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1927 Franklin 11B


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  • Color: Red / Black
  • Interior: Gray wool
  • Roof: Black poppy gum
  • Years: 1927
  • ID FIVA 2022 class 1
  • Engine displacement: 3264 cm³
  • Engine power: 30kW
  • Transmission: Manual, 3 speed
  • Wheelbase: 3027 m
  • Dimensions (l,w,h): 4496x1727x1867 mm
  • Weight: 1762 kg
  • Fuel: Petrol (15-17 Lit./100 km)
The Franklin automobiles were cooled by direct air flow. A fan was attached to the crankshaft and the air was directed by metal housings to the tops of the cylinders and through copper fins. They proved to be superior to liquid-cooled engines, especially on long journeys at high speeds. There were no radiators and thus, looked different from other American vehicles. By 1923, the company conformed to the contemporary look of other vehicles by placing a fake radiator at the front of the vehicle. This upset John Wilkinson, the chief engineer and designer for Franklin, so much that he left the company in protest.
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. By 1923, the company conformed to the conventional look by placing a false radiator at the front of their vehicles.

The Franklin Airman was named after the famous Charles Lindbergh. Amelia Earhart and Lindberg, both famous aeronautical individuals, could often be found in front of Franklin advertisements. The company compared their vehicles to airplanes due to the use of air-cooled engines and the use of these celebrities helped reinforce their beliefs with the public.


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