1930 Franklin Model 147 Series 14 Convertible Sedan  Chassis no. 47-201070L27 Engine no. 148922

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Lot 744
1930 Franklin Model 147 Series 14 Convertible Sedan
Chassis no. 47-201070L27 Engine no. 148922

US$ 60,000 - 80,000
£ 44,000 - 59,000
Amended
1930 Franklin Model 147 Series 14 Convertible Sedan
Coachwork by Dietrich Inc.

Chassis no. 47-201070L27
Engine no. 148922
Once upon a time, virtually any man with a great idea, a modicum of skill and a little bit of capital could dream of building his own car. Cornell engineering graduate John Wilkinson certainly had the ideas and the skill as an engineer and H.H. Franklin had the financial resources. The pair joined forces in the early days of the 20th Century and built their first Franklin production car in Syracuse, New York, in 1902.

Together, former newspaperman Franklin and maverick engineer Wilkinson built a very fine car that was singular in its design and execution. Long after virtually all other companies had adopted water-cooled engines, Wilkinson adhered to air-cooling. Wilkinson had some very fine ideas, but wasn’t necessarily open to the suggestions of others. One of those suggestions involved disguising the simple fact that the Franklin was air-cooled with a false radiator to make it look more like its many other four-wheeled competitors. With sales falling, dealers simply wanted a car they could sell. However, rather than yield to what he saw as artifice, Wilkinson was willing to depart the company he helped build. He left the Syracuse factory for the last time one day in late 1924.

Unquestionably, the post-Wilkinson Franklins appeared more stylish and up-to-date. Yet, they were still Franklins and retained their signature air-cooled engines. For 1930, Franklin offered just two model lines, the model 145 on a 125-inch wheelbase and the 132-inch Model 147. Both models shared a six-cylinder engine rated at 87 horsepower.

The Model 147 on offer is an original low mileage (approximately 14,000 miles) example of a Dietrich four-door speedster that was stored in a warehouse for many years. It still wears its original paint--black steel fenders and yellow aluminum body. The glass, tan leather, carpet, fixed tan Everflex top and headliner have been replaced, as have the brakes and muffler. The original bright trim remains in excellent condition and the instrument panel and original fittings are all original. By all accounts, the engine has never been out of the car, although it has been serviced and fitted with new ignition wires and spark plugs.

A well-equipped car from the outset, this Model 147 is equipped with a Detroit four-speed transmission, high-speed rear axle, six wire wheels mounted with new Goodrich whitewall tires and a Philco radio. It also proudly wears a Spirit of St. Louis mascot. Although extremely original, this is a very capable car for touring use or for showing in unrestored and preservation classes at major concours.

Saleroom notices

  • Lot 744, the 1930 Franklin Model 147 Series 14, has been mislabeled as a Convertible Sedan. The correct body style title is 'Dietrich Speedster.'
1930 Franklin Model 147 Series 14 Convertible Sedan  Chassis no. 47-201070L27 Engine no. 148922
1930 Franklin Model 147 Series 14 Convertible Sedan  Chassis no. 47-201070L27 Engine no. 148922
1930 Franklin Model 147 Series 14 Convertible Sedan  Chassis no. 47-201070L27 Engine no. 148922
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