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Value of a Franklin sedan?


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I know this is pretty subjective, but looking at the pics can I get a ballpark value on a Franklin like this? 

Very good+ condition but not running. Stored indoors, heated garage.

 

 

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Lahti35,

 

It's a nice car, but you will not like the estimates proferred here. They will be much lower than you expect. The best advice I can give is to get the car in running condition - the value will be still be low but more to your liking.

 

If you could give us info on where you are located, perhaps someone in the Franklin Club could help you out. 

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My opinion running $8000-10,000 if it has a decent interior.  It looks like a real nice car. You need to find  that rare breed of collector that doesn't mind running around  at 35mph. Just my opinion....

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On 2/5/2020 at 10:20 AM, RansomEli said:

Lahti35,

 

It's a nice car, but you will not like the estimates proferred here. They will be much lower than you expect. The best advice I can give is to get the car in running condition - the value will be still be low but more to your liking.

 

If you could give us info on where you are located, perhaps someone in the Franklin Club could help you out. 

 

I don't mind a low estimate... I'm looking at purchasing! The seller may be living in dream land and I was hoping for a ballpark to counter with.

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On 2/5/2020 at 7:21 PM, mikewest said:

My opinion running $8000-10,000 if it has a decent interior.  It looks like a real nice car. You need to find  that rare breed of collector that doesn't mind running around  at 35mph. Just my opinion....

 

I'm actually looking at purchasing, its not my car. 

 

The seller want's 16K+ for it and doesn't seem to know much about it, probably his dads car or the like. The likely hood of them coming down that much I think is slim to none but thank you for the info! I know next to nothing about Franklin cars... but don't mind 35mph!

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I own a '21 9B touring and travel everywhere at no more than 37mph.  I could go faster but have been warned about damaging the babbit bearings. [Interesting side note: spellcheck automatically changed 'babbit' to 'rabbit'. Lucky I caught what would have been an embarrassing typo]

 

My 9B drives wonderfully. It's a time machine that takes me back to a forgotten age - one where the drive itself is the event, not getting to your destination. 

 

$16K is way too much money. If the car was running I'd go as high as mike west recommends. Not running, $5K tops to cover a potentially very expensive engine rebuild. 

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5 hours ago, RansomEli said:

Not running, $5K tops to cover a potentially very expensive engine rebuild. 

Not possible to stress enough either....

I have an engine at the start of one of those rebuilds - the shop just called to say the 1st Xk deposit is exhausted.

 

Not running = 5K tops.

Time has a way of delivering reality to sellers.

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Plus,.... if you don't want it to go up in flames, figure another $800.00 - $1000.00 in new wiring harnesses and misc. electrical parts. If you have to pay a competent shop to rewire it, at least double that, if not triple it.   I can guarantee that the original wiring's rubber insulation under the cloth braid is brittle, cracking, and will be falling off, creating short circuit arching as soon as you start driving it.   With wiring that old it's not a case of "if" it will cause serious problems, but "when". 

 

And if you have to replace the tires and tubes to make it safe to drive, there's at least another $1000.00 for four tires, tubes, flaps, and shipping. 

 

Paul 

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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Gee, I never heard so many Franklin people try to talk someone out of a Franklin. I agree with Mike West's price suggestion, but the rest of you seem to be talking it too far down into the ground. It depends a lot on ones own ability and how far one wants to go. Not all Franklin's need a $10,000 engine rebuild nor should they have one. Wiring on a Franklin is simple and can be done in stages with the available wiring harnesses on the market. The car itself looks good as is and would probably get more positive attention then the same one restored to 100 points.  Just because Lahti35 said he was unfamiliar with Franklns doesn't mean he knows nothing about old cars. The big question is why doesn't it run. Is it free? Maybe just sitting and it could be electrical or fuel and just in need of a complete overall inspection inside and out to insure the engines integrity.  Gee guys, give the car a break!

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NONE OF THEM RUN ..................Until you get a new battery in it , touch up the points ,  change the oil and fresh gas. Most likely the car only needs a service. I men the seller should be able to tell  the buyer about it. Look at the car , its a Sweet Survivor. Ive dragged home some real shitboxes  that have sat outside for years and a little love and they start up. You can tell this car has had some tender loving care.  If I was serious Id go to the car with a new battery and gas BEFORE  I bought it. Its the same old story . The old boy wants all he can get and the buyer wants to buy wholesale.

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I bought one of those cars that had been lovingly taken care of before. had 60KMI on it.  I figured worse case scenario a valve job and I would be on the road,  until I pulled the pistons and poured the well worn pieces of rings into my hand.  I would want enough off when buying to cover my butt if the owner can't prove that it runs.  

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2 hours ago, hook said:

Gee, I never heard so many Franklin people try to talk someone out of a Franklin. I agree with Mike West's price suggestion, but the rest of you seem to be talking it too far down into the ground. It depends a lot on ones own ability and how far one wants to go. Not all Franklin's need a $10,000 engine rebuild nor should they have one. Wiring on a Franklin is simple and can be done in stages with the available wiring harnesses on the market. The car itself looks good as is and would probably get more positive attention then the same one restored to 100 points.  Just because Lahti35 said he was unfamiliar with Franklns doesn't mean he knows nothing about old cars. The big question is why doesn't it run. Is it free? Maybe just sitting and it could be electrical or fuel and just in need of a complete overall inspection inside and out to insure the engines integrity.  Gee guys, give the car a break!

