1909 Franklin Model H Cape Top Runabout

1909 Franklin Model H Cape Top Runabout

Founded in Syracuse, New York, at the turn of the 20th Century, Franklin is best known for its unwavering commitment to the air-cooled engine. From its very first effort in 1902 – a runabout boasting a transverse, overhead-valve engine, wooden frame, and fully elliptic springs – Franklin showed incredible promise and engineering acumen. About a dozen Franklins were built in the first year, and orders quickly multiplied as the company got off the ground. Such popularity was undoubtedly helped by their record-shattering 1904 transcontinental run, completed in under 16 days, slashing Winton and Packard’s previous records nearly in half. Franklin rapidly developed a reputation for quality, refinement, and durability, with legions of fiercely loyal owners.

The innovative Franklin was often at the cutting edge of motoring technology, adding shaft drive and 3-speed selective gear transmissions in 1905, a seven main-bearing six-cylinder in 1906, and aluminum pistons by 1915. The 1906 cars heralded the arrival of the distinctive barrel-shaped hood and round grille, which lasted until 1910 when they switched to a Renault-style sloping hood. Franklin expanded their range to include several models, with the six-cylinder Model H reserved as the company flagship.

This 1909 Model H Cape Top Runabout is one of just a handful of surviving “barrel-hood” Franklins and is likely the only 1909 Model H in existence. It was the company’s largest and most potent offering that year, belting out 42-horsepower from its mighty air-cooled inline-six. With its 127-inch wheelbase chassis and 27-inch wheels, the Model H is an impressively large machine, yet the minimalist 3-passenger runabout body ensures brisk performance.

Descriptions & Pictures by hymanltd

Production Start 1909
Country of origin USA