CraigD

Franklin Model Production Numbers / Speedsters

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Where could I find model production by year?  I'd love to know a general source for model production numbers, but I'm specifically interested in finding out how many Speedsters were produced from 1929 to 1934.

 

Thanks for the information, 

 

Craig

Edited by CraigD (see edit history)

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Contact David Reddaway  His dad was Don Reddaway and don kept a good accounting of all the Known speedsters. Washington State He is in the roster.

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Craig,

 

Look at ACN 38 page 12 where Tom Hubbard discusses production numbers for Speedsters.  Although it's not a definitive account of production, it's the best I've seen so far.

 

Dan

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Thanks to MIke and Dan.  I have been in regular touch with Dave, and I will check ACN 38.  Thank you both very much for the replies!

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Well, Murphy's Law has interfered!  I looked through my collection of ACN's... I have almost all of them (thanks to a kind, long-time Franklin enthusiast) and wouldn't you know...  issue #38 is missing.  I'll check around to see if someone in my area has a copy.  

 

Craig

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To date, no records of the number of Speedsters built has turned up. 

 

Of those that survive, the last roster - 2015 - has a few more  that have turned up since Tom Hubbard wrote that article. It lists 31 L27 enclosed Speedsters starting in 1929 and ending with 1932. The last known L27 Speedster is in my shop now and will becoming up for sale soon.  

 

The body sill tags of 1929 and 1932  L27 Speedsters show that they were built by Dietrich of Detroit. The 30 and 31 L27 body tags were built by Walker.  


There are three 1930 Convertible Speedster in the Roster, of which two are the factory designation of  that time ,  L8. The third is listed as an L40, a mystery car because the 40 series designations were not used until later on in the 31 production year. There are three 1931 Convertible Speedsters, the last L8 and two L40.  The Convertibles were also built by Dietrich's shop.  

 

Paul  

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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Dan,

Is it the tag on the bottom edge of the cowl, or the numbered tag by the driver's door nailed to the top of the wood body sill ?

 

Paul

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John, Not that I'm aware of.

 

When I rebuilt the Gazza brother's 31 Conv Speedster Gene had researched everything scrap of available Speedster info and pictures,  that could be found back in the 1980's. Including in his complete set of ACN.

 

As far as I know, the only pix of a "naked" Speedster showing the wood framing construction are mine from when I replaced all the wood framing of that Series 153 Conv Speedster, and the rear section of the Series 163 L27 here.  

 

Paul

DSCN5530.JPG

DSCN5529.JPG

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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21 hours ago, PFitz said:

Dan,

Is it the tag on the bottom edge of the cowl, or the numbered tag by the driver's door nailed to the top of the wood body sill ?

 

Paul

On the sill on the floor.  Dietrich Inc, Detroit, MI

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Ok, thanks. So yours being about mid 30 production it seems they changed to Walker L27 bodies sometime after that. Then back to Dietrich sometime before this last 32 here.  Wonder if it had anything to do with Walker's timeline of getting involved with ownership of Franklin ?????   Where's Walt G ?  

 

Paul

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Could someone possibly scan and email me the article on page 12 of ACN 38?  It's my understanding that the article includes information about the production numbers of Franklin Speedsters.  I have been unable to obtain a copy of that article yet.  Thank you very much!

 

Craig

craigrdevine@gmail.com

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2 minutes ago, CraigD said:

Could someone possibly scan and email me the article on page 12 of ACN 38?  It's my understanding that the article includes information about the production numbers of Franklin Speedsters.  I have been unable to obtain a copy of that article yet.  Thank you very much!

 

 

If you are a member of the Franklin club, all the back issues of Air Cooled News are available in the members' section of the club website

 

http://www.franklincar.org/members/AirCooledNews/index.html

 

Roger

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Thanks for all the info, everyone.  Paul... thanks for your info about remaining Speedsters.  Seems like best estimates today are that we know about 37 remaining.  It would be fun to see a picture of that last known L27... post a picture sometime!

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Craig.

 

Sadly, like so much of the early auto industry, there are many gaps in what Franklin produced.  Especially the more unique body styles, such as the Speedster Convertibles. We are very fortunate in the amount of info that has survived, and that the Club makes available to it's members, such as the 20,000+ drawing files that Tom Hubbard found, but even with those files there are huge gaps.  

 

Even more so with some of the "catalog ordered semi-customs".  For instance, the Derham Berline. Melissa's 153 Derham Berline limo is the only one we've been able to find. We know that more than one was produced because of a factory dealers bulleted mentioning one that we know was not Melissa's. But, I doubt that only means there were two.  

 

There are three Derham bodied Franklins listed in the Club roster, but only two have seen the light of day. A search for the third , a town car, has tuned up nothing. So,... how many were produced of each is at best a wild guess.  Even Tom Hubbard's extrapolation method for Speedsters  is a guess made on the survival numbers of a more common body style that has a more practical use affecting if it gets held onto or scraped during the depression or WWII metal salvage drives. So, that method  it's not really a good apples to apples comparison.

 

Paul

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