1930 Franklin 173 V12

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In the early 30s, the US produced a lot of amazing cars. Unfortunately the release of these cars coincided with the Great Depression, so none of them could sell well. The divine Duesenberg Model J, the Cadillac V16 and the Marmon Sixteen were all released at this time. Then the twelve-cylinder Cadillac V12, Packard Twelve, Linkoln Model K, and Pierce – Arrow Silver Arrow were produced.
Among these, outstanding cars was the Franklin 173 / 174 V12. It is the only, twelve-cylinder, air-cooled production car. Today, the Franklin automobile brand is remembered only by the most enthusiastic American car enthusiasts. But in its time it was an example of quality, reliable and comfortable car made in the USA.
The Franklin 174 V12 was the most powerful, the most comfortable and the last car of the brand. It was the apogee that the company released before its decline. In this, Franklin is similar to Marmon, which also produced its Sixteen, but would not survive the Great Depression.
Information on this Franklin model is extremely scarce, but I’ve tried to find some.

1930 Franklin 173/174 V12 price and sales.

In ’32, the price of a Franklin 173 V12 was $4,000 to $4,400. And look out! – that’s the equivalent of $71,000 in 2021. In my opinion, as for a twelve-cylinder car, the Franklin featured a very attractive price. In ’74, Franklin were selling their V12s at 40 percent off. Back then, you could own a Model 174 for between $2,885 and $3,185.
It is believed that about 150, 12-cylinder Franklin cars were produced. It is believed that 18at of these cars have survived to this day.

Looks and photos.

This is a magnificent car. Note the sloping radiator grille. Although it is not really a radiator grille, because the Franklin has no radiator (air-cooled engine). But the radiator grille area has the same slope as the windshield. On the Cadillac V16, for example, the windshield is much more vertical. This is one of the examples, which indicates the thoughtfulness and technology of this car.
The window lifters are mounted under the roof, above the windshield – this was the norm for the time.
Depending on the modification, the Franklin V12 could be a 5 or 7 seat sedan. There were also 2-door versions and limousines.
Note the opening “louvers” on the sides of the engine compartment. The hood itself is alligator type and consists of two flaps. This is also a common solution for the ’30s. But on the Franklin, the hood fits right up to the windshield.
You can pay attention to the spoked wheels, as well as to the inscription – Franklin Automobile Company on the wheel hubcap.
Curb weight is 2,725kg, which is a little under 6,000 lbs. The wheelbase is – 3658mm. The headlights are mounted on the front fenders. It is immediately clear that these were some of the most expensive and chic cars of their time.

Interior and equipment.

All doors, regardless of whether there are two of them or four open opposite to the traffic. At the time, this was still the norm. As well as instruments located in the middle part of the front panel. A lot of wood is used in the interior trim.

Roll-up curtains can be seen over the side windows. There are also lighting plafonds at the rear.
This is a large car with a spacious interior, which should have provided a high level of comfort to both driver and passengers.

It is hard for me to say this for sure, but it seems to me that the Franklin V12 was purchased by many people for self-driving cars. This car could be used as a business attribute in meetings and as a great, family car.

Engine and Specifications 1930 Franklin 173/174 V12.

The Franklin V12 was originally equipped with a twelve-cylinder engine. Like all previous models, this car’s engine was air-cooled. This has always been a feature of Franklin cars. The maximum output was 100 horsepower, which was decent but not outstanding in those years.
The engine was fed by two Stromberg carburetors and was equipped with two tramplers. The gearbox was a mrehspeed, manual.

In the 32nd there was a modification 174 with an increased to 6810 cubic centimeters engine. The compression ratio in this engine was 5.1:1.
The maximum speed of the Franklin 174 V12 is 153 kilometers per hour.
Both axles are equipped with drum brakes. The suspension is on semi-elliptic leaf springs.

It is a shame that the Franklin brand has ceased to exist. It used to make some magnificent and unlikeable cars. Yes, air-cooled production cars were made at Porsche. But it was post-war and Porsche never produced an air-cooled twelve-cylinder engine. Besides, Porsche were sports cars, and Franklin made family and executive cars. They were completely different cars. And since the Franklin brand has gone, no-one has ever made anything like it. And I’m sorry that despite the relatively low cost, these cars didn’t sell very well. The reason for that is well known and it’s not the car.

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