Originally Posted by AutoGear
This project brings back a lot of memories for me.
My great Grandfather (and several other family members) worked for Franklin in Syracuse NY. He also worked on the Tucker project, Bell Helicopters (after Franklin folded and re-emerged as Franklin Aircooled) and then again worked to some degree on the 'Flying Wing' experimental aircraft. My Grandad (his son in law) sort of inherited a new in the crate Franklin flat 6 aircraft motor. We've sort of poked around trying to come up with a unique project to use it in.
I love the Cord design; but working with a cadre of gearbox/powertrain designers, the Rzeppa joint is a problem and I imagine if you tried to re-engineer the drive system, it would be continual modifications to get where you want to be.
To that point; I met an elderly gentleman (easily into his mid-80s) who had owned a V12 Franklin coupe. This is aircooled and approx 350cid. He grew tired of having to deal with leaks and obsolete parts, not to mention constant adjustment of the engine. He hired a young guy who built custom efi engines for japanese cars. I never got into the details and the owner passed away but the Franklin was reborn using 454 Big Block Chevy efi parts.
The Franklin Club practically disowned the guy and really had some rough comments.
My way of thinking is this; its your cars, and while it hurts a little as a history buff, its OUT there being DRIVEN and getting people excited and interested in Cords. There are plenty of Franklin's around that require too many obsolete parts to become drivers...so they become static displays. And the Franklin Club isnt getting many NEW members, when one owner dies or becomes interested in other things, the car goes to someone who already owns Franklins thereby making the circle smaller and smaller. Ive firmly believed if they were more accepting of repowering certain examples of these cars instead of breaking them up for parts or static displays, they'd receive much more interest from younger people.
There are usually a couple Toronado's on eBay for a few grand. The only knock on the first year Toro's is the brakes were horrible for such a heavy car. Id say a 69 and later big motor Olds Toro would have most of what you're looking for, disc brakes and air conditioning (should you desire)
You could always throw some finned valvecovers with some billet inserts that say CORD and an interesting aircleaner arrangement, or even perhaps an unusual carburetor arrangement (weber carbs?) or perhaps an early McCullough supercharger to help further the illusion as being a "one-of-none" factory experimental. The nice thing about Cords is not many people KNOW whats supposed to be there so it wouldn't take too much to fool them
hi autogear, you nailed it, i want to really drive this classic beauty,bring it to shows,cruise with it and above all enjoy it without the worries the original drive train posed.cord drive train weighs aprox.600+LBS,350C.I.V/8 FWD will be lighter,i'm looking enough H.P. to keep up with morden highway traffic and i intend to keep interior and exterior bone stock,only other mods will be safety related such as 12V. sealed beam lights,elec. wipers,PS,PB[discs] etc. thanks for the great post. regards,Jerry