Category Archives: Auto photos 1921 – 1942

A Few Automotive Oddities to Ponder


Thanks to a number friends that we have made in Europe, today we present you with three automobiles that are a bit off the beaten track. Little is known about any of them so if you can fill in any of the details about these vehicles please send us a comment.

The propellor-driven car above is thought to be a late French Helica that may have been made after the manufacture of the cars had been transferred from Marcel Leyat to some other entity. Learn much more about the interesting cars referred to as The Plane Without Wings and see a video of a Helica in action here.


The Mercedes seen above with the unusual applied design work on its coachwork and wheels appears to have been on display at an automotive salon of some sort in the teens’. We are hoping that with such a distinctive appearance it will not have been forgotten and one of our readers will be able to tell us more about it. You can view a number of exquisite 37/90 Mercedes cars here.

The Royal Ediswan product mobile below appears to have been built on a Model TT Ford Truck chassis. The Edison Swan Electric Co. Ltd. was located in Ponders End, Middlesex, England and manufactured and sold a full line of all types of electrical devices in addition to Fullolite Lamps. All photos are courtesy of our friends at Yacht club des Avions de la Route.


Posted in Auto photos 1885 - 1920, Auto photos 1921 - 1942 | Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Hupmobile, Raymond Lowey and Russell Snowberger Team Up for 1932

  • hupp1
  • A Vogue “Jumbo” Tire promotion in Los Angeles – USC Libraries photo.

Facing trying times for 1932, Hupmobile management pulled out all the stops and hired Raymond Lowey to design a new and distinctive look to try to lure buyers into the salesroom. Lowey created a look for the new eight-cylinder Hupp, which when compared with what was offered by other automakers, it was actually a year or two ahead of its time. The lines and shape of the fenders, the angled windshield and the bold radiator ornament gave the new car a look all of its own.

  • hupp2       hupp3       hupp4
  •      The Cabriolet Roadster – The Coupe – The 5-Passenger Victoria

For 1932, both conventional six and eight-cylinder L-head models were offered, five of which were carried-over from 1931. The new Lowey styling was used on two of the five straight eight chassis’ offered. In addition to the styling changes, there were a number of mechanical and structural refinements. High on the list was the introduction of an X-member in the center of the frame and a series of triangulated braces incorporated into the body shell that when combined made for a very strong and rigid structure. Illustrations above courtesy of Alden Jewell.

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  • Lowey and a model with a concept or show car – Hagley Museum photo.

Not resting with the fresh styling, structural and mechanical refinements, Hupmobile sponsored Russ Snowberger’s entry in the 1932 Indianapolis 500. He was given a new Hupp straight engine that he then race-prepared, added a bank of four down-draft Winfield racing carburetors, and fitted it into his 1931 racing car seen below.

Snowberger qualified in the forth position while setting a speed that was 2-m.p.h. faster than when his car was Studebaker-powered the year before. He finished the race on the lead lap in fifth place behind three Miller-powered cars and a Studebaker Factory prepared car. The engine was later installed in the Bonneville Hupp that has been reported to have set a speed of 146 m.p.h. on the Salt Flats.


Posted in Artwork, Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Auto Racing 1894 - 1942 | Tagged , , , , , , |

The Ruxtons Shine on the Lawn at Pebble Beach


The seed that planted the idea leading to the introduction of the Ruxton in 1929 originated all the way back in 1913 with a drive in the fwd Gila Monster; 101-years later William Muller’s front wheel drive creation was really able to shine and be recognized at this years Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Ruxton collector Jim Fasnacht was instrumental in helping to assemble perhaps the largest grouping of the cars since they were assembled at the Moon Motor Car Company factory at the dawn of the Great Depression.

Fasnacht owns seven of the 19 Ruxtons known to exist, and they are featured in the photo above and in the first four rows of images below that were taken the day before the Concours with their Woodlites blazing. Over the last dozen years his collection has grown to include: three roadsters, both of the existing phaetons and two of the sedans.

The bottom two rows of photos show three of the other four sedans that attended, all of which wear variations of the paint and interior designs that were created by architect Joseph Urban. The two-toned blue roadster in the bottom photo was rescued by famed early collector and Ruxton aficionado D. Cameron Peck. You can learn the complete story behind the Ruxton in a recent post here on The Old Motor. All photos courtesy of Richard Michael Owen of

rux2      rux3      rux4

rux6      rux7      rux8

rux9      rux10      rux11

rux12      rux13      rux14

rux15      rux16      rux17

rux18      rux20      rux19


Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942 | Tagged , , , , , , |