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Lauren Rose And Her 1941 Hupmobile Skylark Transformation Into A Hot Rod

This 1941 Hupmobile Skylark Transformation Is Off The Hook

Updated November 17, 2018

The Hupmobile from the Hupp Motor Car Company, was in production for an admirable 31 years, beginning in 1909 and continuing until 1940. The first time that the Hupmobile was publicly displayed – at the Detroit Auto Show – it instantly attracted impressive sales figures. The fast success of the Hupmobile is however believed to be mainly as a result of the Cord 810 Skylark design, which arose in 1938.

Hupmobile Skylark

The Skylark was considered as irresistible by the general public due to its sleek design and affordability, resulting in the company being inundated with orders. This extremely positive success rate was short-lived however, as the high production demand was becoming overwhelming for the Hupmobile manufacturer, who was not equipped for this huge rate of sales. At this point, it was confirmed that the Graham-Paige Motor Company (GP) would now be made responsible for the production of the Hupmobile Skylark. This was intended to resolve the high production demand issues. GP produced the Hollywood car and therefore was already recognized and respected in the automobile industry.

Despite the high volume of Hupmobile Skylark orders, which was representing the positive public attitude towards this new design, excitement began to fade after a lengthy waiting process. Inconveniently, the cars were not produced for sale until the summer of 1940, leading to disappointed and impatient customers understandably resorting to cancelling their orders. As a result of the delay with production and many cancelled orders, a shockingly low amount of only 319 Skylarks were eventually manufactured.

Skylark Side On

The Detroit Autorama show in 2013 was when it first became apparent that the rare 1941 Hupmobile Skylark which was on display belonged to the proud wife of John Rose, Lauren. Both Lauren and her husband shared a passion for cars. The uniqueness of the Hupmobile Skylark and the fact that it was one of the last of its kind to be produced was what attracted Lauren to this car as soon as she saw it.

Laurens Hupmobile Skylark was originally owned by a couple, Bill and Kay Lang who had wanted and intended to revamp the car as a fun and interesting project. They had an interest in cars, managing their own successful business in Pennsylvania – Lang’s Custom Auto and Trim of New Cumberland. The progress of the project was agonizingly slow as the demands of business and personal life took a priority, which is extremely common in any vehicle project unfortunately. Bill eventually enlisted his good friends and employees in the car trade to help speed up the process. Kay also worked tirelessly, resulting in beautifully hand stitched interior. Coincidentally, Bill and Kay Lang had recently become good friends with John and Lauren Rose around this time.

Restored Hupmobile

The two couples worked in partnership for the best part of a decade to ensure the Hupmobile Skylarks overhaul was possible. Lauren and her husband were looking for a Hot Rod and after coming across this one they wanted it immediately, despite the vast amount of work and time that it required. Their determination eventually paid off and was recognized by others as they rightly won a car customization competition in 2012 and were presented with an impressive award.

So, what had originally been a rare 1941 version of the Hupmobile Skylark is now an impressive and heavily modified Hot Rod. There was a total of 18 modifications as part of this historic transformation. These included the repositioning of the boot, the extending of the bonnet, the complete redesigning of the windscreen, enhancing the wheel arches to allow for larger, more modern and better quality wheels and tires, as well as improvements to the external bodywork and paint. The entire list of modifications is too extensive to detail here. The side panel of the modified Hot Rod displays a “V” decal, which is said to be in honor of another of her favorite well-known cars. The side panels were formed with stainless steel, and new door openings were installed. The final product is gleaming and has obviously been taken very good care of. To bring that extra wow factor, the exterior lighting adopted by this Hupmobile Skylark includes indicators associated with Harley Davidson. Repositioned headlights and taillights enhance its uniqueness.

Although many important adaptions have been made to this 1941 Hupmobile Skylark, bringing with them some modern day luxury, much of the original inside of the car remains present. Bill Lang is responsible for the originality of the dashboard and electrical features inside the Hot Rod, including the hot air vents, air conditioning and of course the radio. Lang’s company can also take the credit for the hand stitched leather seats and the fitting of the vintage style carpet and seatbelts. All of these aspects help to capture the original features and appearance of the inside of this classic car. The side panels inside are beautifully covered in more hand stitched leather, bringing class while matching the stylish seats.

Hupmobile Skylark Trunk

Bill Lang spent many hours manipulating the sheet metal which would become the exterior body of the car. This was a lengthy task, but once finished, colors were ready to be selected and applied. This job was trusted with the experienced Dave Cornwell, who works with a Hot Rods franchise in the Axalta area of DuPont. The 1941 Hupmobile Skylark was given separate top and bottom colors. The color for the top parts of the car was a shiny, metallic off-white paint. The bottom areas of the car were painted using the sophisticated color of Champagne Fizz. These colors ensure the car is eye-catching. The articulate decals used to separate the top and bottom paint colors scream professionalism and are courtesy of Paul Quinn and Design Brilliance.

As mentioned earlier, the wheel arches were increased and enhanced, allowing them to be compatible with higher quality 21st Century tires. One of the all-time leading wheel types were selected – Budnik Revolver wheels – and the Hot Rod now proudly has them on display alongside the impressive stainless steel brake disc callipers. The tires measure an impressive 20 inches and with the reputable Goodrich G-Force, acceleration and braking is extremely responsive. The original Skylark chassis was the basis for using the Stainless Steel Brake Corporation

The Lang’s designed and produced the cover of the engine and a top quality silencer exhaust system, although you are probably left wondering in anticipation what engine this iconic car has been fitted with. The engine itself was produced by the experienced Gil Davis Race Engines, ensuring power and reliability. The engine inside the 1941 Hupmobile Skylark is a 454 Chevy, complete with SCAT crankshaft and COMP Cams roller rockers. The MSD ignition system is trusted and highly rated. It is a Turbo 400 powered rear wheel drive, with the inclusion of a Lokar cable shifter, courtesy of a company called Pat’s Transmissions. There is also a Lokar accelerator pedal for added effect.

Lauren Rose was obviously extremely involved with the modification of her Hupmobile Skylark and has an impressive knowledge about each and every stage of the process. She fully recognizes the immense energy and time that the project required in order to be completed to its highest standard and mentions that the most challenging part was in fact the interior. Interestingly though, Lauren makes it clear that it has been very worthwhile and that she would not hesitate to do it all again. Pleased with the project’s outcome, Lauren insists that she would not change a single thing if given another opportunity to start the modification of this 1941 Hupmobile Skylark into a Hot Rod over again from the very beginning.

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James Murrell
About James Murrell

I love to research and admire all sorts of vehicles from restored classics to top shelf supercars, monstrous offroaders to weird concept vehicles. I absolutely adore any vehicle I can get behind the wheel of.

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