<b>1928 Franklin Airman Sport Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. 180777L1<br />Engine no. E128552

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Lot 448
1928 Franklin Airman Sport Tourer
US$ 40,000 - 60,000
£ 31,000 - 46,000
To be sold without reserve

Amended
Lot Details
<b>1928 Franklin Airman Sport Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. 180777L1<br />Engine no. E128552 <b>1928 Franklin Airman Sport Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. 180777L1<br />Engine no. E128552 <b>1928 Franklin Airman Sport Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. 180777L1<br />Engine no. E128552 <b>1928 Franklin Airman Sport Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. 180777L1<br />Engine no. E128552 <b>1928 Franklin Airman Sport Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. 180777L1<br />Engine no. E128552 <b>1928 Franklin Airman Sport Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. 180777L1<br />Engine no. E128552 <b>1928 Franklin Airman Sport Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. 180777L1<br />Engine no. E128552 <b>1928 Franklin Airman Sport Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. 180777L1<br />Engine no. E128552 <b>1928 Franklin Airman Sport Tourer</b><br />Chassis no. 180777L1<br />Engine no. E128552
1928 Franklin Airman Sport Tourer
Chassis no. 180777L1
Engine no. E128552

236ci OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Single Carburetor
46bhp
3-Speed Manual Transmission
Leaf Sprung Front and Rear Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*First model year of the Airman model
*Beautifully restored
*A fantastic touring machine
*Ex-Harrah Collection


THE FRANKLIN

America's longest-lived and most successful air-cooled automobile, the Franklin was the work of engineer John Wilkinson, whose innovative design, produced in prototype form for the New York Automobile Company, was taken up by Syracuse-based die-casting manufacturer Herbert H Franklin. Franklin's company sold its first car - a runabout - in June 1902 and a dozen more before the year's end. In an age when the customary power unit for such a vehicle was a water-cooled single, Wilkinson's 1.7-liter, air-cooled 'four' was highly unusual. The Franklin's other advanced features included overhead valves (inlets mechanically operated from 1905), throttle speed control, float-type carburetor, two-speed planetary transmission and full-elliptic springing. The engine was mounted transversely in the wooden chassis at first, before moving to the conventional up-front position in 1905, fan cooling being introduced at the same time on most models. Truly innovative, Franklin was among the first to adopt six-cylinder engines (1905), automatic ignition advance (1907), sedan coachwork (1913), aluminium pistons (1915) and electric carburetor priming (1921). At a time when liquid cooling systems were often unreliable, the Franklin's ability to operate in extremely hot or cold weather conferred a distinct advantage, while the lack of a water pump, radiator and their attendant hoses greatly reduced maintenance costs.

Powered by a 3.9-liter, seven-bearing 'six', the Airman limousine offered here dates from 1928 and has the front wheel brakes introduced that year and the dummy radiator grille first adopted in 1925 in response to pressure from the dealer network, which demanded a more conventional-looking product. The Airman series was named after pioneer aviator Charles Lindbergh, a Franklin devotee.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Presented here is a wonderful example of very first model year of the Franklin Airman. Befitting of the name, the Sport Tourer body affixed to the chassis thoroughly supplies the vehicle's occupants with a healthy dose of wind and sunshine. Adding to the completeness of the motorcar are numerous extras such as outboard spare tires, wing attached side mirrors, and side driver's lights. Greatly increasing the storage and aiding to the viability of the car's touring intentions is a large aft mounted trunk. The athletic body wears an attractive coat of rich red paint while contrasting black fenders complete the subdued look. Inside, the seats are finished equally attractive in tan.

It is unknown as to when the vehicle was restored, but photos on file, likely from the time of purchase by Mr. Spain in 1989, show the car in largely the same condition it appears in today. The chrome has maintained good lust over the years, yet there is some evidence of age on the bodywork and paint (in particular.) Scuffs and marks following the front tires in the fender indicate this Franklin was used on the road once the restoration was completed, but it cannot be accurately reported when the car was last running.

The Airman on offer presents a wonderful opportunity for anyone looking to acquire a sporting and attractive touring car.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, the correct chassis number is Y180777L1.
Activities
Auction information

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