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Advice on 1933 Hupmobile Roadster purchase, please.


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Considering buying the one in the photos. It doesn't run. It's supposedly John Denver's wedding car, & in great unrestored condition. (That's the total description) Asking $19,500. Any advice is welcome wisea_s comments are not.

May be an image of car

May be an image of vehicle

May be an image of car

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The car has had a cosmetic restoration at some point- not original paint or upholstery ( perhaps the door panels and kick panels in the cowl are original) . Missing crank hole cover. Interesting it has only one side mounted spare tire on the passenger side. Check to make sure the tail light(s) are correct for the car. Side of cowl band looks painted while the top is plated or polished?  Inspect the car in person or have someone do that for you.  Good luck.

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1 minute ago, Walt G said:

The car has had a cosmetic restoration at some point- not original paint or upholstery ( perhaps the door panels and kick panels in the cowl are original) . Missing crank hole cover. Interesting it has only one side mounted spare tire on the passenger side. Check to make sure the tail light(s) are correct for the car. Side of cowl band looks painted while the top is plated or polished?  Inspect the car in person or have someone do that for you.  Good luck.

 

Agree with Walt's notes and advice,

but try to find out if it is not running simply because of long-term dis-use,

or if there was a mechanical issue-

also, have seller ensure that the engine does turn over completely

 

Good luck - nice looking for the era

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7 minutes ago, Marty Roth said:

also, have seller ensure that the engine does turn over completely

It's near me so I'll check it out in person. The engine not running scares me because I have no clue what a rebuild would cost if needed.

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Looks like a nice enough car. I would be concerned about the non running engine as well. No idea on the value but I would think the motor part should bring the price down a bit. John Denver is an interesting connection but I would not let that aspect add any value.

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"Country roads, take me home!"

Hupmobile made really good cars in those days. Basic flathead sixes and straight eights. Any antique is a crap-shoot as far as engines are concerned. Even many of the high-dollar 'best' rebuilt engines can turn out to be disasters (oh the stories I can tell!). On the other hand, as long as internals aren't hanging outside the block, often they can be freshened up to be great runners for little money (just don't count on it?). Hupmobile will not be as easy to get mechanical parts for as many other cars of those years, because not a lot were made. 

It is a bit too modern (my wise-@$$ comment!), just kidding. It is very nice looking for a driver to enjoy, and could be a really good 'early 1930s' tour car. As Walt G said, definitely an older restoration (looks a bit '70s?). Look it over for the usual condition questions (solid body etc). Price seems fair to me. Even incorrect colors and not running (as long as engine looks to be probably okay) it could be a worthwhile car.

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The 19,500 is strong for a non running car.  If that car sat as is but was running and drivable it may be worth close to 20k,  but maybe not.

 

The John Denver connection is minus 5k to me.

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4 hours ago, George Smolinski said:

Asking $19,500. Any advice is welcome

1932 "styling" has been my favorite for 50 years, so maybe I'm biased a bit here, as that 33 looks like Hupp did not follow other brands with major "new" styling changes for 33.

 

I study pics intently, and often enlarge them to see what others might miss.

 

I really think all of the upholstery is original, except that carpet.  If we find out it is, then this car was always cared for in a good garage, not some old rat infested, mostly surface rusted car, before being repainted.    It's obviously never restored, but rather just repainted 50 years ago.  That would be a huge plus to me, as if it was once a stripped old junker, then some parts might not be correct. 

 

So, if we assume it was very well cared for,... for nearly 90 years, is there a good chance the motor was not mistreated or beat to death?

 

Wood is always a concern to me, especially on open cars that flexed more than a closed car. A 33 vehicle should have the modern stronger X frame.....that helps.

 

That is very wild styling of the upper cowl above the dash, the curve on the back edge of door, and the swoop style body color separation.

 

 

 

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This roadster looks to be a 1933 B-316, successor to the 1929-'30 Model S.  Hupmobile kept producing a model as long as they still had parts inventory, these were built even after the 1932 'cycle-fender' K, F, & I Series was introduced.   The body styling is interesting, in addition to that sweeping character line, the instrument panel is hooded with the unusual undercut cowl at the doors.   The most unusual is the sweeping door line which reminds one of well-known Classics, the Rolls-Royce Brewster York roadsters and Derby Speedsters!  

