It all started when Hugh Montgomery, known by many as Hughie Hup, brought his prized 1929 Hupmobile sedan for us to restore at least twenty years ago. Since then we have worked on two more of Hughe's Hupmobiles and last year Hugh persuaded a friend to bring his families very special Hupmobile for The Guild to work on.
When it arrived we all knew it was a very special car. It was stunningly original and untouched. The paint while faded was applied at the factory and the rest of the car was just as original. In fact the car was very little used and the reasons were both historically fascinating and also quite sad.
It transpires that the original couple who bought the car new were missionaries and they took the car with them when they went to Mississippi on an evangelical mission. Unfortunately they ran afoul of the Klu Klux Clan and were lynched.
The family recovered the car and it was put into storage, very long term storage.
Last year The Guild picked up the old Hup sedan and brought it in for refurbishing.
Our initial reaction was to leave it alone, just reinforcing the interior (and removing the smell of mould and mice) and getting it running and safe. Sadly the interior was just too far gone and needs to be replaced. Because at that point the car would be neither restored nor original the family decided to go ahead and do a comprehensive off frame restoration including paint and all mechanicals.
The car is now in process and is moving along very well, due in part to the great information available to the restoration team from its original untouched condition.
When it first arrived this car underwent a comprehensive documentation process which ranged from a close examination of the original paint to all the nuts and bolts. We also examine the various processes used by the Hupmobile Company which are evident in an untouched car like this. This documentation not only aids us in restoring this particular car but also acts as a wonderful guideline for any other Hupmobile that come to us for restoring or even regular maintenance.
It is a great privilege to work on this Hupmobile for its owners and we always take the greatest pride in restoring family heirlooms. These are undoubtedly the most satisfying restorations that we perform because they mean so much to both he historical record and to the families that own them.
More History on the 1925 Hupmobile
The 1925 Model E Hupmobile was purchased new from Beman Auto Company located at 117 North Second St, Oskaloosa, Iowa by James W. MacLennan in May 1925. James MacLennan is the great uncle to my wife Bernice Keane. The list price of the car was $2,375.00 and it had a cash selling price of $2,605 which included war tax, freight, etc. Once all the optional equipment was added the final price for the car was $2,715.64. James MacLennan put down $1,605.00 cash and financed the difference of $1,115.64 over twelve months at $92.97 per month (o% interest). The car was registered at the State of Iowa, Mahaska County Record's Office on May 2, 1925 at 4:25 PM by D.B Hawkins, Recorder at a cost of $0.25. The car was insured for James's wife Eva with Saint Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company for an annual premium of $18.50 (fire $10.55, theft $5.30 and tornado $2.65).
W. MacLennan, P.H.D., LL D was the president of Oskaloosa College in Oskaloosa Iowa. James, his wife Eva and their son John all met their demise around May 6, 1926.The car was left to his brother George P. MacLennan of Fingal Ontario. George went to Oskaloosa to tend to his brothers funeral and bring the car home. To bring the car over the boarder George had to pay Duty of $422.68, sales tax of $98.00 and excise tax of $136.00 for a total of $656.68.
In the early years George drove the car occasionally from the time he brought it home until the 60's. Most of the time the car was kept stored in his garage. He would occasionally remove one of the rear wheels and install a pulley to use the car to buzz wood for the homes heating and cooking stoves. George passed away in January 1977 and the car's ownership then passed to George's daughter, Ada Boyd of Yarmouth Centre (St. Thomas Ont.). The car was moved into storage at the farm of Ada's daughter, Bernice and son-in-law Gord Keane of Dutton, Ontario. Upon Ada Boyd's death on March 1, 2005 the car was bequeathed to her daughter Bernice Keane.