Franklin Club to dedicate new facility at Gilmore Car Museum

Replica of Los Angeles dealership
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The all-new Franklin Automobile Collection, housed in
this faithful recreation of the famed Hamlin Franklin
dealership in Los Angles, CA circa 1910, located at the
Gilmore Car Museum in southwest Michigan.

The H. H. Franklin Club Inc. will dedicate a new 7,000 sq. ft. facility at the Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Hills, Mich., this Saturday, May 15th.

The building is a faithful replica of a Los Angeles dealership once owned by Ralph Hamlin, the former bicycle racer who became Franklin’s west coast distributor and the firm’s largest and most successful dealer.? ?The dealership-like museum houses some rare automobiles including a Franklin Model A runabout—the first four-cylinder car built in America. ? ?Of the 150,000 Franklin’s built between 1902 and 1934, it’s estimated that about 3,700 have survived.? ?

Other cars in the collection include a 1932 Model 17 sedan, the one and only American car powered by a 12-cylinder air-cooled engine; Hamlin’s 1911 racer in which Hamlin won the Los Angeles-to-Phoenix race, on loan from an Oklahoma collector; and a 1928 sedan.? ?

The Franklin collection evolved after enthusiast Bob Kern and his wife Patricia began thinking about a permanent home for their Franklin cars and literature. With the advice of Franklin friends the idea of a museum began to germinate. Ground was broken in May 2009 and 18 months later the dream has materialized. ? ?

The Gilmore Car Museum opened for its 44th season May 1 and is open daily through Oct. 31. For more information, visit or call 269-671-5089.


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