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6 hours ago, mike6024 said:

Screenshot (308).png

 

 

I'm wondering how they came up with that.   To get 50K for that car,  you would need 100k invested.

 

Running then no harm no foul in range of the asking price.  But not running you might be looking at 8-10k to go through the motor - not to mention a year of waiting around.

 

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A.J. has it right in the cost to do the engine - $1,000 per cylinder which would include all parts, gaskets, and if it needs new poured bearings the right shop to do it and get it correct.

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I’m not griping or trying to scare anyone -If any car is worth the risk it might be this one- but I’ve heard this “$1,000 per cylinder” thing for 25-30years. If that’s true the key words must be “to go through the motor” — not the cost of an actual rebuild.

Unless you can completely disassemble and then reassemble it yourself and do all the valves (which I can’t do and that’s fine because the shops I’ve dealt with won’t guarantee their work in that situation anyway).

To get the cost of an actual rebuild you’d have to multiply that by 5.

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In  1933  Hupp built 729 Hupp model B's in  4 different  body  styles. Very  few  were  roadsters. I  bought  my  first  Hupp 54  years  ago Harry  Miller  formed a Hupmobile  Club in  1970 of  which  I  have  been a member  of  since the  beginning. I  have  seen only 1  1933 Hupp model  B in  person. This  car is  1  that  if  you  took it  to  a car  show, the  chance  that  some  one  else  would have 1 like it  would  be  like  winning the  lottery. If  you  were  going  to  use the  car  and  not  show it  for  points   you  could  join the  Hupp  club  and get a  good  running 6  cyl . engine from  a later Hupp for  about  $1000 that  would bolt  right  in. This  will only  work  for a hands  on  person. If  you  need to  have  a  mechanic  do  this  for  you, forget  all  i  said.

Edited by Hupp36
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2 hours ago, Ben P. said:

I’m not griping or trying to scare anyone -If any car is worth the risk it might be this one- but I’ve heard this “$1,000 per cylinder” thing for 25-30years. If that’s true the key words must be “to go through the motor” — not the cost of an actual rebuild.

Unless you can completely disassemble and then reassemble it yourself and do all the valves (which I can’t do and that’s fine because the shops I’ve dealt with won’t guarantee their work in that situation anyway).

To get the cost of an actual rebuild you’d have to multiply that by 5.

The 1K a whole sort of still applies if all you are doing is the machine work on something pretty easy to get parts for.  

I just orchestrated a friends 1929 Packard 740 engine to be 100% done  (and I would say I did it on the cheap) - sitting on the dyno running it was just shy of 25K, detailed 100 point except for jet-hot coat on manifolds and a few very minor detail items such as spark plug caps/knobs, + that also included couple K for a reproduction carb. So, I would rough guess 2.5K a hole.

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43 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

Rare and seems to be a very nice car at a very nice price point - I would not give it much thought and be driving it soon - maybe ask for 1K or 1.5K or so discount to be on safe side. 

 

Only after careful personal inspection,

if you are comfortable with what you see,

offer somewhat less as an opening bid,

and be willing to bargain - some give-and-take should be normal,

especially with mechanical condition being an unknown.

 

If the engine is locked, it is very different than one which may turn completely by hand.

I would likely offer somewhat less than what was suggested, above.

You can always negotiate upward - not down.

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I guess it has been a while since I had any major  engine work done, so the $1,000 per hole was way under priced. Sorry if I fed anyone the wrong information , especially Ben P. who knows a lot more then I do. I will refrain from commenting on anything concerning restoration from here on.

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1933 HUPMOBILE B-316 ROADSTER
Chassis no. B8621 Engine no. B7857
Sold for £ 32,775 (US$ 45,162) inc. premium

7 Dec 2009, 15:30 GMT

London, Olympia

 

1933 Hupmobile B-316 'Boattail' Roadster by Raulang
Sold For $49,500
Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
RM | Auctions - HERSHEY 6 - 7 OCTOBER 2016

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9 minutes ago, Walt G said:

I guess it has been a while since I had any major  engine work done, so the $1,000 per hole was way under priced. Sorry if I fed anyone the wrong information , especially Ben P. who knows a lot more then I do. I will refrain from commenting on anything concerning restoration from here on.

