2006 Shannons Sydney Classic Auction - May 15

1927 Franklin 11B 'De Causse' Sedan (LHD)


Passed In


Engine In-line six-cylinder, 3300cc
Gearbox 3-speed manual
Body Work Sedan
Colour Blue & Black


This lot is no longer available

The cars of former newspaper publisher Herbert H.Franklin can be traced back to 1901, when he was introduced to an engineer named John Wilkinson and his prototype air-cooled motorcar and agreed to put it into production. Wilkinson continued to develop and refine his design over the years using the philosophy of "high quality with less weight" and Franklin soon developed a reputation for building unconventional cars, with their air-cooled engines, full-elliptic suspension and frames of laminated ash on all models from 1903 until 1929. From 1914, Franklin moved exclusively to six-cylinder engines and the bonnet copied that of the French Renaults until 1921, when a distinctive "horse collar" front-end was introduced. By 1923, pressure from Franklins' dealers for a more conventional approach to styling saw a range of new bodies styled by designer J.Frank de Causse, of New York City, introduced for the 1925 model year and he presided over the Franklin custom department until his premature death in 1928. For 1926 the wheelbase was increased to 119-inches in length with the 32hp rated six-cylinder engine being retained and the Model 11-A was little changed as the 11-B for 1927. The overhead-valve engine, with separate detachable copper-finned cast iron barrels had a seven main bearing, dynamically balanced hardened crankshaft and was the same motor used to successfully power Waco aeroplanes in 1928 - indeed famous aviation personalities Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart both owned Franklins. Total Franklin production for 1927 was just 8,103 units and the company only lasted a further seven years before closing its doors in 1934.