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1927 Hupmobile sedan - What would you offer?


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Owner had this car in a barn for nearly 50 years and wants to sell. Willing to take any "reasonable offer" whatever that is. I have no reference at all of its value. I want a car from the 20s that remains all original and that I can clean and restore all the mechanical parts but not doing any body work, paint, modifications, new interior, etc. Unknown if engine is seized. I will go to check the car depending on suggestions I received. This one seems very complete and if it can placed back on the road will be good for preservation category. Anyone has a suggestion on how much I can offer? Not familiar with Hupsmobiles. Any comments if it is missing something important?  Thank you all, Manuel 

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Posted (edited)

It looks complete from what I can see. Do you know why it ended up parked in that barn? Are you sure it is a 1927? It looks a bit older to me but cars were registered in the year they first sold in some States. Here is my 1928 sedan, showing quite a bit of modernization in 1 year.

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Edited by JFranklin
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Quote

 

I compared with photos online and looks the same as a 1927. He says is a Model A (which I found out were produced from 1926-29). Owner's grandfather parked it back in the day, unknown circumstances.

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It is a cool car. I like these kind of cars and that is why I always get into trouble.

I don't know the value of this one but I imagine that even if you got it for $1.00 you'd soon be

under water having to deal with it being stored in "not the greatest environment" with 50 years of crud/crap and whatnot.

Tires/tubes/flaps, etc...will run you close to $1500-$2000. If you can get them......

If the engine needs to be rebuilt more $$$$$$.

How is the wood?

This is your call if you want to get into it or not. 

Some of us like to try and save these kind of cars. I know I do.

 

Maybe I'm wrong but you could easily be into this one for close to $8000 to $10,000 (????)  just to get it roadworthy. IMO

 

If I am "way off base" be nice. I am only offering my opinion.

 

 

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If you just want a fun car and not a total restoration you can have a lot of fun with this one. Check COKER for tire prices. You could paint it yourself. The big if is drivetrain condition and if the wood is solid. The photo I posted is also a model A.

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if you want an original car with no plans to restore i think a fair and non offensive offer would be 6500 usd.   as others have stated still a risk depending on condition of the wood, engine etc.

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To me? It already looks marginal for a preservation car. Interior looks decent, but not much better than barely. A bit much rust to leave it hat way. Not enough rust from what I can see to worry me for a good driver restoration. Just a bit more than I like for "keep them original". But that is me.

The BIG question as others said is the wood. Followed by the mechanical unknowns. Tires and tubes are a "chunk of change" given.

People often ask a lot for cars in this condition! However, I don't see a lot of them selling for those asking prices.

I would say kmstrade's estimate of $6500 is about the top. I have recently seen cars needing much less work and already running for around $10,000. And some of them have been advertised for over a year by dealers.

 

I don't want to be a downer on a car like this. I would really like to see someone get it and get it running and enjoy it! Whether they kept as original as practical, or did a good driver restoration? Hupmobiles are good cars of the era and should be appreciated.

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I once looked a car that was in barn find condition. The owner's biggest worry was the car would wind up a hotrod, which I assured them it would not. I made a breakdown of my repair estimates (turned out I was very low), showed them a copy of the Hagerty value guide, as that was where I would be getting insurance, showed them my math, and offered the difference.  They had a brief family conference and sold me the car. Might be worth a try.

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The "barn find" phraseology actually applies in the case of this Hupmobile.  It's not at all hard to believe this car has been in the barn for several decades.  Thanks to the original poster for not using that worn-out, over-used term in his honest description of this relic.  

 

If I read or hear the term "barn find" in any automotive setting, my immediate reaction is to become suspicious of the vehicle being referenced.  I guess I've seen too many episodes of automobile shows on so-called "reality TV", i.e., American Pickers, or just about any other of this type show on the History Channel or Motor Trend TV.

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I failed to mention the big hole in the roof of the barn almost directly over drivers side of the car.

