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Princeton man wins 2012 President’s Cup

PRINCETON — William Van Dierendonck of Princeton and his 1940 Hupmobile recently won a very prestigious award from the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA).

Van Dierendonck won the AACA’s President’s Cup for the Central Division at the organization’s 77th annual meeting held in Philadelphia, Pa., on Feb. 9.

“I was shocked to be nominated for this award and really, really surprised to win the national award,” he said. “I never have heard anybody winning the first time they were nominated. It is unusual to be picked the first year you are nominated. I talked to one guy who had been nominated five times before he was picked.”

In addition to the President’s Cup, Van Dierendonck also won a blue tag showing he was the 2012 winner that is displayed on the front of his 1940 Hupmobile.

“There are 59,000 members in the AACA, and everybody thinks their car, whether it is a Ford, Chevrolet, Dusenberg or Hupmobile, is the best car in the world,” he said. “

AACA membership encompasses the world and helps to preserve automotive history. Van Dierendonck’s name will be on a plaque at the AACA’s museum in Hershey, Pa.

The other President’s Cups awarded at the AACA’s national meeting for the eastern and southeastern divisions were given to the owners of a 1929 Willys-Knight and a 1956 Packard.

President’s Cup awards are given for outstanding restoration of a 1921 through 1942 automobile entered in each division. This award was established in 1960 by the AACA.

The event, called the Emmys of the car restoration business, highlights 70 cars chosen for national awards by 12 national directors who attend car shows and pick the ones to be nominated for a series of awards presented at the annual meeting.

Since he won a junior and senior meet in the same year, Van Dierendonck and his 1940 Hupmobile also qualified to go to the grand national from June 27-29 in Moline this year.

Van Dierendonck’s 1940 Hupmobile was the very first one of the 1,300 Hupmobiles ever sold to go off the assembly line.

“This is a very prestigious car,” he said. “The rarity of this car shows it is one of the best special interest cars because of its history, backgrounds and looks.”

Van Dierendonck first saw the 1940 Hupmobile at a swap meet in Pecatonica and later bought it from Larry Kern of Princeton, who had bought it from a guy living in Lacon. It took him about 26 years after buying it to totally restore the classic car.

Van Dierendonck’s 1940 Hupmobile has a shark nose, not a coffin nose, like some earlier models. He has documented through the Hupmobile Club that this car was the first one ever built with this design.

Hupmobiles were made from 1909 to 1940 with the car company being the fifth largest car manufacturer in the 1920s.

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