Museum of the City of San Francisco
By Subject
By Year
The Gift Shop

New Hupp Skylark on Tour to Coast

1939 Hupp Skylark automobile at the World's Fair in San Francisco Winging in from Detroit in 59 hours and 40 minutes over the Lincoln Highway, the first production model of the new Hupp Skylark automobile arrived in San Francisco last Monday piloted by Austin Bement, vice president of the Lincoln Highway Association and partner in the Detroit national advertising agency of Grace & Bement, Inc. In 1915, Mr. Bement, then as now a vice president of the pioneer road-stimulation organization, made the same trip with H.B. Joy, and the time was 220 hours through mud holes and over fields on the uncompleted highway.


“The trip was a pleasure every mile of the way and was the nearest thing to flying I have ever experienced,” Mr. Bement stated. “The Skylark is so low to the ground that the comfort factor is pronounced and there is absolutely no strain in driving. In fact, the car is lower than it is wide.

“I made no attempt to establish a speed record, because I was driving my wife on a combination business and pleasure trip, yet we ended up by approaching such official records as exist. This was indeed a tribute to the advanced engineering of the new Skylark which the association chose for its official car. The 101 horsepower Hupp engine floated us through at very high speeds, our average being 46.26 miles per hour for the entire distance. Despite this high average of speed, gasoline consumption was fifteen miles to the gallon.

BACK IN 1915

“I could not help contrasting this smooth trip with the hazards and pitfalls of the trip made in 1915 to visit the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Then, with H.B. Joy, we averaged 13.5 miles a day and our gasoline consumption was eight miles to the gallon Our time was 220 hours. We were constantly being pulled out of the mud by horses and mules. It took us five days to get across the State of Iowa alone!”

The Hupp Skylark driven by Mr. Bement was delivered to H.O. Harrison, veteran California motor car dealer, who will handle the line in Northern California and Nevada. Del Larson, Pacific Coast Hupmobile factory man, was among the many greeters, including Mayor Rossi and W.P. Day, director of works at the Golden Gate International Exposition, where the journey was completed.

Integral construction is a feature of the new Hupp Skylark, it was learned at the public display of the official car. The body and frame are integral and the chassis is “frameless.” This construction permits the extreme rakishness of design, which is an eye-catcher on city streets.

San Francisco Chronicle
May 7, 1939

Return to the Museum's Treasure Island Exhibit.

Return to top of page