If that hole has been there any length of time, and it looks like it has, then I would check that side of the car VERY carefully.

We do not have any pictures of that side of the car to judge what damage(s) all that rain/snow could have done through the years.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, alsancle said:

I think it is a 2500 dollar car as it sits.

Right-O!

 

Figure 2K for tires (if available as previously mentioned), 4K+ for an engine rebuild (if you can find a shop-might be a wait if you can), 1-2K for radiator, another 1K for totally rebuilding the electrical and fuel system if you do it yourself (2K if you buy a harness, send out the gauges and have a profession rebuild your vacuum tank). 

 

You'll most likely have 7-10K repair into a car that looks the same as it does now. Might be a hard pill to swallow if the time comes to sell, seems buyers would rather have a car where money was spent to pretty it up instead of make it turn key reliable. 

 

On the other hand if you don't care about the money, who cares. I've personally got a model T that is way upside down on value vs investment. My old girl needed somebody to bring her back to her former mechanical reliability after decades of poor stewardship. It's not about the money on that one.

Edited by Lahti35 (see edit history)
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I think I would offer 2500, and top out at 4k. No idea on the 'end value' of this car but no doubt the cost associated to get it there will far exceed it, but thats not why you buy a car like this. I see you are a member of several organizations so you should know what you are getting into with an old car. I would agree that you can easily spend 10k to get it on the road. If I had a budget like that and this car came around for the right purchase price I would probably buy it. 

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I would say $2K -3K tops as she sits.  My heart is a sucker for these types of finds.  I have two '28 Buicks to prove it.   Tires are a sizable investment but that comes later.  What you have to be willing to invest is time.  Weeks can turn into months painstakingly going through the mechanicals just to get her running reasonably before hitting the road.  And you don't want to get her home only to discover a cracked block due to frozen water jackets from such storage.  Just keep in mind it's a journey.  The journey can drive you crazy at times but you have to enjoy the journey before you enjoy the destination.  Go for it!  Let us know how the story develops.  David

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33 minutes ago, George Smolinski said:

I don’t think I’d offer half of that.

It looks to be complete and untouched.  It might clean up pretty well.   1250 doesn't buy the bumper on some cars.

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Thank you all for a wealth of good advise. Yes, I am on a budget as well, many other priorities in life. My goal is to get a car that will look and perform stock for a total of $10-12K. I feel that most of you believe no more than 4K will be a reasonable price, but given my budget and the expected fixes, I will try lower than that IF the engine and wood appear intact. Otherwise I will pass on. Have no ability to fix an engine and a machine shop will be $$$$$$ for a rebuild.

 

12 hours ago, Joe Cocuzza said:

I failed to mention the big hole in the roof of the barn almost directly over drivers side of the car.

If that hole has been there any length of time, and it looks like it has, then I would check that side of the car VERY carefully.

We do not have any pictures of that side of the car to judge what damage(s) all that rain/snow could have done through the years.

 

The driver's side looks the same as the passenger's in the 2 photos below, except the roof that has some damage, not sure if that is a vinyl type material that is separating from the metal. Actually, you can see that the paint appears OK under all the dust. This may polish enough to give a fair finish. Don't see any damage to the radiator but sure is going to be plug with debris and may need re-core. Even has a windshield wiper! That is cool.

 

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I never make decisions hastily with old cars. First I will visit the place, which is not far from my home, and will check the important components several of you mentioned. To be honest, I totally neglected the presence of wood boards on the floor!! Thank you so much for bringing this up.  Wood will be a priority together with the engine block. If it is not seized (talk about unrealistic expectations!!) I probably will make an offer. Thank you all for the advise.

 

Manuel

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Manuel...... If you are willing to spend a total of $10K-$12K.... why not buy a car that is already a good strong driver, that has proven itself as dependable and road-worthy.... and save yourself all the expense and labor, of repairing this one....????  here is a real good buy.... on a nice looking Driver...... that you could use for years, and sell years later, for what you paid for it....   It will keep it's value over the years.... and is real easy to get parts for.... Link below..... also advertised here in "Not mine ads".....

