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24 Hupmobile speedster


LCK81403
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I am brand new to this site.  In the 1960s I was a member of AACA when I then owned a 1935 Terraplane.  I now have the opportunity to purchase a 1924 Hupmobile former sedan basket case.  Have been considering the possibilities to refurb the Hupp into a speedster along the lines of a Kissel Gold Bug.  I would appreciate any and all views about a potential project such as this.

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Hello, I did a similar  project.  Look at the 1922 Studebaker Dirt track racer.  I cut 3" off the bottom of the cowl to lower it and sectioned the center 8" and welded the two half's of the cowl back together.  This allowed  the body to set inside the frame. 

I then trimmed the hood and side panels to fit the cowl.  This was all done by me for free. I bought 3 sheets 4'x10' of new sheet metal ( two 22 ga, one 18 ga) for $175. I built the rear body wood  frame ( Buck) for $300. in new wood  I bent the new metal myself for the rear body and painted it egg shell white for $90. I plan to build the header exhaust over the winter in the heated workshop.  My skill level on a scale of 10 is 7.It is amazing what can roll out of your garage with a vision and many small steps to achieve it . When you are finished it is a " One of a kind"  Seize the moment and start your project..  At 73 I am looking for a new project along these lines.   Don in central Ohio.

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Hey LCK,

   In my opinion, a true “Speedster” needs to possess most of the following attributes to be distinguished from a project-car-wannabe. I’m defining your speedster as a luxury sports car, not a cut down car made for racing or rat-rodding around. A Kissel Gold Bug after 1922, a Paige Daytona Speedster, a Daniels Speedster, a Mormon Wasp, a Stutz Bearcat, or a Mercer Speedster are what I think you may be envisioning.

1) rear deck of body needs to be sleek, not boxy. A bumble-back Like a Kissel, a special tire mount rear like a Marmon Wasp or Stutz, or sleek like a Paige Daytona speedster.

2) doors need to be “racer- cut” which means cut down below cowl level. Or no doors as was common.

3) trim needs to be “pimped out”, more dressy than other of that marque’s roadsters or sedans. A lot of nickel.

4) wire wheels. Most came with wood wheel or wire wheel options but very very few were not upgraded to dressy Buffalo or Houk wires, to the nuance he sleekness.

5) no running boards. Step plates were used on many up scale speedsters.

6) two passenger base car - or a two passenger with suicide or rumble seat. Not a four passenger body.

my opinions. Good luck. Ron Hausmann P.E. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I fell in love with a Kissel Gold Bug 53 years ago in Minnesota.  At that time I was a new member of AACA and didn't yet own any kind of car since I was recently returned from an Army hitch.  This love affair began in central Minnesota.  An elderly couple from Cokato, MN was going on a Fall Foilage run to the Minnesota River Valley and they invited me along.  I road in the rumble set of that beautiful yellow Gold Bug.  It was a truly wonderful and impressive experience.  The following year I finally acquired an old car, which was a 1935 Terraplane (one owner, 24,000 original miles, garage find).  At that time the '35 Terraplane set me back $350 -- BUT -- it was not a Kissel.  Fast forward all these years later and my heart still throbs for the Kissel I do not have in my loving garage.  The Kissel God will never visit me, I am sure, however I have been developing a real hankering for a project.  I have done a lot of studying about how to construct a buck, materials, fiberglass and so on.  I do not wish to insult Kissel owners by my attempt to produce something resembling a Kissel.  Still and all, I really like the Kissel look, as well as the generally same appearance of the 21 and 22 Daniels speedsters, the 22 Haynes speedster, the 19 and 22 Paige speedsters, 15 Simplex-Crane,  the Stutz Bearcats, and the 20 Templar speedster.  I have concentrated most of my time on the Kissel Bugs.  While the cars themselves are beautiful to look at I am really interested in seeing photographs taken in the Kissel factory showing partially built Bugs.  A particularly educational series of photos of a 1924 Kissel Bug are on the internet under the heading "Significant Cars".  There are a lot of very nice photos of details of the car, and details are very important to observe.  I am especially interested in the wood framing under the metal skin.  I am a little intrigued by what, why, and how Kissel fabricated the trunk / rumble seat area of the car.  I see various type of doors used in the trunk area.