*sigh* No, you’re closer to the right neighborhood than I am with my teens 4-cyl oddball and I was wrong to make a comparison. 

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Ok,  the  Raulang is  a special  body built  by  a body specialty company. Hupmobile  used  as  standard  body's. Murray  and  Seaman body's.  I  am  not  surprised this  car  would sell  for  this  price. Correct me  if  I  am  wrong ,but  I  believe this  car is recognized by the CCCA. The  car  for  sale  is  a standard  body.  If  I  owned  this  car , it  would  take  $25,00 to  buy it  from me, but it  would  be  running and  driving. 

Edited by Hupp36
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The John Denver part may be correct...

 

Denver's first marriage was to Annie Martell of St. Peter, Minnesota.[47] She was the subject of his hit "Annie's Song", which he composed in only ten minutes as he sat on a Colorado ski lift after the couple had an argument.[20][48] They lived in Edina, Minnesota, from 1968 to 1971.

 

image.png.5a75b5a8933bc373c20ccc76e7190594.png

 

Annie is still alive and has family in MN, she would be able to tell you.

 

I have bought multiple cars that had not run in years, the latest one is 40+ years.  I have never had a problem getting them running.  Brakes on the other hand are a lot more work.  Love the car, great lines, should be a nice preforming car.  I think the red is correct, the jams look too good.  This is one of those cars I would regret passing up.... 

 

image.thumb.png.02cb5899d7c49d572d03b309917a2305.png

 

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/17264/lot/585/

 

image.thumb.png.9d86a6da74d881b9700d1738e72aaa50.png

 

Edited by Graham Man (see edit history)
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Raymond Loewy styled the  1932-1934 model F  and  I  cycle fender models.  Later  he  styled the  1934-  models J and  T  1935 model G, J, T, O and  N 1936-1937 model  G  and  N  1937-1939 models E and H  Hupp aerodynamics. Amos Northrop styled the  !928 A  model, the  1932-1933 Model  B. He  also  styled the  1934-1935  model W  Hupmobiles which were  not  aerodynamic styled  cars.

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15 hours ago, Graham Man said:

The John Denver part may be correct...

 

Denver's first marriage was to Annie Martell of St. Peter, Minnesota.[47] She was the subject of his hit "Annie's Song", which he composed in only ten minutes as he sat on a Colorado ski lift after the couple had an argument.[20][48] They lived in Edina, Minnesota, from 1968 to 1971.

 

image.png.5a75b5a8933bc373c20ccc76e7190594.png

 

Annie is still alive and has family in MN, she would be able to tell you.

 

I have bought multiple cars that had not run in years, the latest one is 40+ years.  I have never had a problem getting them running.  Brakes on the other hand are a lot more work.  Love the car, great lines, should be a nice preforming car.  I think the red is correct, the jams look too good.  This is one of those cars I would regret passing up.... 

 

image.thumb.png.02cb5899d7c49d572d03b309917a2305.png

 

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/17264/lot/585/

 

image.thumb.png.9d86a6da74d881b9700d1738e72aaa50.png

 

The previous owner of the car for sale lived in St.Peter, MN. and owned the car for over 50 years plus. A friend of mine (still alive) sold the car to him in the early 60's? He knows the history of the car before he owned it and sold it to the fellow in St.Peter in the early 1960's

Edited by 34LaSalleClubSedan (see edit history)
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I've been pondering this Hupp myself, George, but have decided for various regrettable reasons not to explore the possibility. I have a fondness for the brand. While they are pretty conventional engineering-wise, I always admire their styling. As a resident of sunny Edina, George, I wish you the very best luck with this pursuit.

James Sheehan

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I don't think the $1000/hole thing is wrong, it just needs to be taken in context. I know of a Buick straight eight that had a complete rebuild for about that amount as recently as 3 or 4 years ago. It was a good core that had no problems other than wear, and it used insert bearings.

 

This was a complete rebuild of the engine itself, not a hone-out. It did not include any removal or installation, or any of the accessories on the outside of the engine like starter, water pump, belts, hoses. That stuff adds up.

