Sunday, August 31, 2008

A look at the beauty and art of the last Hupmobile, 1939 Hupmobile Skylark Corsair

In 1938, Huppmobile’s general manager Norman DeVaux bought what remained of the Cord 810/812’s body dies and sheet-metal stampings and repackaged it as the Hupmobile Skylark using a Hupmobile Senior Six chassis. Four prototypes were built to show off at the upcoming fall automobile shows. In early 1939, the old Cord dies were brought to Hayes’ Grand Rapids plant where they stamped out a trial run of thirty Skylark sedans, at Hupmobile’s Detroit factory as was a single Skylark Corsair Convertible.

Due to their precarious financial situation, Hupmobile was unable to build any more Skylarks, however DeVaux made a deal with Graham-Paige offering them the dies. Once again, the sheet-metal was produced at Hayes’ Grand Rapids plant using the original Cord stampings which by the end of the run were no longer usable. Unfortunately, neither firm made any money out of their short-term partnership and were both out of the automobile business within the year.

After Hupmobile left the automotive manufacturing business, the car was given to one of the models that appeared with the Skylarks in publicity photographs during the 1939-1940 period. This woman and her family relocated to New Hampshire, where the car had fallen into a bit of disrepair, and was found by a collector from the Boston area who purhased and stored the car, for years, sold it to a Connecticut Skylark/Hollywood fancier named Norm Weid, who kept the car in dry storage for about 20 years, intending to restore it. (this never happens in my experience) However, health issues (and no interest in restoring the car obviously ) had him sell the car in 1999 to Tom Hincz, who gave it a complete restoration.

http://www.hupmobileskylark.com/ConvertibleFullSize.html and http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/h/hayes/hayes.htm

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