 

I have the opportunity to acquire a basket case 1924 Hupmobile that used to be either a coupe, 2-dr or 4-dr.  Being a basket case as it is, I can't do much damage to it.  I have been mulling over how to renovate the Hupp into a speedster that holds true to the Kissel and Daniels designs.  It would certainly be unique.  However, the Hupmobile hood would have to be lengthened and that would necessitate a number of things to be done.  Nothing is settle regarding this but this is still the thinking stage.  I have not been able to find more than a few photos of the Kissel factory floor that give me a general idea of what the workmen did.  I would love to find engineer or design drawings of the Gold Bug so that I could better assess if my skills are up to the job of building such a vehicle.  I would not be able to do sheet metal work but probably could work with fiberglass.

 

I have attached a photo of the '35 Terraplane I used to own.  Back in the 1980s I was forced to sell it because of storage space issues.  When I bought the car it still had the original 6-volt battery, which had a wood case dovetailed together at the corners.  Under the hood was an 88 HP straight six, 3-speed on the floor.  The car came with its original tires (bald), but luckily my father had NOS direct replacement tires that he had stashed away during WW Two, and I was able to put on new rubber all around.

 

LeRoy

35 Terraplane 01-01.JPG

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Here is the '24 Hupmobile basket case.  Did I mention that it's a basket case?  The Hupp appears to be a certified basket case, although I have seen worse.  The remains can't be hurt too much by rebuilding it into something else.  It appears the best feature of this fine automobile is the nice condition of the Hupmobile badge on the radiator.  At this time I do not have any major plans on the drawing board but I continue to study car makes, models, designs, dimensions, and so on.  Importantly, my wife knows that I have been doing a lot of studying of cars and such, and I mentioned in passing one time that I would like to build one.  That comment went in one of her ears and out the other.  Hence, at this time I do not know if this potentially leaden balloon will fly or not even get off the ground.  Lee

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Leroy,

One critical design feature that your "dream speedsters" all share, is that their hoods and cowls are all "racer-cut". The term "racer-cut" means that the hood's horizontal lines all carry thru the cowl to the passenger compartment. NO window pillars.

I know of a person who was considering turning a Kissel Sedan into a speedster, only to run into this issue. Speedster cowls are nearly always different and much more sleek than their contemporary sedan siblings. 

Your Hupmobile cowl will suffer this same challenge and not be able to be used. You will probably have to frame and fabricate a speedster cowl.

Take care, RON

On ‎12‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 11:02 PM, LCK81403 said:

I fell in love with a Kissel Gold Bug 53 years ago in Minnesota.  At that time I was a new member of AACA and didn't yet own any kind of car since I was recently returned from an Army hitch.  This love affair began in central Minnesota.  An elderly couple from Cokato, MN was going on a Fall Foilage run to the Minnesota River Valley and they invited me along.  I road in the rumble set of that beautiful yellow Gold Bug.  It was a truly wonderful and impressive experience.  The following year I finally acquired an old car, which was a 1935 Terraplane (one owner, 24,000 original miles, garage find).  At that time the '35 Terraplane set me back $350 -- BUT -- it was not a Kissel.  Fast forward all these years later and my heart still throbs for the Kissel I do not have in my loving garage.  The Kissel God will never visit me, I am sure, however I have been developing a real hankering for a project.  I have done a lot of studying about how to construct a buck, materials, fiberglass and so on.  I do not wish to insult Kissel owners by my attempt to produce something resembling a Kissel.  Still and all, I really like the Kissel look, as well as the generally same appearance of the 21 and 22 Daniels speedsters, the 22 Haynes speedster, the 19 and 22 Paige speedsters, 15 Simplex-Crane,  the Stutz Bearcats, and the 20 Templar speedster.  I have concentrated most of my time on the Kissel Bugs.  While the cars themselves are beautiful to look at I am really interested in seeing photographs taken in the Kissel factory showing partially built Bugs.  A particularly educational series of photos of a 1924 Kissel Bug are on the internet under the heading "Significant Cars".  There are a lot of very nice photos of details of the car, and details are very important to observe.  I am especially interested in the wood framing under the metal skin.  I am a little intrigued by what, why, and how Kissel fabricated the trunk / rumble seat area of the car.  I see various type of doors used in the trunk area.

