1919 Franklin Tour of America

Posted May 16, 2018

After collecting the coveted “Worst of Show” award at the Concours d’Lemons Georgia, Jim Eby plans to drive his 1919 Franklin to all the Concours d’Lemons events in the continental US, and we’d like you to help. If you live somewhere near the loosely outlined route of this road trip of near certain death you can help by offering up some garage space should something go terribly wrong and the 99-year-old Franklin require some repairs. Let us know by emailing your info to franklin@concoursdlemons.com and we’ll set up a chain of folks with a few spare tools and more common sense than Jim.

The Franklin tops out at about 45mph so Jim will be traversing the country on back roads, not the interstates. Progress will be further slowed by having to stop every 100 miles or so to oil the top end of the Franklin’s inline 6 air-cooled engine. Jim estimates he will be able to do about 250 miles a day before daylight and his will to live run out for the day. If by some miracle, Jim or the Franklin don’t expire on the roadside, they will face stiff competition from the exceptionally horrible cars that turn up for Concours d’Lemons Michigan, July 28, 2018 at the Inn at St. Johns in Plymouth, MI and at Concours d’Lemons California on Aug. 25, 2018 at Seaside City Hall in Seaside, CA. We told Jim the best he can probably hope for is a hastily made up “Road Hammer” trophy, but he was undeterred. He cited the family history of his grandfather, who bought the Franklin new as his first car, and his father to take the Franklin on long road trips. It appears automotive insanity run deep in some families.

Look for Jim on the road somewhere near these areas:

July 21, 2018 – Leave St Petersburg

Chattanooga TN (possible Coker Tire, Ruby Falls, etc)

July 27-29  – 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 US2 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 hot rod shop)

Santa Cruz, CA

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

Bakersfield, CA (5 acre Franklin bone yard, Crystal Palace, Buttonwillow Raceway)

Palm Springs, CA

Gotta do some Rt 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 hwy 19 in Florida and home.

The not set in stone route of Jim’s ill-conceived Tour to all of the Concours d’Lemons shows
Jim’s grandfather took the Franklin on a cross country road trip in 1929. Photo taken in the CA Desert.
Newspaper article about Jim’s father taking the Franklin on a long road trip in 1947

Concours d’Lemons GA 2018 – Winners and Pictures

Posted May 8, 2018

Braselton, GA, April 29, 2018
On a freshly paved patch of parking lot near the dumpsters in the Road Atlanta infield, hoopties, crap cans and automotive mistakes crowded into the already heavily attended Classic Motorsports Mitty Vintage Races Presented by Hagerty Insurance for the 2018 Georgia Concours d’Lemons. The record crowds were treated to automotive oddities and great stories alike. None more so that James Eby’s Worst of Show garnering 1919 Franklin Series 9b Touring. The well-worn and largely unrestored open touring car had been his grandfather’s first car and has remained in the family serving as both farm truck and daily driver for 100 years. Traveling at the blistering top speed approaching 45 miles per hour, James took nearly two days to drive his family heirloom Franklin the 500 miles from his home in Florida to the show. Progress was slowed even further by having to stop every 100 miles, remove the valve covers and oil the rockers and valve stems as the air-cooled franklin inline 6 has no top end oiling system. James intends to drive the Franklin to the Concours d’Lemons Michigan and Concours d’Lemons California. To see if James and the Franklin survive these ill-advised road trips, register your own hooptie and bring it to The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, MI on July 28, 2018 and/or Seaside City Hall in Seaside, CA on Aug. 25, 2018. We suggested he drive the Franklin to the Concours d’Lemons DownUnder in Adelaide, South Australia in Elder Park on Sept. 29, 2018, but Jim was afraid the open touring car wouldn’t seal up well enough to make for a dry, comfortable drive.

Concours d’Lemons Georgia 2018 “Winners”

Worst of Show – James Eby Redington Beach, Fl 1919 Franklin Series 9b Touring

Soul Sucking Japanese Appliance – Jonathan Stancil, Lifted 1st series Miata

Rust Belt American Junk – Gene Felton (IMSA Champion and Trans Am winning driver), 1973 AMC Hornet Sportabout Wagon

Rueful Britannia – Donald and Kathy Pritchard, 1973 Jensen Healy

Kommunist Kar – Vlad Pop, 1986 Trabant 601

French Legion of Horror – Steven Cripps, 2CV Citroen Custom

DerSelfSattisfiedKrautenWagen – Some guy in a Rusty BMW that happened to be driving by.


Jim Eby and his Worst of Show winning 1919 Franklin