Produced by the H.H. Franklin Automobile Company of Syracuse, New York, this luxury automobile manufacture offered air-cooled engines from 1902 through 1934 (with a total production of 151,266 automobiles). Franklins are known for their innovative engine and chassis designs features double elliptic springs that offer a ride unmatched by many cars even of today. The Oxford Sedan is noted for its leather interior.
The in-line side draft air-cooled 6-cylinder engine has 274 cubic-inches and develops 100 horsepower. This 1932 Franklin features a supercharger that inducts pressurized air from the cooling fan. By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2008
Franklin Motors, of Syracuse, New York, was the most successful air-cooled automobile manufacturer in the United States. But the end was near when his Airman Sedan was built in 1932. Production had peaked in 1929 at 14,000 cars and dropped to only 2,000 in 1932.
But the company continued to build excellent automobiles. Many Franklin chassis sported custom bodies designed and built by the top custom coachbuilders. In 1932, nine body styles were offered. Power was supplied by Franklin's in-line, air-cooled six that developed 100 horsepower.
This is an owner-restored automobile. It had been stored in Middletown, Ohio for about 45 years before it was discovered and acquired by the current owner.
For the 1932 model year, Franklin utilized the beefier chassis initially designed for the new V-12 models. Extensive use of sound deadening, new 'supercharged' forced air induction (utilizing air bleed from the cooling fan), interior trim in walnut and book-matched wainscot and a new Synchromesh transmission with free-wheeling and adjustable 'Ride Control' resulted in Franklin's most luxurious offering to date. Quiet, smooth and powerful, with Dietrich designs, Franklin's Series 16 is considered by many to be one of the best driving Classics of the era. While the company was gripped by the Depression and production had plummeted, survival rates are high for the 'Airman' models from 1932.
The Franklin catalog for 1932's Series 16 pictured the Speedster, Coupe, Convertible Coupe, 7-Passenger Sedan, Limousine, 5-Passenger Sedan, Victoria Brougham and Club Sedan. Of these, the Club Sedan pioneered the architecture of the modern sedan, with its front engine, two side doors and rear trunk. Power was from a 274 cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine delivering 100 horsepower. The factory price for the Club Sedan was $2,395.
This 1932 Franklin Airman custom Phaeton is with work of Frank Gardner. It is the result of a forced marriage between a 1932 Franklin Club Sedan and a 1929 Packard 633 Touring. It took several years to find and to fashion parts and trim enough for Mr. Gardner to feel that his creation might well have been originally built in Syracuse. The 100 horsepower 'Supercharged' engine gave the Series 16 performance to match many of the best cars of the period. The only open model in the 1932 catalog for Series 16 was a convertible coupe, the Depression having forced a limit on choices.