Vehicle
1927 Franklin Model 11B
199 cid, I-6, 78 bhp

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From its inception in 1902, the Franklin was one of the most successful air-cooled automobiles ever built in America. The company had a reputation for high quality and innovation. In an age where most engine blocks, pistons, and cylinder heads were made of cast iron, Franklin used high-grade, light weight aluminum. In fact, at one time Franklin was the largest consumer of aluminum.  By 1920, other advanced features such as full-pressure lubrication, automatic spark control, and electric choke were long-familiar Franklin fare. A fan attached to the crankshaft directed air-flow over the tops of cylinders and through copper fins. This proved superior to liquid cooled engines, especially at high speeds and on long journeys. There were no radiators and therefore Franklin automobiles looked somewhat different than conventional liquid-cooled automobiles. By 1923, the company conformed to the conventional look by placing a false radiator at the front of their vehicles. The Great Depression struck Franklin sales hard and forced the company out of business by 1934. The Franklin 11B had a 274 cid inline six that produced 100 horsepower. Highlights:
  • Franklin Automobile Company was founded in 1902 and produced only air-cooled cars until 1934
  • In 1925, Franklin began using dummy radiators to look more conventional
  • Price new: $2,840
 
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