1907 Franklin Model D

History

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.

The Franklin Manufacturing Company initiated a strong advertising campaign that promoted their high quality and lightweight vehicles. Their engineering was progressive and introduced many new features. Wilkinson used a wooden frame constructed of three-ply laminated ash. The benefits were two-fold; decreasing the weight of the vehicle and providing a better material to absorb shocks.

In 1924, Wilkinson left the company. The designs of the vehicle dramatically changed over the next few years, mainly in response to criticism from dealers. The most visual of these design changes was the radiators which became more conventional in design.

When Wilkinson left the company he was replaced by Frank DeCausse, a well known designer who had made a name for himself through work he had done at Rolls-Royce and Locomobilie. DeCausse refined the Franklins, ever increasing their appeal. Unfortunately, DeCausse died around 1928 leaving the Franklin Company without a lead designer.

In 1928 the Franklin Company hired Ray Dietrich as a replacement for DeCausse. In only a year, Dietrich had created some of the most exquisite designs the Franklin Company had ever produced. The designs attracted a new breed of buyers but it was the Great Depression that was responsible for the demise of the brand.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2011

1907 Vehicle Profiles

1907 Franklin Model D vehicle information

Landaulette

Chassis Num: D 3658
Engine Num: 5048

The Franklin Automobile Company produced vehicles from 1902 through 1934. They are best remembered for their air-cooled engines, wooden frames, and full-elliptic springs. ....[continue reading]

1907 Franklin Model D vehicle information

Runabout

For 1907, Franklin offered three models, the small 4-cylinder G, the larger 4-cylinder D and the 6-cylinder H. All had a flexible 3-ply ash wood frame, aluminum crankcase, transmission, hood and body. By this point in history, all Franklins had inlin....[continue reading]

Landaulette
Chassis #: D 3658 
Runabout
 




Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$250-$2,800
1907 Model D
$4,000-$8,500
1907 Franklin Model D Price Range: $2,800 - $4,000

$1,800 - $1,850

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Franklin
1912Ford (78,440)Overland (28,572)Buick (19,812)1,508
1911Ford (69,762)Overland (18,745)Maxwell (16,000)1,654
1910Ford (32,053)Buick (30,525)Overland (15,598)2,357
1909Ford (17,771)Buick (14,606)Maxwell (9,460)2,142
1908Ford (10,202)Buick (8,820)Studebaker (8,132)1,895
1907Ford (14,887)Buick (4,641)Maxwell (3,785)1,509
1906Ford (8,729)Cadillac (3,650)Rambler (2,765)2,100
1905Oldsmobile (6,500)Cadillac (4,029)Rambler (3,807)1,098
1904Oldsmobile (5,508)Rambler (2,342)Cadillac (2,319)400
1903Oldsmobile (3,924)Cadillac (2,497)Locomobile (1,897)224
1902Locomobile (2,750)Oldsmobile (2,500)Columbia (1,583)13

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