Lot 138

Hershey 2021

1908 Franklin Model G Touring


$88,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
US Title
  • Early and correct Model G Franklin
  • Distinctive air-cooled 143 cu. in. inline-four
  • Iconic barrel-front and rare self-latching top
  • Fresh restoration ready for tour or show circuit

Herbert Henry Franklin was a Syracuse, New York, industrialist. He was introduced to John Wilkinson, a Cornell-educated engineer, and became enamored of an automobile that Wilkinson had built. His company began production of the car in 1902.

A man of strong principles, Wilkinson was fanatical about weight, and this led him to dispense with cooling water and to use the lightest suspension components possible, like tubular axles and flexible, full-elliptic springs. Aluminum was used extensively in drive trains, and aluminum-clad bodies and laminated ash frames also aided his objectives. He also believed that beauty stemmed from functionality, not ornamentation, so during his tenure Franklins did not look like other cars. From 1904, a “barrel front” hood was adopted, with a simple screen at the front to let the cooling air in. Later on, Renault-style “scuttle” hoods were adopted and still later a “horse collar” grille. There was no mistaking a Franklin on the road.

The earliest of four 1908 Model G Franklin touring cars known to survive, this car bears the dealer medallion of C.W. Newton of Salt Lake City, Utah. Its history since the 1950s has been documented through the H.H. Franklin Club, the organization devoted to the preservation and exploration of the H. H. Franklin Manufacturing Company and the automobiles it built. It has just completed a thorough three-year restoration by a noted craftsman with many awards to his credit. It was a comprehensive effort, down to individual parts of the carburetor, rebuilding the car’s frame, restoring individual spring leaves and the like. Other than test running, it has not been driven on the street so the undercarriage, like the rest of the car, is pristine.

The engine was rebuilt by marque expert Tom Rasmussen of Spring Lake Park, Minnesota. It dates from 1910 and is understood to be one of many replaced by the factory as a result of crankcase metallurgical problems. The magneto was seen to by Kenneth Weaver Magnetos. The brass lighting and accoutrements were restored by Rick Britten, and the nickel plating by Bright Works, Inc. The upholstery and top were crafted by Daryl Schwartz and his Amish craftsmen. The car was pained with BASF Glasurit 55, spectrographically matched to the original color.

Included with the car are a storm front, a full set of side curtains, top boot, a rear wheel hub puller, California car cover and covers for the lamps, horn and carbide generator, as well as extra spark plugs and touch-up paint. A 1910 windshield is also included for comfort on the road. A fresh, comprehensive restoration, it is ready for touring or a debutante season on the concours circuit.