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Air-Cooled Engine, Lightweight Construction, Full-Elliptic Leaf Spring Suspension, Detachable Tonneau, and 2-Speed Planetary Transmission




United States




John Wilkinson

The 1905 Franklin Model F Touring, produced by the Franklin Automobile Company in Syracuse, New York, was a remarkable vehicle of its time, known for its cutting-edge engineering and design features.

At the heart of the Franklin Model F was its innovative air-cooled engine. This four-cylinder engine produced 12 horsepower, a notable achievement in the early 20th century. Unlike the more common water-cooled engines of the era, the air-cooled engine offered several advantages, including the elimination of the risk of freezing in cold climates. Additionally, this design contributed to the vehicle's lighter weight and enhanced reliability, making it a preferred choice for those seeking dependable performance​.

The car's construction further underscored its advanced design. Utilizing a wooden chassis, the Franklin Model F was both lightweight and robust. This construction method not only reduced the car's overall weight but also improved its agility and handling, providing a more responsive driving experience.

Enhancing the vehicle's comfort and stability was its full-elliptic leaf spring suspension system. This system allowed each wheel to move independently, ensuring a smoother ride over rough terrain. The result was a significant improvement in ride quality, making journeys more comfortable for passengers​.

One of the standout features of the Model F was its detachable rear entrance tonneau. This design allowed for greater versatility, making it easier to load and unload passengers and cargo. This practicality, combined with the car's innovative engineering, made it an attractive option for a wide range of users​.

The Franklin Model F also featured a 2-speed planetary transmission, a precursor to modern automatic transmissions. This transmission system simplified driving, making the vehicle more accessible and easier to operate for the average driver. It represented a significant advancement in automotive technology at the time.

Originally priced at $1,700, the 1905 Franklin Model F Touring was a luxury vehicle that reflected the Franklin Automobile Company's commitment to quality and innovation. Its combination of advanced engineering, practical features, and elegant design made it a significant player in the early automotive industry, highlighting Franklin's role as a pioneer in automotive engineering.

Be sure to see our 1905 Franklin Model F the next time you visit the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum!

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