Mike Comeaux began work on a 1938 Ford Street Rod in his garage several years ago, after he bought the car out of Chicago. He sent it to a detail shop for the final touches. 

“I like to do as much of the mechanical work as I can, but for the interior and paint and body, I had that done elsewhere,” he said.
Comeaux, who works at Cloeren Co., and his wife Karen, a longtime employee at Orange Savings Bank; are members of the newly-formed Orange Peel Out Car Club. About 15 other couples are also members.

“The club was formed by a few couples that have the same interests as far as cars go, and decided to get together to form an Orange car club,” Karen says. “There are several clubs in Beaumont but Orange didn’t have one … It’s an open club, so that anybody with a love of cars and who has a car is welcome to join.”

The club will sponsor its first-ever car show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 27 in the Lutcher Theater parking lot, corner of Sixth Street and Main Avenue, showing classic and perhaps even some vintage motorcycles. 

Organizers hope the event, free to the public, will become an annual outing. Proceeds from entry fees will benefit Southeast Texas Hospice. 

In addition to the theater, co-sponsors include the W.H. Stark House and Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, which will have the Stark House’s 1908-09 Hupmobile Roadster and Model T truck, circa 1918, on display.

“The Hupmobile is 100 years old,” Karen Comeaux says. “We’re basically going to have a birthday party for the Hupmobile.”

Although this is a first-time show, Peel Out members have organized shows with other clubs. Many Peel Out members are also associated with the Spindletop Street Rod Club in Beaumont.

“We hope it is something people will come out and support, because it is for such as good cause,” Mike Comeaux says.

Features include trophies awarded in various categories (show fees are $15 pre-show by calling 886-1781, and $20 at the show), door prizes, music by DJ Jon Nimitz and a slide show at the Lutcher about the 2003 restoration of the Hupmobile by the late Ronald Collins. 

Throughout the event, the Stark House will offer special first floor tours for $2. All tours will begin in the lobby of the Stark Museum of Art, 712 Green Ave. The slide presentation will show continuously, and at 2 p.m., remarks from dignitaries will round out a celebratory cake-cutting.

Here are some notes about the Hupmobile provided by the Stark House.

The 1908-09 Hupmobile Roadster was owned by H.J. Lutcher Stark, who used it while living in Austin. The car was built from a 1908 prototype by the Hupp Motor Car Co., Detroit. Brothers Robert and Louis Hupp organized the company to build and market a light two-seater runabout. The runabout auto was powered by a four-cylinder engine that produced 16-20 horsepower, had a shaft drive, a sliding gear transmission with two forward speeds and reverse, 30-inch wheels with three-inch tires and a fuel tank at the rear with gravity feed. The wheelbase is 86 inches long, but the body resembled that of some of the high-powered runabouts then available costing much more than the $750 the Hupmobile sold for.
For more information on the car show, call 886-1781. 

For more information on the Stark House, go to whstarkhouse.org or call 883-0871.