Topic: 1919 Franklin Across America

Well, it's not quite the Rambler or the K-Car, but Jim Eby and his 1919 Franklin Tourer that won Worst of Show at Concours d'Lemons Georgia is driving from Florida to Concours d'Lemons Michigan and Concours d'Lemons Monterey, then back. It'll be a long drive at the car's top speed of 45 miles per hour on two-lane roads in the summer with an open car.

Since the Franklin requires frequent stops for top-end oilling and regular maintenance, Jim (and Alan from Concours d'Lemons) would love to know who's capable of helping out along the route (He's leaving St. Petersburg July 21ish). Should something need a bit more work than normal, hopefully your garage or shop along the way can provide a bit of refuge. See the map and list of Lemons Rally-style checkpoints below.

Jim's grandfather bought the Franklin new and road-tripped it regularly. His dad owned it after and also drove it regularly. Jim's had it for years and wants to trip it around the country like his pops and grandpops. We think that's pretty cool and something worth helping out with. This photo shows the car somewhere in the California desert in 1929 on a roadtrip that Jim's grandfather took. (Fun facts: Franklin claimed to have done durability testing on the air-cooled engine in the Imperial Valley in 1923. Franklin was one of the last—and apparently one of the best—American car builders to use air-cooled engines.)

Jim's no stranger to Lemons, either, so you (probably) won't weird him out too much. He has wrenched regularly on the Alloy Motors Luv trucks and on Team Sheen's Integra and Mirada.

If you can help out or potentially offer space for Jim, please either (A) leave a comment, (B) send an email to either or, or (C) email me and I'll forward it on.

DATES OF TRAVEL (Certain dates bolded...all other stuff kinda subject to change)

July 21, 2018 – Leave St. Petersburg, FL
Chattanooga, TN (possible Coker Tire, Ruby Falls, etc)

July 27 to 29 – Plymouth, MI (Concours d’Lemons, Concours d’Elegance of America)

Jackson, MI
Traverse City, MI (visit Hagerty Insurance)
Mackinac Bridge crossing
Spring Lake Park, MN (Odyssey Restorations, Franklin-friendly restoration shop)

From here, generally follow near, around or on US 2 west:

Grand Forks, ND
Minot, ND
Glasgow, MT
Shelby, MT
Glacier Park, MT (either US2 or Going to the Sun Pass)
Kalispel, MT
Spokane, WA
Portland, WA
Seattle, WA
Florence, OR (Probably drive 101 all the way to SF, maybe follow some of the Pebble Beach tour route)
Oakland, CA (Alloy Motors shop)
Santa Cruz, CA

Aug 21-26 – Monterey, CA (Concours d’Lemons, Monterey Auto Week)

Bakersfield, CA (Five-acre Franklin bone yard, Crystal Palace, Buttonwillow Raceway)
Palm Springs, CA
Gotta do some Route 66 somewhere along here
Phoenix, AZ (almost all my in-laws live there)
Across New Mexico
Somewhere in Central Texas (this part isn’t that well defined as of right now)
New, Orleans, LA
Then skirt along the Gulf Coast to Highway 19 in Florida and home.

More Reading:
Georgia Concours d’Lemons: Family Heirloom 1919 Franklin Wins Worst of Show
Concours d’Lemons ‘Winner’ To Cross Country In His Air-Cooled 1919 Franklin

Re: 1919 Franklin Across America

I don't know about space, but my team is in the Houston area (actually Pearland, which is just south of Houston, nice city though) and we could help out.

Skip "Mongo" L.
Team DadBod

Re: 1919 Franklin Across America

This is madness. I like it.

If he comes through Houston he may want to time it at night to avoid traffic, but there are a lot of Lemons teams here (or in Austin) that could offer help on the home stretch.

Command Pilot/Flight Director, Escape Velocity Racing
Index of Effluency, Heroic Fix, Class C Trophy, now hopelessly gunning for Class B.
Currently 1-2 vs. Team Fairlylame in the Class of 1964 Championships

Re: 1919 Franklin Across America

I'm a little off the planned Az route, but I'm sure I can help in seaz and swnm. Truck, trailer, workshop, spare bedrooms, plenty of parking. Spare bodies I can task if I'm at work.

That guy

Re: 1919 Franklin Across America

Believe it or not I have a 1928 Franklin! I live in Seattle and would be more than happy to meet up with Jim or offer him a hand. How do I best contact him?

Re: 1919 Franklin Across America

Solracer wrote:

Believe it or not I have a 1928 Franklin! I live in Seattle and would be more than happy to meet up with Jim or offer him a hand. How do I best contact him?

Awesome! Drop a note to Alan from CdL and he can probably put you in touch. should go to Alan.

Re: 1919 Franklin Across America

I'm in San Angelo, Texas.  I've got a well equipped garage, a comfortable guest room, and a wife who totally "gets it."


Scuderia Ignorante // Modena / Dearborn / Aichi Prefecture / West Texas

Re: 1919 Franklin Across America

Would be glad to lend a hand in Phoenix. I have no line on Franklin parts but I know people who can weld or fab most anything.

#88-Hong Kong Cavaliers Benz S500: formerly known as OMG Racing #140...
Judges Choice and Regional Award winner! Chuckwalla '12, Buttonwillow '13, BFE GP '15, Miller '14 & '15, Sonoma '13,'14,'15,'17. Inde '16,17. Other foolishness: Finisher of the inaugural Lemons Rally, in the black Jag.... and IOE in the Super Snipe back in '12.

Re: 1919 Franklin Across America

I'm out of the way, but if you need anything in San Diego hit me up. I have a full garage at my house with a lift, and spare bedrooms and everything.

Sounds like fun"!

Takata R&D :: 93 Accord - team captain
GoPro 360 Heros :: BMW E28  - driver/mechanic

Re: 1919 Franklin Across America

Bloody hell, that's some trip.

If they're passing England (old not new) there's a beer in the fridge for 'em.

Good luck! smile