1929 FRANKLIN DUAL COWL PHAETON

Manufactured by H. H. Franklin of Syracuse, New York,. Our Dual Cowl Phaeton is a design of touring car, with a cab divided into compartments separated with a rear windshield mounted on a folding cowl which covers part of the rear compartment.

The Franklin automobiles were cooled by direct air flow - a fan was attached to the crankshaft and the air was directed through copper fins. They proved to be superior to liquid-cooled engines, especially on long journeys at high speeds. There were no radiators and the Franklins were called “odd looking” by other manufacturers, although some were “distinctly handsome” with their Renault-style hood. By 1928, the company conformed to the contemporary look of other vehicles, by placing a fake radiator at the front of the car, a massive nickel-plated “dummy radiator” which served as an air intake and was called a “hood front”. This upset John Wilkinson, the chief engineer and designer for Franklin, so much that he left the company in protest.

Beginning in 1928, the heavier Franklin model adopted a conventional steel frame. Until then all models had a wooden frame of three-ply laminated ash – frame rails were made by gluing 7 ½” boards together to construct wooden planks 3 ½” thick. The Franklin 12B model was the last chassis to have a wooden frame.

Body builder for Franklin was Walker Body Company, known for high quality workmanship.

The pay scale for 1930 was 55 to 60 cents an hour., 10% lower than in 1920. The Depression was beginning. Clearly at a price of over $2,000 depending on the particular model, Franklin was firmly in the luxury car market.

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