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Hupmobile Model 20 at H.W. Seery’s Garage Topeka, Kansas

Updated: This interesting image was taken in front of J.W. Seery’s Garage located in Topeka, Kansas. The Hupmobile Model 20 roadster parked next to the men is a small economy car produced between 1909 to ’12 by the Hupp Motor Car Company in Detroit, Michigan. The photo courtesy of the Kansas Historical Society has been added to an earlier post dated January 4, 2013 (below) that covers many of the details of these attractive little cars.

Update: Read Ace Cenek’s comment to lean more about H.W. Seery’s Garage and Seery & Morton.

  • Seery & Morton The “Topeka-State-Journal” January 29, 1910 Page five.

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In 1908, after having worked at Oldsmobile, Regal and Ford, Robert Craig Hupp and his brother Louis entered the light car market with their own Model 20. The well designed new machine was a success as it was constructed from high quality materials with first class workmanship. A choice of four different body styles were offered beginning in 1911 when in addition to the roadster a “Torpedo,” (above) a touring car and coupe were added to the line-up. The Model 20 proved to be quite popular during its 1909 to 1912 production run.

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  • Colored postcard images showing the Torpedo, a 4-Passenger Touring Car and the Coupe – Center an ad from “The Motor” October, 1909. 
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  • Photo from “The Motor”, March, 1910, during a Detroit to New York Run.

In an effort to overcome the public’s prejudice against small cars, a Hupp 20 was run in a round-the-world promotional tour starting on November 10, 1910 and returning to Detroit on January 24, 1912. By the time it was done, the little car had visited twenty-six countries and traveled over 48,000 miles. It has survived in running condition at the Crawford Auto Aviation Collection.

You’ll find a brief history of the make on the Hupmobile Club’s site and more Hupp related posts on The Old Motor. Colored postcard images are courtesy of Alden Jewell.

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  • “The Motor” March 1911.

12 responses to “Hupmobile Model 20 at H.W. Seery’s Garage Topeka, Kansas

  1. There are still quite a few of these H up mobile model 20’s still around. There were two of these models here locally but I think k both have been sold.

  2. As a child car lover; I was always on the lookout for interesting cars, and trucks when I was being transported (to and fro) by my parents. I remember a gas station my Dad went to that had a late Hupmobile languishing, and immobile and pushed to the back of the place. I loved that car, and always felt sorry for it when it wast covered with snow, or baking in the sun.

  3. So, my quandary is, do I spend the $750 on the car or do I buy 7,500 boxes of The World’s Best oatmeal? I did the math and at 20 breakfasts per box, that’d keep my family of four in breakfasts for nearly 103 years! On the other hand I do like the idea of having my valve gear “set and adjusted for once and for all.”

    Just out of curiosity, did many (any) other cars go very far using a multi-disc wet clutch? The cast brackets (for want of a better term) securing the intake and exhaust manifolds remind me of similar on my TR3s.

  4. Fascinating stuff. I find myself googling these topics to get more info. Its better than reading the Sunday paper.

    Looks like Sears adopted the Hupmobile Business Model:

    “We’re bored with being a successful company, let’s do something else”

  5. If one bought a Hupmobile or a Royal Tourist model G one was never cheated in the upper radiator neck for length.

  6. A neat looking little car.
    In roadster form (as seen in the black and white h $750 ad and the photo of the two cars heading to New York in 1910) it sports the typical roadsters look of the period…hood, bucket seats and fuel tank…that is best remembered on Mercers and Stutzs of the period.
    As such, I wouldn’t mind having one considering the prices those go for. Of course the Hupp wouldn’t have the performance, racing heritage or cache of those sports cars, but I’m sure they’d be a great driving experience.

    The full bodied roadster we see in the color ad driven by two women, has its charms but certainly looks a bit odd.

    Are there really some out there at reasonable prices?

  7. Posted for Ace Cenek: The correct name for J.W. Seery is actually H. W. Seery. The business they are in front of was Seery & Morton which was owned by Harry W. Seery and William A. Morton. They sold farm implements, carriages, and automobiles.

    Seery’s father was James Seery who moved from Illinois to Kansas around 1878. He partnered with several local people, he was the dealer for Peoria Plow Co., Union Corn Plow, and O’Brien wagons, and by 1885 Harry has joined him in the firm James Seery and Son. After his father’s death circa December 1893, Harry partnered with William A. Morton.

    By 1902 Seery & Morton were selling Studebaker Carriages, and by 1908 they had purchased their first car (a Glide made in Peoria, Illinois). A year later they bought a Jewell, but this purchase may have been reported wrong. A month after the Jewell purchase their first ad for selling Maxwell cars appears. By January of 1910 they are selling Maxwell, Regal, and Hupmobiles. By 1912 they are only advertising Maxwell, and by 1914 they are selling Empires. Eventually the firm returns to only selling farm implements – most notably International Harvester machines. Their firm lasts until about 1931.

    In the 1930s Harry worked at City Ice Co. in the office and as a salesman. By 1940 he appears to have retired. Born in 1862 he died in 1943. He and his wife Forestine had three children. His son Lawrence worked as a machinist for many years at the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

    • David, great narrative about this company. Love love love to read how these companies came to be, the individual players, progress through the years, and what became of them. Keep up the good work.

  8. My great-grandfather, Joseph A. Newby, got his 1902 curved dash Olds from Ransom Olds, picking it up in Indianapolis and venturing back to New Castle. Four years later, he drove city leaders in New Castle, IN to Muncie, IN, where JD Maxwell and Ben Briscoe had met with city leaders to discuss locating a new assembly plant. The next day, people and of Muncie and New Castle learned the new plant would be in New Castle. It was wonderful to be part of the 2005 centennial of the Maxwell in New Castle and meet Maxwell enthusiasts from all over the nation!

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