 

The OP asked about "value", not if Franklins are good or bad.  I don't see it as talking down a Franklin,... rather talking about what the reality is once the OP mentioned the asking price, why it's not worth that price.

 

Paul  

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It's easy to give a car a break until the first one breaks you.  I used to think optimistically as well until I rebuilt two engines almost back to back and they were both flat 6 Mopars which usually are darn near bullet proof.    Now i bring a heat gun start them hot and cold etc.  No more oh it should run for me.  

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54 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

I bought one of those cars that had been lovingly taken care of before. had 60KMI on it.  I figured worse case scenario a valve job and I would be on the road,  until I pulled the pistons and poured the well worn pieces of rings into my hand.  I would want enough off when buying to cover my butt if the owner can't prove that it runs.  

 EXACTLY !!!!!!

 

I see this all too often. A car with little history, not running, that someone didn't check out thoroughly before buying only to find out they will have to spend far more to get it back to being the great, safe car it should be. It's called buying with the heart instead of the head.

 

The OP is using his head by asking here for answers about realistic value. It's not a condemnation of Franklins by any means.  

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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34 minutes ago, PFitz said:

 EXACTLY !!!!!!

 

I see this all too often. A car with little history, not running, that someone didn't check out thoroughly before buying only to find out they will have to spend far more to get it back to being the great, safe car it should be. It's called buying with the heart instead of the head.

 

The OP is using his head by asking here for answers about realistic value. It's not a condemnation of Franklins by any means.  

 

Paul

I agree with Paul - discount if it does not run - Not cheap to fully rebuild a Franklin engine. 

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A series 10 Franklin is a wonderful car. It's brilliantly over-engineered, and always draws a crowd at non-Franklin events. They ride very comfortably at 40mph, and handle great. Having an unknown engine is a bargaining point. If the overall car is as good as it appears, $5,000 is very reasonable for both the buyer and seller. If it runs, and runs well, it's easily a $10k car. Will it go from its current status to a good-running driver for under $5k? Maybe, maybe not. Any non-runner is a gamble. 

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No matter how good the original wiring looks ( including under the dashboard ) it should be replaced. 30+ years ago a friend and I rewired a 1932 Pierce Arrow for another friend. We did the whole harness. The original wiring looked great, insulation looked perfect, then I suggested that we start the car up and look under the dashboard with the lights out in the garage - it saw most of the wire shooting sparks between each other and the underside of the dash was lit up like a 4th of July display on a dark cloudless night. Just because it looks ok doesn't mean it is ok. The choice is yours of course but you need to consider the cost of a new harness as well as the labor ( can you do it??) involved ,  Keep the car and you safe! 80+ year old wiring is just not safe in IMHO.

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11 hours ago, mikewest said:

Buying old cars from a unknown source is a lot like blind dates....  You never know what you got yourself into until you have already spent the money....

Although often as soon as you opened the front door,  you knew the rest of the evening was a waste.  Just like going to look at that old car in a barn that turns out to be the base line model in the worst shape possible when it was suppose to be something spectacular.

Been there for both occasions. 😞  

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15 hours ago, Walt G said:

No matter how good the original wiring looks ( including under the dashboard ) it should be replaced. 30+ years ago a friend and I rewired a 1932 Pierce Arrow for another friend. We did the whole harness. The original wiring looked great, insulation looked perfect, then I suggested that we start the car up and look under the dashboard with the lights out in the garage - it saw most of the wire shooting sparks between each other and the underside of the dash was lit up like a 4th of July display on a dark cloudless night. Just because it looks ok doesn't mean it is ok. The choice is yours of course but you need to consider the cost of a new harness as well as the labor ( can you do it??) involved ,  Keep the car and you safe! 80+ year old wiring is just not safe in IMHO.

I have replaced 70's and 80's wiring harnesses put in via prior restorations - most of the time via their being really dirty of people with "great ideas' to improve that are not so great, but periodically via storage conditions and ... the stuff is just done.  Sort of like - has great tires on it with no wear - we bought them in 1967 (aka really ?). 

 

With this particular Franklin - interior may be a good thing to add to photos for a decent discussion.

 

And, a non - runner you need to be prepared for the worst even if it turns out to be the best. 

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Too much gamble for me! Can't get much out of the seller, far less than needed to make the trip and check it out. 

 

It looks like a cool car. The seller did come down some on the price but is a long ways from 5k. I suggested he look into contacting the Franklin club and wished him the best. 

 

Thanks guys. I was surprised the value was so low, myself.

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The price is so low only because there's lots of potentially expensive questions unanswered.   As already stated, the same car without those questions would make the price (value) much higher. 

 

And those Series 10's are fun to drive. Light, easy to steer, and good power for their weight and age. The in-laws have one that I've had the chance to put a lot of miles on, here in central NY hill country. 

 

Paul

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3 hours ago, PFitz said:

The price is so low only because there's lots of potentially expensive questions unanswered.   As already stated, the same car without those questions would make the price (value) much higher. 

 

No doubt. If the seller was inclined to put more effort into the listing and selling it could only help him reach a higher price. Never ceases to amaze me that a few pictures and a brief description coupled with slow (or lack of) response equates to a speedy sale in the mind of some sellers.

 

Neat car, hope it ends up in an enthusiasts hands sooner than later. Thanks again for the price info!  

Edited by Lahti35 (see edit history)
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