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1930 145 Sedan - My First Prewar Car


SparksNArcs

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While attending a New Year's party at the house of a member of my vintage radio club, it was mentioned that they were trying to downsize their collection; I can certainly relate. They asked me if I'd be interested in a car, and naturally I had to see what it was. Had maybe heard the name "Franklin" once, never seen one in person. I'm a VW guy, so air-cooled stuff intrigues me, and after mulling it over I decided to take the car off his hands. For all of $6000, I now own a 1930 Series 14 5 passenger sedan; needs some work. I'm told the original engine block had some damage, so a replacement case was located, and the engine rebuilt using that; all new bearings, line bored, connecting rods got the insert modification, etc. Some interior work was started, and the car is in primer, no body rot or damage that I could find. Some of the wood was replaced already, and I'm told only one piece needs replacing now (he already cut a new one, just needs fitting). I got a bunch of spare parts too, including the original locking coil and enough parts to assemble a complete gauge cluster. 

 

The goal for this car is to get it in driving condition first, then slowly chip away at the aesthetics. I have a Beetle that needs bodywork done, so this is a car I want to be able to take to car meetups in the meantime. Only holdup right now is getting the title transferred (engine number was used, happens to match a car in another state), and then moving it home. Will be posting plenty of photos as I go along, weather finally got nice so I can work outside!

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Posted (edited)

The tag on the inside of the A pillar is from this Franklin dealer in Seattle. Unfortunately the original building was demolished around 2016 for some kind of apartment building, which is now vacant.

Franklin Service, 1720-22 12th St Seattle.jpg

Edited by SparksNArcs (see edit history)
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Welcome, Sparks.

 

The Series 14s are a great car.

 

Right side air deflector, Bowen oiler mount, and fuel pump shows the engine base is from a late '30 or a '31. Number in the engine base above the generator will tell by comparing to the sequence in the Club's roster - a copy of which comes with a membership. Hopefully all the pieces needed to get it running, such as carburetor linkage parts, are with it.  

 

I second Steve's recommendation to join the Franklin Face Book group. Lots of knowledgeable Franklin people that can help you with what you need to know and help find parts.

 

Paul

 

 

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11 hours ago, BillDC said:

Hi, question on the building photo, is that brick building the dealership before it was demolished? 

Thanks,

Bill

Yes, that is the only existing photo I could find of it. It was on the website regarding the building that replaced it.

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5 hours ago, PFitz said:

Welcome, Sparks.

 

The Series 14s are a great car.

 

Right side air deflector, Bowen oiler mount, and fuel pump shows the engine base is from a late '30 or a '31. Number in the engine base above the generator will tell by comparing to the sequence in the Club's roster - a copy of which comes with a membership. Hopefully all the pieces needed to get it running, such as carburetor linkage parts, are with it.  

 

I second Steve's recommendation to join the Franklin Face Book group. Lots of knowledgeable Franklin people that can help you with what you need to know and help find parts.

 

Paul

 

 

As soon as I made the deal for the car, I joined the Franklin Club. I've spent hours pouring over the drawings and articles on the website, there's an incredible wealth of knowledge there; I'll join into the Facebook branch as well. The owner said the block was from around a 32', as it came with the "supercharger" (I have it, but it's pretty dinged up). I've got everything needed to make it run, I found the pedals and the carb linkage from the steering column (most of it anyway). Lots of parts were in boxes, and not well organized. 

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The 31-32 is a good engine with 5 more hp than the '30 (95hp) because of a more efficient cooling fan design.

 

However, you have a '30 U-3 carb on there. It is dangerous to use it with the super charger air housing because it will blow raw gasoline out of the high-speed air bleed when there is more pressure inside the carb than outside.

 

Paul

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Did you get the vertical metal shutters that mount inside the hood shell ? most important to have these function well as it affects the temperature of the engine.

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1 hour ago, PFitz said:

The 31-32 is a good engine with 5 more hp than the '30 (95hp) because of a more efficient cooling fan design.

 

However, you have a '30 U-3 carb on there. It is dangerous to use it with the super charger air housing because it will blow raw gasoline out of the high-speed air bleed when there is more pressure inside the carb than outside.

 

Paul

While I do have the supercharger, the cooling shroud that is on the engine currently is from the original block, and has no opening to install the unit. I plan on setting the engine up as it would have been in 1930. As for the fan, I have an extra, but I don't know if one is different from the other; the one on the engine was rebuilt with new rubber and rivets.

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1 hour ago, Walt G said:

Did you get the vertical metal shutters that mount inside the hood shell ? most important to have these function well as it affects the temperature of the engine.