 

I have the opportunity to acquire a basket case 1924 Hupmobile that used to be either a coupe, 2-dr or 4-dr.  Being a basket case as it is, I can't do much damage to it.  I have been mulling over how to renovate the Hupp into a speedster that holds true to the Kissel and Daniels designs.  It would certainly be unique.  However, the Hupmobile hood would have to be lengthened and that would necessitate a number of things to be done.  Nothing is settle regarding this but this is still the thinking stage.  I have not been able to find more than a few photos of the Kissel factory floor that give me a general idea of what the workmen did.  I would love to find engineer or design drawings of the Gold Bug so that I could better assess if my skills are up to the job of building such a vehicle.  I would not be able to do sheet metal work but probably could work with fiberglass.

 

I have attached a photo of the '35 Terraplane I used to own.  Back in the 1980s I was forced to sell it because of storage space issues.  When I bought the car it still had the original 6-volt battery, which had a wood case dovetailed together at the corners.  Under the hood was an 88 HP straight six, 3-speed on the floor.  The car came with its original tires (bald), but luckily my father had NOS direct replacement tires that he had stashed away during WW Two, and I was able to put on new rubber all around.

 

LeRoy

35 Terraplane 01-01.JPG

 

Leroy,

      There are precious few Kissel factory photos, and essentially no Kissel blueprints nor factory records extant, as nearly all such documentation was lost when the plant changed hands multiple times during the Depression. However there are a few folks who have built wood framing for Kissels. There is a gentleman in Washington who has built all the wood for a 1922 Kissel Gold Bug, and another person in California who built the rear section wood for a 1924 Kissel Gold Bug. I suggest that you contact the Wisconsin Automotive Museum to see if they can put you in touch with these experts. 

      Or you can inspect existing Gold Bugs to replicate the wood framing members.

      Kissel used Oak and Ash for their cars. Aluminum was used for Gold Bug bodies and hoods, with fenders being steel. For some reason that I've never found, each piece of wood was numbered the same as the car body number (vin).

      I have a basket-case Kissel Gold Bug body and doors that I would sell but not cheap. Also a spare Speedster windshield and some trim. No cowl though. 

     Thanks,  Ron Hausmann P.E. 

 

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1968182131_KisselRoadsterbody02-02.thumb.JPG.0bc678af1a52bf4e61e3278c5bac4986.JPGGood afternoon, Ron:  I agree with you.  I have studied the Kissel "Bug" at length.  For now I am kind of stuck simply viewing a few factory photos.  I believe you are correct about the Hupmobile not being a suitable candidate to remake into a speedster.  The problem begins with the shape of the radiator cowl, progress back with the hood, and thence into the cowl.  The basic architecture is wrong and the line are not correct.  The Kissel's horse collar shape of the grill smoothly transmits it foundation lines, via the hood and into the cowl.  The rounded shape maintained from front to back lends the "torpedo" shape is moniker.  The torpedo type styling can not be achieved by using the boxy Hupmobile as a foundation.  The Hupp hood has a bend in it that conforms to the angle of the radiator shell, and also has a hinged section connecting the louvered side panel.  The photos in the Kissel factory are really interesting.  From them I gain some idea of the basic wooden framework but I see no evidence of how the workmen shaped the aluminum to clad over the wood.  Did they do this by hand or machine planishing?  I have never understood the small opening on the rear of the body, seen in the attached photo.  On a finished Kissel car with this feature, there is an access door at that location, but I can not imagine what use it provides for the expense of building it.  Two small openings with a central wooden element can not provide much useful access.  ?  LeRoy Krsiean36019270_KisselRoadsterbody01-02.thumb.JPG.421ac844eca859217f46ff9fd8d27250.JPG

