lump

Never knew how much I missed my old Hupmobile

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Well, after many years of letting my poor old 1923 Hupp touring sit in the garage, I FINALLY got it running again this past weekend. I had NO IDEA how badly I have missed it. It's been sidelined with chronic rust-in-the-fuel system problems for decades, but some friends and I solved that problem forever, at last! Once I was sure it really running reliablly enough again this weekend, I opened the garage door and surprised the grandkids, and immediately took them for several rides around the neighborhood. They squealed and giggled and waved to everyone in my old neighborhood, while pleading for a chance to honk the oogah horn. My face actually got sore from smiling so much. I've traveled hundreds of happy miles in the Hupp, since my parents first bought it in 1962. Who knew it had so much more joy to give this new generation of my family? 

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Now I'm going to have to go to work to clean, repair, and restore the appearance of our old friend. Much of the maroon paint was put on before WWII, and the rest of the maroon paint was applied in 1971. The black paint was also put on in 71 or so. But all of it is now badly cracked, chipping away, and even polished through in some places. The old nickel and chrome plating has lots of grime, and microscopic pits are starting. The worst area is the upholstery. Believe it or not, this car still has its original leather seats and imitation leather door and side panels. The door panels are fine, but the black long-grain leather in the seats has finally grown TOO old. It's disintegrating everywhere.

 

The "battleship gray" linoleum running board covers is shrunken and cracked horribly. Does anyone know if that is the "correct" material to use for running board covers for this Model R touring? Or maybe more importantly, is there any material that might hold up better under foot traffic? 

 

I will have the seats re-upholstered this winter, but I'm having mixed feelings about painting it. right now, I don't have to worry when the kids or a well-meaning neighbor put their hands on the paint, or lean against a fender. Will it be as much fun if it has gorgeous new paint? 

 

I do need to replace all five tires. The two front tires and my spare are GEHRIG tires, which my parents bought in 1963. I replaced two of them with Lester tires from Universal Tire about 25 years ago, but they are showing signs of dry-rot everywhere. So before I get it up to highway speeds, all 5 tires, tubes, and flaps will have to be replaced. 

 

By the way, light red spots on the side of the car in the photo below are just spots of sunlight coming through the trees. 

 

 

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Here is a photo of my brand new stainless steel gas tank, which looks exactly like the old, original steel tank (which I simply could not stop from rusting again and again). The second photo is of the original tank next to the new stainless steel unit, before the new filler nozzle and gas gauge/pick-up-line-tube were fabricated and installed. I was pleased to find out that stainless steel can be painted these days. But regardless of whether I could keep it in the original black finish or not, I was determined to replace that rusted steel tank with something that would NEVER rust. LOL. 

 

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Nice looking car!  That'll be a lot of fun for your family.

 

Nice job on gas tank, looks like it's well made.  I once went to a sheet metal shop, had a pattern, told them I needed a "gas tank" made.  Nope, won't do it, they said, can't make a gas tank, too much liability.  Now, they continued, if it was just a WATER tank, we could make it.  Yep, I said, that's the ticket, it's a WATER tank, silly me for saying "gas".  They did a nice job on it too....

 

When you get the upholstery done, you'll do yourself a favor by NOT using foam, as many or most upholstery guys now use.  It will break down, the additive that used to be added to prolong foam life is now outlawed by our government (cancer issue).  Use cotton and horsehair and you won't regret it, there's a pretty good product called "rubberized horsehair" that comes in sheets and makes a comfortable seat.

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3 hours ago, huptoy said:

Are you in the Hupmobile Cub & what city are you near?

 

Hello again, Jack. We've talked before. I'm the guy who runs the CARS & PARTS SPRINGFIELD SWAP MEET & CAR SHOW. My parents, Bill and Pat Wirth, used to own both of Don Roetman's Hupp sedans, before he bought them. How have you been? 

 

Are you coming to the fall swap meet, September 9, 10, & 11? If so, look me up. I'll be busy until about 1 pm or so on Saturday, but will then have plenty of time to chat. 

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3 hours ago, trimacar said:

Nice looking car!  That'll be a lot of fun for your family.

 

When you get the upholstery done, you'll do yourself a favor by NOT using foam, as many or most upholstery guys now use.  It will break down, the additive that used to be added to prolong foam life is now outlawed by our government (cancer issue).  Use cotton and horsehair and you won't regret it, there's a pretty good product called "rubberized horsehair" that comes in sheets and makes a comfortable seat.

 

That's GREAT advice, Trimacar! I really want to do this upholstery project right, so it will last longer than I will.  

Edited by lump (see edit history)

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I wouldn't worry too much about the appearance, I would make it safe/reliable and have fun with it.

 

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The Restoration Supply Company can provide the  Battleship Lineolum  and lots of other  good stuff as well -Karl

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