The H.H. Franklin Manufacturing Company built the most successful American direct air-cooled cars from 1902 to 1934. John Wilkinson was the engineer who built the first Franklin car and whose design principles combining high quality with light weight gave Franklin their distinct reputation for dependability and long life. All Franklins utilized air-cooled engines and double elliptical springs on all four wheels. Their legacy has been one of successful innovations and, of course, the unusual vehicles that survived.
By the time Franklin ceased manufacturing automobiles, approximately 150,000 vehicles were produced. Unfortunately, Franklin was one of the many automobile manufactures that were not able to survive the depression years.
This automobile was manufactured in 1929 and is a model 137, Sport Touring. When new this car sold for around $2,200. There are presently only six surviving of this model.
When new, the automobile was exported by the factory to the Franklin distributor in Uruguay, Fresnado and Crow, where it was converted to right-hand drive prior to being sold to a local industrialist and was in constant use until the 1950s. It was imported to the United States in 1989 and has passed through several owners and received a total restoration in 1992. During this restoration, it was converted back to left-hand drive.
Reportedly, the automobile saw extensive use as a taxi for a long period of time in South America.Also photographed at :
The H.H. Franklin Company started manufacturing unconventional looking air-cooled automobiles in 1902, in Syracuse, New York. In 1925 noted designer Frank De Causse was hired at the urging of disgruntled dealers who felt Franklin's unusual styling was hurting sales. De Causse and later Raymond Dietrich went on to create some beautiful in-house designs that creased Franklin sales to a peak of 14,000 cars in 1929. The model 137 had a six-cylinder air-cooled engine base on a 132-inche wheelbase chassis. This particular car wears an attractive dual cowl phaeton body by Franklin.