Ok, after the teeth gnashing, anger, and frustration were set to boil over and guys with flaming torches were on the way to my house, we’ve go the answer to last week’s test of your gearhead knowledge. So what is this thing? For starters it is a carburetor but not just any carburetor.
This is the carb off of a 1918 Franklin car. It is a Franklin piece as (according to the guys at Then and Now Automotive) the company stuck with their own fuel mixer designs until the early 1920s when they contracted with Stromberg to supply them carbs. Franklins were interesting cars because they used air-cooled engines back then. The company was one of hundreds that have dotted the automotive landscape over time and they had a pretty good run of 32 years. The first Franklin rolled off the line in 1902 and the last one in 1934. The company employed more than 3,000 people at its height in 1920.
The engines ranged in horsepower and size over the years and the cars had a unique look because of the fact they did not have the big brass radiators that other of their era did. Believe it or not, company executives, in an effort to help sales and appeal to more mainstream customers demanded designers install fake grills in the cars so they they did not look SO different from the rest.
Franklins were luxury style cars that competed with brands like Buick and Hudson.