 

If there are other problems, costs can spiral out of control very quickly. Broken castings that need repair, porous aluminum heads, cast-in-place babbitt that needs to be recast (real common), rods that fail magnaflux with no readily available replacements, etc. are some of the things that come to mind. The list of possibilities on an unknown engine are almost endless.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Wold think the $20k for that kind of a car would be "down in the noise" however the "non-running" is a LOT more than just engine considerations, cannot check clutch, transmission, drive shaft, transmission, brakes, cooling,  or the electrical system. At least AC is not a concern & can raise to check out floor and chassis. At some point you start thinking "restomod" and really big baggies.

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I know a woman who drove her 1940 Dodge to a garage, broken pistons and all, and had them rebuild the engine. Ready to drive home, the bill was $3000. So $500 a hole. This means nothing to the owner of anything but another Chrysler product as they are one of the easiest to rebuild and all parts are available cheap. It goes to show how much difference there is between different makes and models, and even the same make and model depending on condition and what needs to be done.

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I talked with the current owner. He bought it from the son of the guy who owned it for about 50 years starting back in the 60's. The son was driving it to Milwaukee? & heard some engine noise so he shut it off. Something happened to one or more valves. Son got it back to Mn tore it down some & that's how it sits. Current owner rebuilt the carb & some other minor stuff. (Makes NO sense to do that before fixing the valve train.) Even seems a little fishy to me. Long block is intact & still in the car. Car was repainted maybe in the 70's & he's not sure if the upholstery is original. Owner is selling because he won't be getting to it, says he has a couple others to work on. 

He told me twice some guy in Michigan is hot to trot on it so I should hurry up and decide. At that point I was tempted to ask him why then he still has it for sale after 12 weeks on FB. It seems to me to be a $19,500 headache that one could easily throw another $19,500 into it. I think I'll pass. If you're interested, here's a FB link: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/779921986201970/?ref=search&referral_code=marketplace_search&referral_story_type=post&tracking=browse_serp%3A90acea68-ba95-41e6-92e1-4375f672fb74

 

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1 hour ago, George Smolinski said:

I talked with the current owner. He bought it from the son of the guy who owned it for about 50 years starting back in the 60's. The son was driving it to Milwaukee? & heard some engine noise so he shut it off. Something happened to one or more valves. Son got it back to Mn tore it down some & that's how it sits. Current owner rebuilt the carb & some other minor stuff. (Makes NO sense to do that before fixing the valve train.) Even seems a little fishy to me. Long block is intact & still in the car. Car was repainted maybe in the 70's & he's not sure if the upholstery is original. Owner is selling because he won't be getting to it, says he has a couple others to work on. 

He told me twice some guy in Michigan is hot to trot on it so I should hurry up and decide. At that point I was tempted to ask him why then he still has it for sale after 12 weeks on FB. It seems to me to be a $19,500 headache that one could easily throw another $19,500 into it. I think I'll pass. If you're interested, here's a FB link: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/779921986201970/?ref=search&referral_code=marketplace_search&referral_story_type=post&tracking=browse_serp%3A90acea68-ba95-41e6-92e1-4375f672fb74

 

Not the original upholstery replaced in the late 50's early 60's 

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Wonder why it only works if you have an active FB account?

I don’t have a FB account and have never had a problem visiting a link to a Facebook ad before this particular one. (Subversive FB bombards me with pop-ups suggesting I should create a FB account - but that’s another story.)

THIS link goes to ⬇️ garbage.

29B2DEDD-DE9B-4FEF-A860-2923B4AA2739.thumb.jpeg.98f604211745178be1015e0f2003b564.jpeg

 

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Maybe I was wrong. Maybe you don't need an account to see it. I was just figuring it was working fine for me and I have an account I am logged into. I know I've had trouble if i was not actually logged into my FB account. Try it again:

 

1933 Hupmobile Roadster

 

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, mike6024 said:

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe you don't need an account to see it. I was just figuring it was working fine for me and I have an account I am logged into. I know I've had trouble if i was not actually logged into my FB account. Try it again:

 

1933 Hupmobile Roadster

 

 

 

 

Yep, that works.

Thanks

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