One of two designs commissioned from the Detroit-based shops of coachbuilder Raymond Dietrich, the Speedster sedan was conceived to add a little spice to Franklin's conservative lineup. The other was the Pirate, and both were distinguished by a low roofline that gave the cars a racy look. True to Franklin tradition, the Speedster was propelled by an air-cooled engine, a 274 cubic-inch inline six rated at 95 horsepower. It sent power to the rear wheels via 3.92:1 rear end, giving the Speedster snappy acceleration.
Franklin was forced to add false radiator shells to its designs in the late 1920s, as air cooling lost its appeal in the marketplace. But air cooling was popular with aviators, and famous fliers such as Amelia Earhart, Frank Hawks, and Charles Lindbergh were all Franklin owners. Franklin dubbed a 1928 model the Airman, in Lindbergh's honor, and Lindbergh teamed with wife Anne to set a coast-to-coast speed record for Franklin. The record lasted just one year, when Hawks made the run in another Franklin.
Despite the Dietrich designs, the onset of the Great Depression hit hard at Franklin. This was a luxury brand - at $2,715 the Speedster cost more than most basic Packard Eights - and like others it suffered. Production in 1930 - 5,744 cars - was about half of 1929's total, and by 1934 Franklin was out of the car business.
This Speedster was recently donated to the Franklin Automobile Collection at Hickory Corners, near Battle Creek, Michigan.
|No auction information available for this vehicle at this time.|
(Data based on Model Year 1930
No Sale1930 Franklin Series 147's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
|Vehicle||Chassis||Event||High Bid||Est. Low||Est. High|
|1930 Franklin Model 147 Series 14 Convertible Sedan||47-201070L27||2007 Bonhams Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia featuring The Frank Cooke Collection Part II|| ||$60,000||$80,000|
|1930 FRANKLIN 147 7 PASSENGER SEDAN||512204553443||2006 Palm Springs Exotic Car Auctions November 1719, 2006|| || || |
ComparablesSimilar sales to the range.