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Hupp 20 Suitable For Touring?


MochetVelo
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Well, an interesting question, here's my reply that was posted on the HCCA forums:

Well, I've owned my 1910 Model 20 for almost 40 years, and though I love the way it looks, and it's fun to drive on a sunny day, I've taken it on exactly one tour in that time.

The Model 20 is a well built car, and at the time (1909-1911) offered a great deal for the money. It does have some weaknesses, however. One is the two speed transmission. This is fine on flat land, but when you get to hills you sure wish you had that middle speed. Model T gets away with it somewhat, but the Hupp is a pain going up a hill; low gear is too low, high gear is too high. The next is the flywheel/fan that's connected to the front of the crankshaft. A driver of a Model 20 learns one of two lessons, how to clutch then brake, or how to fix a snapped crankshaft.

As far as power, the runabout has plenty, keeping in mind the comment about hills above. On flat land, mine will easily go 35-40 mph, and a little faster if you feel brave. It's a little interesting at higher speeds, since the rack and pinion steering is very, very quick, less than one turn lock to lock. Thus at speed, if you sort of THINK about going right or left, you're heading there. I once tried to buy a touring, they're much less common than the runabout. A good friend of mine told me it was a shame I missed getting the car, as a touring would give me two more people to help push!

When I look at survival rates of 1909-11 Hupps versus same year Model T's, I have to think that the Hupp was a great around town car, but didn't make enough long trips to wear out. There are hundreds and hundreds of Hupp 20's still in existence, probably 5 times or more the number of same year Model T's. The T's got used and worn out, the Hupp's were used around town and then garaged, that's my reasoning to survival numbers.

So, my opinion is, you won't find a much cuter/prettier little car than the Model 20 Hupp, but if you're talking a lot of touring, no, not the car for you. Someone may bring up the one well known Model 20 runabout that's toured extensively, but I've looked at that car, and while it's a beautiful car and very reliable, it's had a lot of mechanical modifications to make it more road worthy.

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Though I've heard that the Hupp's two- speed is a problem, I think there should be little problem touring the car. My two- speed Saxons, like the Hupp, light and peppy, have no difficulty keeping up with other cars, either in flat Florida or hilly New England. On steep hills you do have to downshift, but they'll pass model T's on the way up. These early light roadsters, like the Hupp and the Saxon, were really delightful to drive. They don't wear you out like the big cars. Cute and dependable.

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I agree with David - I think the Hupp is a 1/2 generation behind the equivalent year T. The Hupp is pretty and fun to drive but lacks the solid reliability of the T and that poses some concerns re serious touring . I consider the Hupp to be equivalent in performance and reliability to a Ford Model N or R . I would not hesitate to tour anywhere in my 1913 Model T but am a little reluctant to tour much in the Hupp -Karl

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Hi all,

As a New Zealander I am at a loss to just what you refer to as a Tour.

My Hup 20m has been on several tours locally which we have enjoyed covering from 80 to 150 miles a day. We would consider greater distances. The car travels well averaging between 35 &40 mph. Yes uphill & downhill can be challenging but is part of the adventure . Regarding tours we have just completed a tour in Australia from Adelaide to Darwin a distance of approx 4500 KLM. Over 23 days 53 cars completed the tour mostly one & two cylinder cars. We were part of a team driving a 1909 2 cylinder Darracq. We made the distance with one puncture.

Regards Roger

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Roger As a Kiwi myself I think the are talking about journeys more like what you did in Aussie. Distances in excess of 1000 miles spread over a large number of days. My Hup has travelled from Auckland to Taupo a few times. I take it on Veteran runs locally a few times a year and they are normally 80 to 100 miles long. I have had my car 5 years and am only now reaching the point where I would be happy to take it on a long tour. The only mechanical parts of it that hasn't had major work on it in the last 5 years is the rear end and radiator . Unfortunately despite being self employed I just don't have the ability to take a week or two off work and go touring with my car. However I will do precisely this in Jan 2016 when I go to the Vero Rally in Dunedin but will take my 1930 Model A for that -Karl

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Hi Karl,

Look forward to catching up in Dunedin, we will be taking both the Hup. And the Darracq. Both will do the trip on trailers.

The tours we have done here are over a long weekend and cover around 100 moles a day with several other Veterans. All good.

Roger

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