The Hupp Motor Company was founded in 1908 by Robert Hupp, a former Oldsmobile and Ford employee, and his brother Louis. The company was successful until about 1925, when they decided to move towards making larger, more expensive models and away from cheaper 4-cylinder cars. As with many other car companies, this strategy eventually ended up sealing the Hupp Motor Company’s fate. With too many models available, it was impossible for the company to produce enough of any one to turn a profit.
The company pinned its hopes for survival squarely on the Skylark, which became available in 1939. The car was hugely popular and the company took thousands of orders, but unfortunately Hupp took too long to build the cars and most of the orders were eventually canceled. Only 319 Skylarks were produced. With its striking good looks, it’s easy to see why the car would be in demand. It was based on the design of the Cord Automobile Company 810/812, a popular luxury car from a company that folded in 1938. Hupp purchased the production dies for the car from Cord, betting that the stylish design could breathe new life into their struggling company. And it might have, if they’d just been a little faster to market.
Restored Skylarks like the one shown are said to be able to reach modern freeway speeds quite easily and smoothly – even though the factory speedometer reads “DRIVING RANGE” up to 50 MPH and “DANGER ZONE” after that!
Photo by Rex Gray