1908 Franklin Model G Tourer
From the The Automobile Magazine 'Oily Rag' Reserve Collection; believed off the road since 1910; astonishingly well-preserved time capsule; unique opportunity!
Operating out of a factory in Syracuse, New York, from 1901 HH Franklin specialised in the manufacture of high-quality air-cooled cars and while they did experiment with water cooling, they remained faithful to the air-cooled principle right up until they ceased trading in 1934.
Preoccupied with weight, Franklin made extensive use of aluminium in his engines and also used the lightest suspension components possible, like tubular axles and flexible, full-elliptic springs. Aluminium-clad bodies and laminated ash chassis frames completed the weight-saving formula.
Initially using transversely-mounted 1.7-litre four-cylinder engines, from 1906 these were replaced by conventionally-located front engines. These had auxiliary exhaust valves, shaft drive, three-speed sliding type gearboxes and distinctive barrel-shaped bonnets modelled on the Delaunay-Belleville. In 1907 an automatic advance-and-retard was fitted and in 1908 a gear-driven cooling fan.
Much like VW and Porsche in later times, Franklins inspired intense marque-loyalty among customers: famed for the ruggedness and simplicity of their design, they were highly prized by motorists who had to traverse the toughest terrain and the harshest climates of the American continent.
Offered from 1906 to 1913, the Model G was built in a variety of body styles on an 88" wheelbase that eventually grew to 100" over its production run, powered by a range of air-cooled four-cylinder engines.
As a dating certificate from The Society of Automotive Historians confirms, this Franklin Model G Tourer was built in 1908. Other correspondence from the Veteran Car Services Ltd Dating Panel suggests that it has a later 18hp engine fitted with Bosch magneto ignition which dates from 1910 and is of the correct type for the model. The report also contains much other technical information about the car and confirms that the body is clearly original, that the wheels are 30in and the wheelbase is 91¾in.
Other correspondence suggests that the car was taken off the road in 1910, and spent most of the following years in the reserve collection of a museum in New York state before finding its way to Viklit Graae Jorgensen of Denmark, a dealer who specialised in unrestored American cars and from whom it was acquired to join the Oily Rag Collection in 1998. There is also a copy of a 1997 American Certificate of Title when the car was resident in Northfield, Massachusetts.
With only a tiny handful of early Franklins remaining worldwide, this example presents a unique opportunity to acquire perhaps the only one which remains in unrestored, original condition. The astonishingly well-preserved upholstery attests to the low miles this car must have covered and, frankly, it would be a crime to subject this car to anything other than the most gentle, sensitive recommissioning. The engine turms easily on the crank handle and the compressions feel healthy enough.
The history file also contains a wealth of information about HH Franklin and the cars they produced between 1901 and 1917, including much material provided by the Antique Automobile Club of America Library and Research Centre.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
Chassis Number: 5587G
Engine Number: 12592
Docs: SAH Dating Certificate; copy American Certificate of Title; correspondence; technical literature etc
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