1917 Franklin series 9

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This car from Franklin was produced from ’17 to ’22. In its day, it was a luxurious and expensive car. It had a lot of technical solutions that were unique to the brand. The air-cooled aluminum engines were built with an eye to the aviation of the time. It may surprise you, but at one time, Franklin was the largest consumer of aluminum in the United States. And yet, the frames for the bodies were not made of steel, but of wood! They were very distinctive cars. But in terms of luxury and glamor, they could be an alternative to a Packard, or a Cadillac.

The price and sale of the 1917 Franklin series 9.

A new Franklin Model 9 cost between $2,400 and $3,400. This was a considerable sum at the time, as you could own a Ford Model T for a little less than $500. A twelve-cylinder Packard Twin Six sold for $4,500 in 1915. And a magnificent Pierce – Arrow Model 66 in 1910 could go for as much as $8,000.
It was certainly a quality car and not a cheap one. This car was designed for well-to-do, but not for too rich Americans. High comfort, reliability and unique technical solutions made the purchase of Model 9 very attractive.

Appearance and photo.

Franklin became one of the first manufacturers to introduce closed bodies. This solution increased comfort, especially in cold weather. Depending on the modification, the body was equipped with two or four doors. In some versions, the windshield consisted of 4 parts (I tried to show it on the photo). In this case, windshield wipers were present only on the top two windows. But both upper and lower windows could be opened to provide better ventilation.

This is an early 20th century car, so the wheel rims are wooden. The wheel hub caps have Franklin lettering on them.
There are holes in the front of the hood, but behind them – under the hood, there is no radiator, because this car is air-cooled. The Model 9’s hood shape was not thought about aerodynamics at the time, but it was streamlined quite well.

T-shaped door handles resemble the handles of lockers and nightstands. The wheelbase of the Franklin Series 9 is 115d ( 2921mm). A klaxon can be seen behind the right, front fender.
At the very rear of the body is a spare tire. A fuel tank is mounted between it and the body. The fuel level indicator is mounted directly on the tank. It also has a lever that can be used to cut off the fuel supply.

Interior and equipment.

According to the photo, you can notice that the front – right seat can be turned 180 degrees. So the person sitting in front will look back. Today this technique is used on some tractors.
A mechanical clock with digitization of Roman numerals was installed in the front panel. Side windows could be equipped with sliding windows. The main part of the instrumentation was placed in the central part of the front panel, which was the norm for that time.

Engine and specifications of the 1917 Franklin series 9.

In the photo I tried to show the lettering – Franklin on the spark plugs. These are vintage, original spark plugs. Under the hood is an inline, six cylinder engine. At the time, an engine with that many cylinders was fitted to quite expensive cars. But it’s air-cooled and that’s what sets the Franklin apart from other American cars. All cylinders are cast separately and have special ribs through which the heat must be effectively extracted. These fins greatly increase the surface area on which the heat is dissipated.

The engine displacement is 199 cubic inches, and the power is 30 horsepower. For its time, this was a considerable amount of power. Torque is transmitted to the rear wheels, via a driveshaft. The gearbox is a three-speed transmission, which was not found on every automobile in those days.
Comfortability is increased due to elliptical springs.

This is a high-quality, reliable and spacious in the cabin. It is difficult to imagine that it was bought by a rich industrialist, but it is what is needed for a confident American. This car was produced long before the Great Depression. At that time, there were many now-forgotten car manufacturers in America. Cities such as New York and Chicago had skyscrapers, and even small towns were lit by electricity.
In such an amazing time, Franklin automobiles were produced. Of course, this manufacturer could not compete with Ford, or GM, but at the time it seemed that Franklin still has everything ahead. And in the future, just before the Great Depression, Franklin would produce an amazing, twelve-cylinder, air-cooled car. And it’s the only car with an engine of that type, and cooling, in the world. But it was the only car that heralded the end. And in the days of the Series 9, Franklin was moving forward.

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