I did indeed, they were in the backseat of the car, visible in one of the photos I posted. I also have the thermostat, which while a bit tired, does still expand and contract.

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Another thing to check once you get it on the road is the kingpins in the front axle, an item often neglected and not thought about. With some effort you may be able to find a NOS pair in the box .

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2 hours ago, SparksNArcs said:

While I do have the supercharger, the cooling shroud that is on the engine currently is from the original block, and has no opening to install the unit. I plan on setting the engine up as it would have been in 1930. As for the fan, I have an extra, but I don't know if one is different from the other; the one on the engine was rebuilt with new rubber and rivets.

The 31 and later style 15 inch fan and fan housing will swap directly onto a '30 engine to replace the '30's 12 inch fan. The 15 inch fan is more efficient. It uses five less horsepower and pushes more air. That is why the '31 and later engines are listed as 100hp verses the '30's 95hp.  You can use the '30 driver's side air duct with the later fan housing so no need to worry about to close up the super charger opening. I've done that swap for a few of my customers. 

 

If the fan hub was rebuilt with rivets and washers, like it was originally, then that was rebuilt by me. The picture below is what the 15 inch fan rebuilt hub looks like.

 

Paul

DSCN2206.JPG

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18 hours ago, SparksNArcs said:

The owner said the block was from around a 32', as it came with the "supercharger" (I have it, but it's pretty dinged up). 

If the "supercharger" has a big dent on the bottom, it is probably from an Olympic. They were smashed at the factory to clear the steering box. Every one was smashed a little differently.

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14 hours ago, Steve Braverman said:

If the "supercharger" has a big dent on the bottom, it is probably from an Olympic. They were smashed at the factory to clear the steering box. Every one was smashed a little differently.

Just looked at it, and that's exactly how it's dented. Will probably pass it on to someone who can make use of it.

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Well, the title transfer is at a halt for the while being. Another vehicle has a VIN identical to the engine number in the Franklin, so now I have to drag the car to the State Patrol and have them sign off on using the body number as the new VIN. Assuming I can even manage to get an appointment in the first place, and I still haven't got the thing home yet! Have the move mostly planned out, and in the meantime I thought I'd share some photos. The upholstery in the car is rough, headliner was removed at the back to access the frame for wood repair. However, the previous owner decided to rebuild the seats with a hard-wearing Naugahyde, which I actually rather like the look of. The front seat only needs some pinch welt to finish off, the backseat is half done and needs the center armrest done all the way; I was provided with a roll of material and a plethora of stuffing and scraps, but I have never attempted that kind of work. I also collected all of the parts for the shutter assembly, which needs some work. The bottom piece had all of its pins removed, so I'll need to fabricate replacements. The bottoms of each vane are also a bit rough, either elongated holes or torn at the edges. Last, I brought home the headlight buckets and what should be almost all of the window trim, minus a piece or two from the rear windows which I think are still in the car. I was also given a pair of Parabeam headlights, which I'm not sure if they fit earlier Series Franklins, they are roughly 12" lenses.

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Posted (edited)

Why not use the factory "chassis number" on the firewall tag ? I can see it on the firewall in one of your pictures. That is what most states use to register the car and not the engine, or Walker body number, which are different than the chassis number.

 

The chassis number should start with a 45 then a dash, then the chassis number, then the body type which your sedan likely is L11, meaning a lefthand drive sedan. There is a Club member that sells reproduction firewall tags, listed in the Club's website Parts For Sale section.

 

I have duplicates of the factor era style number/letter stamps and will stamp the number in a new plate free of charge to Franklin Club members that send it return postage prepaid. 

 

Here is a picture of a new plate of a 1930 Series 147.

Paul

147 chassis tag,.jpg

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

Why not use the factory "chassis number" on the firewall tag ? I can see it on the firewall in one of your pictures. That is what most states use to register the car and not the engine, or Walker body number, which are different than the chassis number.

 

The chassis number should start with a 45 then a dash, then the chassis number, then the body type which your sedan likely is L11, meaning a lefthand drive sedan. There is a Club member that sells reproduction firewall tags, listed in the Club's website Parts For Sale section.

 

I have duplicates of the factor era style number/letter stamps and will stamp the number in a new plate free of charge to Franklin Club members that send it return postage prepaid. 

 

Here is a picture of a new plate of a 1930 Series 147.

Paul

147 chassis tag,.jpg

Sorry, I should have been more clear in my original post. I do intend to use the Chassis number from the tag, but I can't just waltz into the DOL and get them to transfer the title, the state patrol has to validate that number by seeing the car in person and authorize the DOL to create a new title with that number. I really hate the hoops I have to jump through for simple crap in this state. 

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