Practical Car Restoration

A Guidebook with Lessons from a 1930 Franklin Rebuild

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About the Book

“The graveyard is full of people that were going to do something, but never got around to it,” says the author of this book. For anyone who has ever thought restoring a vintage car would be an enjoyable way to spend time, this book is the place to get going. Through the restoration of a 1930 Franklin, it details the step-by-step process of reclaiming an old jewel. It also addresses such issues as how much garage space you need, how long restoration takes, whether you should farm out some of the work, what kind of car you should get, where you can find it, and whether you should stay married. The author uses his 1930 Franklin as an example of restoring a vehicle that is roadworthy in today’s traffic yet as original as possible, a car that is practical to enjoy without the expense of a car show standout.
A discussion of preliminary questions on how to get started leads into a general history of the Franklin, with advice on finding history for other cars and using museums as a resource. Chapters on step-by-step restoration include body wood, the engine, the chassis, body work, the electrical system, wheels and tires, and the interior and upholstery. Subsequent chapters follow up with a test drive and information on maintaining a restored auto. A chapter on long-distance driving chronicles the author’s trip from Arizona to New York with tips on rider comfort and care of the car. It concludes with a chapter on auto clubs in general, a visit to the Franklin Club in New York, and the sale of the author’s restored 1930 Franklin.

About the Author(s)

Charles R. Wilmarth III lives in Kingman, Arizona, and is a member of the Society of Automotive Historians and The Antique Automobile Club of America.

Bibliographic Details

Charles R. Wilmarth III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: 80 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2511-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1176-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. Getting Started      5

2. History of the Franklin Automobile      11

3. Museums      27

4. Body Wood Restoration      31

5. Rebuilding the Engine      45

6. The Chassis      69

7. Body Restoration      85

8. The Electrical System      107

9. Wheels and Tires      113

10. The Interior and Upholstery      121

11. The Test Drive      143

12. Maintaining Your Car      153

13. Arizona to New York      177

14. The Franklin Club Trek      195

Index      209

Book Reviews & Awards

“a great deal of good information…an excellent addition”—SAH Journal; “worthy of a salute”—Hemmings Classic Car.