What's wrong with hot air?
Reference reader's letter, "What's Wrong with Hot Air?" Mr. Clarke is possibly correct in thinking that there is no air-cooled Franklin at present in this country. In 1963, however, at the Brighton and Bognor International Car Rally (V & V), there was a very fine example from Oslo, Norway, belonging to Mr. R.A. Berg. It was a 1919, 25-h.p., 6-cylinder model with a touring body, and a bonnet which shows some measure of streamlining.
A standard production model of this year was driven through Death Valley in America with an atmospheric temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and up Pikes Peak to an elevation of 14,900 ft. in low gear without overheating or other troubles, which is no mean feat.
In addition to the possible reasons for cessation of production suggested by the Editor I would add the following: It was quite an expensive car. It was noisy in comparison with water-cooled vehicles of its period. Contemporary lubricating oil was rather thick when cold adding to the cold-starting problems encountered by early air-cooled engines. The power output of an air-cooled engine was inferior to that of a water-cooled engine of equal capacity for which higher compressions could be used.
Two other American companies, Cameron, and Chevrolet, also made high-powered„ air-cooled engines during this period. The latter was fitted with a restricted induction system which kept the maximum road speed of the vehicle to 45 m.p.h.
W. Hartlepool. Mervyn Brown.