|The Franklin Wing of the Northeast Classic Car Museum|
The Northeast Classic Car Museum's collection is based primarily on cars owned by the founder, George Staley (1919-2011), a local resident who grew up on a dairy farm but went on to become an accomplished engineer before starting a business overhauling aircraft accessories. It began with three employees and by the time it was sold out in 1989 there were 250 at three locations. In his leisure, Mr. Paley began to collect cars, particularly Franklins, and it is no surprise that with his aviation connection he had an affinity for cars produced with air-cooled engines and manufactured in his home state of New York.
Franklin automobiles were produced in Syracuse, New York, from 1902 until 1934 and were noted for their technical innovation and high quality. A pioneer in the use of air-cooled engines and the first to produce a six cylinder engine, Franklins were lightweight luxury cars which for many years used wood frame chassis (until 1928) for shock absorption. The company, once the largest user of aluminum in the world, never made much money and failed to adopt modern assembly-line construction even as competitors such as Cadillac and Packard were able to do so. Although the company introduced the exotic boat-tail body style in 1925, Franklins, often owned by conservative bankers or doctors, were not especially noted for their body design.
|1908 Franklin Series A 1-Ton Truck Prototype|
The first truck made by Franklin, and apparently the only survivor, this example was purchased as a basket case in 1969 and restored in time for the Franklin centennial in 2003. It is powered by a four cylinder engine and equipped with shaft drive.
|Selden Patent Plate|
Introduced in 1906, when Franklin was the third-largest car manufacturer in the United States, the Model G marked the introduction of the "barrel hood" design of Franklin, which was the first change since the company began in 1902 and was used until 1910. The Model G has a four cylinder engine of 12 hp and sold for $1,850. At the time this example was built, Franklin employed 1,700 men at its plant in Syracuse.
|ALMA license plate affirming payment of the Selden Patent royalty|
|1934 Franklin Airman Sedan (left); 1932 Franklin Series 163 Airman Coupe (right)|
|1934 Franklin Airman Sedan|
|1932 Franklin Series 163 Airman Coupe|
|1915 Franklin Model Six-30 Two Passenger Roadster|
|1912 Franklin Model G Touring Car|
|1910 Franklin Model G Two Passenger Runabout|
|1909 Franklin Model D Five Passenger Touring Car|
|1920 Franklin Model 9-B Five Passenger Sedan|
|1925 Franklin Model 10-C Five Passenger Touring|
|1926 Franklin Model 11-A Five Passenger Touring Car|
|1926 Franklin Model 11-A Victoria Coupe|
|1926 Franklin Model 11-A Two Passenger Sport Runabout|
J. Frank de Causse's arrival at Franklin resulted in efforts by the company to become a style leader and nowhere is this more apparent in his introduction of the sporty "boat tail" style, which had only been seen on European high-end coachbuilt cars to that point. It is ironic that Franklin, noted for its conservative clientele and sedate sedans, would be the first to introduce the boat tail, which would become famous later at Auburn, into its catalogue.
|1928 Franklin Model 12-A Airman Seven Passenger Sedan|
|1929 Franklin Model 130 Convertible Coupe|
|1930 Franklin Model 145 Convertible Coupe|
|1929 Franklin Model 130 Convertible Coupe|
This convertible, built on the shorter 120" wheelbase offered in 1929, featured a rumble seat, giving the car passenger capacity for five. It was priced at $2,160 and also has a compartment behind the passenger door for storing golf bags or other items.
|1930 Franklin Model 147 Suburban|
|1932 Franklin Model 17-A Club Brougham|
|1932 Franklin Model 17-A Five Passenger Sedan|
|1940 White-Horse 2 Tonner Delivery Van|
The White Motor Company, an early manufacturer of steam cars that went on to concentrate on commercial vehicles with a focus on heavy trucks, also produced the White-Horse delivery van from 1939 to 1942. Similar to the stand-and-drive Divco, which produced similar vans until 1986, the White was notable for using a Franklin air-cooled engine. Two Franklin engineers had bought the remains of the company after bankruptcy in 1934 and continued production of the engines as Aircooled Motors, using the Franklin name as the brand, for trucks and industrial applications through the Great Depression. The company was bought by Republic Aviation in 1945 and went into producing engines for light aircraft and helicopters before becoming part of the Preston Tucker car project in 1947.