24 Hupmobile RS Touring 02-02.jpg

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Leroy,

The small openings on each side behind the passenger compartment are for the "suicide seat" drawers. These outrigger seats slide in and out and are unique to the Kissel Gold Bug. This layout was correct for Kissels Model 6-45 Gold Bug Speedsters from 1919 to mid 1923. The two openings in the rear are two trunks found in cars 1919 to 1923 as well.

 

From 1923 to early 1927, Kissel Gold Bugs used Kissel Model 6-55 engines, or Model 8-75 engines 1925 to 1927, or Model 8-65 engines in 1927. the suicide seats were discontinued in these later years and rumble seats were used starting in 1925.

 

Below are a picture of a 1923 Kissel Gold Bug Speedster, Model 6-45 (with the seats), and a 1925 Kissel Gold Bug Speedster Model 6-55 (with rumble seat and golf clubs). I personally think the 1922 and 1923 Model 6-45's are the most beautiful Bugs out there

 

If you are going to build one of these, or try to replicate in some degree, the frames, wheelbases, and framing are very different.

RON

 

1925 Kissel Gold Bug Golf Course.jpg

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Good afternoon, Ron:  I know about the suicide seats.  Wow, they sure look like a scary way to catch a ride to a party.  I can not imagine motoring through the countryside on a seat like that; no seat belt, helmet, eye protection.  What I referred to is the small opening on the butt of car body.  In the attached photo of the Bug build up in the factory, there are two openings behind the driver's seat.  One opening seems to be a reasonable opening for a trunk door.  The other opening is a somewhat V shaped opening with a central rib and two openings on either side. on the butt end of the body as it curves down.  In this photo it appears that the workmen as in the process of cladding the wooden substructure with aluminum.  I assume the white tone parts of the car are raw, unpainted wood.

 

Ah so.  I just took a time out to take another look at some photos.  I save and study every photo of a Kissel Bug.  There are 77 photos in a series called Significant Cars.  Photo number 18 shows the rear body of a Kissel with the small trunk door open.  I thought I could see something of the black painted wooden subframe under the trunk lid, so I photo shopped and greatly overexposed it to bring out whatever is in the black.  Indeed, the black painted wood is the light tone raw wood subframe in the factory photo.

 

Thank you for being patient with me.  I really like the natural beauty of a Kissel Bug.  I am a Kissel enthusiast.  Do you know where I may access for study a schematic of the body with dimensions and profiles?  Also I would like to find more photographs of how the workmen in the factory produced the wooden subframe or skeleton.  It appears that some steam bending of the wood may have been done to achieve the curves.  From the photos it appears that there are few straight pieces of wood with most all of it being curved to some extent.

 

LeRoy

Kissel Roadster body 02-02.JPG

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Leroy,

Your pictures are of two very different models of Kissl Gold Bugs. Apples and oranges.

The top picture is the body in progress of a Model 6-45 Bug, probably mid 1921 to mid 1923 which used the same body paneling. BOTH of the openings in the rear are trunks. Yes two trunks. I have two such cars. The lower trunk has the raw wood cover frame sitting in it for fitment.

The bottom picture is of a Model 6-55 Kissel Gold Bug trunk from a likely 1924 car. Different car. In 1925 these were fitted as rumble seats.

The wheelbase of Model 6-45 cars are longer than the Model 6-55’s. And the engines are a bit less powerful with different crankshafts and strokes. 

thanks, Ron 

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