1930 Ford Model A "Tudor" - cars & trucks - by owner - vehicle... (craigslist.org) 

or this 1931 Chevrolet Independence - cars & trucks - by owner - vehicle... (craigslist.org)      

  Rebuilding that cute Hupmobile, will be opening a can of worms... and parts are hard to find & expensive.... Just my thoughts on the subject...... 🙄

Edited by sunnybaba (see edit history)
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Looks to be a very nice complete car. If it is what you are looking for, go for it and don't look back.

Just my 2 cents worth.

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I had a conversation with someone several years ago about buying one of his cars.  His question to me was "does it speak to you Eric?" Confused,  I asked what he meant.  He said "never buy a car unless it speaks to you. " I think that's good advice. 

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"except the roof that has some damage, not sure if that is a vinyl type material that is separating from the metal."

Pretty sure the roof is made of wood. Check it, too.

 

" I totally neglected the presence of wood boards on the floor!!"

Pretty sure the door frames are made of wood, too.

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The 1957 license plate suggests this Hupp was still on the road until that time.  That's pretty dang impressive for a car of the mid-late 1920s era.  Do I see an oil filter under the hood on the driver's side?  Was an oil filter a common accessory on a car of this vintage?  

 

Considering that this car may have not been moved since being pulled into the barn in 1957, I think it's pretty remarkable that the accessory trunk is still in place, along with the Boyce Motometer sitting on the radiator.  A car from the 1920s, barn sheltered since 1957, still sporting most, if not all, of its accessories, nothing appearing to having been ripped off during its 65-year slumber - how often does one hear of such a thing these days?  It's a wonder that some of the neighborhood kids, or even grandchildren of the owners, have not been able to find their way into this old barn just for the sake of curiosity of seeing what might be in there.

 

Moneywise, it might appear to be a questionable investment.  But, as noted by ericmac above, the environment/condition in which it has been preserved for many decades, could be enough to make it "speak to you".

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Posted (edited)

They came with oil filters but maybe as an accessory. as for offering a price I paid $4200 for the one I pictured. It had the bumpers and grill rechromed and was driven onto and off the trailer. It needed a front door and driver side roof rail & bows re-wooded and splash aprons made. I made a new shackle bolt for the rear spring, and It will need upholstery and a paint job. Buy the car and have some fun in your new hobby, swap meets, tours and all!

Edited by JFranklin (see edit history)
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Drive that down the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood into Beverly Hills next to a group of multi-million dollar sports cars. Fully 80% of the crowd will spend the majority of their "viewing time" looking at this old car. The other 20% are too busy looking at the well dressed girls. 

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I like it...for all the naysayers, it has the look of a car that has not been mucked with. There may have been some of Ed's ubiquitous "tractor mechanics" in its past but it looks as if the owner's grandfather took good care of it so I'd say it was worth an offer of 2500 to maybe 3500 or even a little more if the engine turns and it has compression. I would not try to start it...that comes later after a lot of cleaning and checking. If you think that you are going to make money on it though, I suggest putting your money elsewhere. The notion that no project is worth doing unless it's profitable, in what is essentially a hobby, gets stale after time. There are always risks involved with this sort of thing but even a running & driving car is a risk. See Matt Harwood's ongoing thread on his Lincoln for a lesson in "restored" cars. Unless I personally knew the restorer, I'd take a chance on a car like this over 99% of the restorations out there. It's also a far more interesting car than a Model A...

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That engine had a lot of H.P. for cars of that era. I read that it was actually more than advertised because the Hupp 8 cyl. cars didn't have that much more. They didn't want to hurt the sales of the more expensive models.

