobile. This was a major improvement over the solid axle front suspension that was common at the time. The independent front suspension made Hupmobile cars handle better and ride more smoothly, which contributed to their reputation for comfort and safety.
Hupmobile was a significant player in early American automaking.
- Year Started: 1909
- Year Ended: 1940
- Origin Of Name: Name of Founder / Descriptive
- Location Sales: United States
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: Robert Hupp and Partners
- Owner While In Use: Robert Hupp and Partners
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: N/A
- Naics Code: 336110
- Location Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan USA