Photographer's Note

Yesterday was the day of the annual Biggar Vintage and Veteran Vehicle Rally and here I spotted the arrival of a real "oldie", a 1909 "Hupmobile" Model 20 Runabout, as it made its way to its position in the field, its engine just having fired into life, producing clouds of oily smoke and with its proud elderly owner at the controls.

The Hupmobile was an American motor car and must have been a very rare import into Britain in the early years of the 20th Century. It's probably unlikely that many of our American friends will even have heard of Hupmobiles as the company finally ceased production in the early 1940s.

"Robert Craig Hupp, following a distinguished career with Oldsmobile, Ford and Regal, established the manufacture of motorcars bearing his name in 1909 at Detroit in Michigan. The first Hupmobile was a four cylinder 2.8 litre Runabout with sliding pinion gearbox. This car, designated the Model 20, was launched at the Detroit Motor Show in February 1909, it was priced at $750. Henry Ford on seeing the car at the show said 'I wonder whether we could ever build as good a car for as little money.' The Model 20 found 1,618 customers in the first year. A total of nearly 16,000 models were built before production ceased in 1913.

The Hupmobile Model 20 was renowned for its durability and turn of speed. For these attributes, and perhaps for its very tight turning circle, it was selected as Detroit's first police car. The car was also much enjoyed by ladies who found it easy to start. This car was also both fun and interesting to drive- all the more so because of the twin speed Ruckstell rear axle incorporated in the transmission. The Hup Corporation had such confidence in their Model 20 that every car was guaranteed for life."

You can see a wider, fuller view of this magnificently restored and presented elderly motor car in the workshop as well as a larger version of this main picture on the "beta" TE website here.

Photo Information
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Additional Photos by John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1985 W: 427 N: 7660] (30513)
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