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I agree with Joe, 

To me it appears honest and very complete. "Tractor Mechanic" repairs - no doubt... but we have seen that even on top dollar restorations.  Hupp's are not all that common but common enough so there is support and a sizeable community and parts available. Would I care do a complete restoration? Nope! Investment? Nope! Clean it, recommission it, repair whatever needs to be done to make it safe and roadworthy and run it and enjoy it. We recently saw the same poo pooing of a wonderful Peerless Boattail for what amounted to pocket change that was indeed a true survivor that has now found a good home.

 

We see way too many times "restored" cars that are nothing more than lipstick slapped on a pig - are barely driveable and unsafe to boot. Once the sheen of the lipstick wears off your left with... well...a pig and whole lot of money spent and waiting to be spent because now, having paid dearly for the lipstick, your in it way to deep to bail on making it right.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lots of good advice here. Does it speak to you? Running cars going down the road for little or just a bit more money. Hupp parts are hard……..at a certain point buying a car that there is support for makes more sense. The car is fairly far gone…………putting effort into something with better cosmetics makes more sense. 

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Not being well versed in this era of automobile, What is with the 'eyebrows' on the headlights? I would assume they are period aftermarket? I know I had those on a harley at one time. I dont think I have seen any examples on restored cars. I may be an oddball but I think they look kinda cool.

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So many interesting comments 👍. Two days ago I contacted the owner for last time (only have e mail, no phone) and asked to check the condition of the floor wood board before deciding to travel several hours to check the car and make a deal. His answer was that he will accept an offer only until the evening of the day when I contacted him because is selling the property and needs to empty the barn immediately. I feel that is not an honest answer and decided not to make an offer.  Will keep looking. The reason I don't look for Ford Model A is that I already have a 33 Ford model B and my ultimate goal is to have one car from each decade, from the 1920s - 1980s, and I only want as close to original as possible and have to be drivable. This car from the late 1920s appeared fit the bill.  I appreciate your thoughtful comments !! 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Doctor's Pontiac said:

...His answer was that he will accept an offer only until the evening of the day when I contacted him because is selling the property and needs to empty the barn immediately. I feel that is not an honest answer and decided not to make an offer. 

I think you made a good decision to forgo this car:

No one should be rushed, or pushed, into a quick decision.

That's a tactic the dishonest use;  and if the seller was indeed

honest, that's no way to treat a potential buyer.

 

There will be many other interesting examples to consider.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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If he actually does need to sell the car and NOW? He went about it completely the wrong way. One should not drive away someone thinking about making an offer. Unless of course you have NO need to sell it and want what you want?

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I think we may be a little hard on the seller. If I read it correctly, the seller is working on selling the estate of a deceased grandfather and is most likely trying to keep everyone in the family, who wants thier share, happy. Dealing with a $2,500 car is the least of his/her worries.

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1 hour ago, kbeach said:

I think we may be a little hard on the seller

That's being too kind.

 

Some replies seem to take the attitude that sellers must take unlimited time and effort jumping hoops when these so called buyers are not willing to come look in person. The seller likely had a flood of emails, but it's also likely nobody came in person because it would be long gone by now. I've sold dozens of cheap vintage cars over the decades and putting up with the typical replies can be overwhelming.

 

Use common sense when inquiring about inexpensive barn cars from pictures, and then wondering if it's worth a trip to look in person. This car seemed like a very good gamble as far as comparing it to most other cars sitting in a tattered barn for 50 years.  look at the radiator shell, there should be no traces of plating left at all if the barn was perpetually wet. There are other good hints like the amount of remaining paint on the main body. Many replies here actually saw through the dust and dirt that this car looks so complete and so totally unmolested.  I would have quickly been hooking up my trailer and be willing to gamble my time and gas. 

 

 

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The headliner looks remarkably well preserved too!  Manuel, if you are no longer interested, maybe you can post a link to the ad?  Or, if there was no ad, maybe post the info on the seller here?  Is the car still in Nebraska?  All the best...  Greg

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