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A Model 32 Hupmobile Equipped with a ……?

It is time for a little fun today and this photo of a bug-eyed 1912 Model 32 Hupmobile seems to fit the bill perfectly. We really don’t know what to make of the cowcatcher-like device hanging off of the front that appears to be folded back and held up with a couple of pieces of wire. We assume the photo was taken by the proud inventor, and his wife and son are sitting in the car. Please tell us what you think it is.

The Model 32 was introduced in 1912 and was produced through 1915 and replaced the earlier Model 20 Hupp that was the first car the company built starting in 1909. You can learn more about the cars at the Huppmobile Club. The photo is via Americar.

12 responses to “A Model 32 Hupmobile Equipped with a ……?

  1. Posted for Arijan Bos: The device seems to be a life saving device for imprudent pedestrians. In The Netherlands in 1912 coincidentally a similar device was presented called the Protector. It could be that the thing worked well with a car not driving faster than a pedestrian, but if it worked at 50 mph? I have serious doubts …

  2. I have seen a similar device for harvesting grass seed. A sack is hung in the frame and the car driven up and down the paddock, the ripe seed flicks off into the sack.
    However this one seems to have a seat above the frame , maybee the frame is just a footrest.

  3. I’d call the front end device the kiddie seat and have Jr. warn me of any unforeseen potholes or tree stumps while at top speed.

    • I concur, but refine it to be used at night as the lights are all askew and don’t work well. I listen for a yell , then slam on the brakes, and my boy falls into the basket.

  4. It’s a pedestrian safety device. Here is a video of a similar one.

    Dennis I am going to use this video in a post on the devices.

  5. To carry bicycles for in case the car breaks down? Sorry. couldn’t help myself.
    The headlamps, however, look rather sad.
    The side-lamps (cowl-lamps) look an awful lot like an early ’15 Ford side-lamp. I wish I could see the mounting better. There were similar lamps used on non-Fords using spade-mounts rather than the rear bolt mount Ford used from 1915 onward.
    Other than the headlamps and the mud, the car looks to be in nice condition! Maybe that is why there are no bicycles?
    Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2

  6. This car is let’s say — a bit unusual. NOTICE the hand operated Klaxon horn on the passenger side of the car.
    Perhaps the boy’s job, but NOT to worry, the bedspring device on front will come to the rescue? It looks more like a luggage rack than a safety device(?) Also take note of the 1 missing reflector and no headlamp windows. After looking at all of these “cow catchers” I think that they might have actually saved a few folks from being speared by Radiator Cap Ornaments with wings, lightning bolts , arrows , spears, all of which happen to be sharp enough and long enough to do serious damage! Edwin.

  7. Post for Lloyd Gloekler

    The device on the 32 Hupmobile looks like a “drag”. Drags were/are used to knock down weeds from the crown of a dirt road and to drag down the center crown, level the road and eliminate washboarding. There were/are also used to drag down gravel roads. The photo looks as if the device has been tied up and is mounted well ahead of the car so it does not hit the front axel when in used. we used to pull something like it down the road to our mountain cabin.

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