The Franklin V-12 was introduced

Friday 1st April 1932

The Franklin V-12 was introduced. It was built n response to competition amongst luxury car makers. Air cooled with 398 cubic inches (6.5 L) it developed 150 hp (110 kW). It was designed to be installed in a lightweight chassis, but the car became a 6000 pound behemoth when Franklin engineers were overruled by management sent in from banks to recover bad loans. Although attractive, the Twelve did not have the ride and handling characteristics of its forebears. Unfortunately, this was simply the wrong vehicle to be building after the crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. The cars sold poorly and came nowhere near to recouping the company’s investment. The company declared bankruptcy in 1934.

Car production did not survive, but the name and assets were sold and production of air-cooled engines for commercial and aircraft use was continued by (Aircooled Motors of Syracuse). This company was bought after World War II by Preston Tucker. The flat-six engines were fitted with water-cooling jackets and used in the short lived Tucker automobile. The company was sold again after Tucker was disbanded.

Franklin engines powered numerous light planes as well as (thanks to their light weight) most early American-built helicopters. Aircooled Motors, the last company to manufacture air-cooled engines under the Franklin name, declared bankruptcy in 1975 and its designs were sold to the Polish government. Engines based on these designs are still in production.

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