17 June 2000
This Lot has no reserve
FORMERLY PART OF THE HARRAH AUTOMOBILE COLLECTION
1933 FRANKLIN MODEL 16B AIRMEN PIRATE PHAETON
COACHWORK BY WALKER
Chassis No. 64-209670
Engine No. 158002
Green with black beltline and gold coachlines with tan leather interior Engine: air-cooled, in-line, six cylinder, 274ci, 100bhp; Gearbox: manual three-speed (four-speed optional) with synchromesh; Suspension: beam front axle, live rear, full elliptic leaf springs front and rear; Brakes: four wheel hydraulic. Left hand drive.
As the 1930's opened Franklin faced Depression-era markets with a carefully refined version of its magnificently engineered cars. It had replaced the company's famous timber variety in 1928 with the traditional Franklin fully elliptic road springs. Ever-mindful that it relied upon a professional clientele of conservative tastes, Franklin clad this nimble frame with beautifully built coachwork, Club and Oxford sedans, as well as the nicely proportioned phaeton, all finished in relatively conservative colors. Technical innovation was not forgotten, with synchromesh gearboxes, freewheeling and the Startix automatic re-starting mechanism available on all the various models.
The seven passenger Franklin on offer here is an interesting example of the now quite rare Pirate Phaetons. It is believed that this particular car, when it was a 1930 model, was the personal car of the Franklin factory manager, Mr. L.J. Purdy. According to the late Tom Hobbard, the noted Franklin authority, after Mr. Purdy left the Franklin factory in 1931 he turned the car over to the company. Since this was a company car it was already out of date. It seems that the car was converted to a 1933 Series 16B. However, it is also possible that the work of updating was performed as a special order job for a Franklin customer. It was purchased in the late 1950s by Bill Harrah, a self-professed Franklin fanatic, to be part of his prestigious Franklin Collection. In the 1960s the car received a complete Harrah 'Gold Star' restoration, in which no expense was spared, and to duplicate such a quality restoration today would cost more than double the estimate.
Perhaps no other marque has enjoyed such undying product loyalty as Franklin. Each year dedicated Franklin owners organize a trek to Syracuse, New York to celebrate Franklin's achievements.
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This lot has no reserve.
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