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Franklin Automobile Collection
Learn about the collection at the Gilmore Museum in Hickory Corners, MI.

Franklin Serial (Chassis) and Motor Numbers

An Explanation of Franklin Serial, Chassis, and Motor Numbers

Franklin does not use the term "Serial number". The aluminum tag attached to each car's fire wall uses the term "Chassis No." in front of where that car's chassis number is stamped. The Motor Number is only stamped on the motor base, and does not appear on the firewall tag.

Later, the body manufacturer installed a "body tag" with their production number. It is a small aluminum or brass tag attached to the driver side body sill, right near the driver's left foot. For example, a 1928 12B would have a tag for the Walker Body Co.

Starting with the 1929 (Series 130, 135, 137) they used the "Series Number" as a prefix to the chassis number, but with the "1" dropped off. So a chassis number of 30-xxxxxx-11 would be a 1929 Series 130 Sedan, which is the shorter wheel base car (wheel base = length of center of front wheels to center of rear wheels). Change the prefix "30" to a "35" or "37" and you have a long wheel base Sedan. There after, each Series' chassis numbers started with the prefix of that Series, but without the 1 in front and that sequence of numbers was stamped into the firewall tag.

In 1928 they started using an "L", or an "R", in front of the body suffix numbers. That means that the car was built as a Left-hand drive (most), or Right-hand drive (very rare). Then sometime during 1931 they changed some of the body suffix numbers to show the body manufacturer. These were "catalog custom" cars that were built by some of the leading custom body manufacturers. The chassis were shipped directly to the body manufacturer for finish assembly there. These were two digit numbers starting with a "4". It replaced the short-lived suffix of "L8" which meant the chassis was shipped to a custom coach builder — just as a running chassis with hood, fenders, running boards, and splash aprons only.

Serial Number Locations

  • Up to Series 9 are stamped on a metal plate fastened to the rear cross sill
  • Series 9 is stamped on a metal plate attached to the left support of the gasoline tank
  • Series 10 and up are stamped on a metal plate on the engine side of the dash (fire wall) under the hood
  • Chassis numbers represent a specific combination of chassis and body type

Motor Number Locations

  • Up to Series 8 they are stamped on the upper left side of the crankcase directly in front of the No. 1 valve lifter guide
  • On some Series 8 engines the number is stamped on the right of the crankcase near the base of the No. 5 cylinder
  • Series 9 is stamped into the crankcase near the bottom of the oil filler funnel
  • Series 10A (up to engine No. 94514) is stamped into the left side of the crankcase near the base of No. 2 cylinder
  • Series 10B to Series 15 (from engine No. 94514 and ending with Series 15 with engine No. 152809) is stamped into the right side of the engine base just above the generator
  • Series 15 (starting with engine No. 152809) are stamped into the left side of the crankcase opposite No. 2 cylinder
  • Series 17 are stamped on the top of the crankcase casting between No. 3 and No. 4 cylinder on the left bank

Serial (Chassis) Numbers by Production Year

The information listed below was researched by Mr. Gordon H. Howard and Mr. George H. Peckover. If we only look at chassis numbers and count the numbers used the following is what the totals are. In all the research completed for production numbers, we see nothing that matches in any way! If we were asked today to give numbers of cars built, the numbers Mr. Stein came up with in 1938 would be the ones to use.

1903
Starting chassis number was 1 and ending at 219 all models - Total of 219 built

1904
Start 220 - end 920 all models - Total of 700 built

1905
Start 921 - end 2033 all models - Total of 1,113 built

1906
Start 2034 - end 3338 all models - Total of 1,305 built

1907
Start 3346 - end 4868 all models - Total of 1,523 built

1908
Start 4869 - end 6013 all models - Total of 1,145 built

1909
Start 6025 - end 6675 - Total of 50 built*
* "D" Touring was advertised, if any were sold they were numbered with this group.
Start 7001 - end 7377 Model "G" - Total of 377 built
Start 8001 - end 8204 Model "D" - Total of 204 built
Start 9001 - end 9086 Model "H" - Total of 86 built
Start 10001 - end 10021 Model "K" - Total of 20 built
Start 11001 - end 11011 Model "L" - Total of 10 built
(Note: In 1932 to 34 the Series 18 Olympic was given chassis numbers which were between 11001 and 12509, with a prefix of 83, 84 and 85)
Years total 745

1910
Start 7401 - end 7999 Model "G" - Total of 599 built
Start 8205 - end 8813 Model "D" - Total of 609 built
Start 9087 - end 9491 Model "H" - Total of 405 built
Start 10022 - end 10103 Model "K" - Total of 82 built
Start 11012 - end 11042 Model "L" - Total of 31 built
(Note: In 1932 to 34 the Series 18 Olympic was given chassis numbers which were between 11001 and 12509, with a prefix of 83, 84 and 85)
Start 12001 - end 12323 Model "G" - Total of 323 built
Years total 2,049

1911
Start 9501 - end 9570 Model "H" - Total of 70 built
Start 10104 - end 10117 Model "K" - Total of 14 built
Start 11043 - end 11131 Model "L" Total of 89 built
(Note: In 1932 to 34 the Series 18 Olympic was given chassis numbers which were between 11001 and 12509, with a prefix of 83, 84 and 85)
Start 12401 - end 12775 Model "G" - Total of 375 built
Start 14001 - end 14279 Model "D" - Total of 279 built
Start 15001 - end 15174 Model "M" - Total of 174 built
Years total 1001

1912
Start 9601 - end 9660 Model "H" Series 1 - Total of 60 built
Start 9661 - end 9682 Model "H" Series 2 - Total of 22 built
Start 9801 - end 9815 Model "H" Series 2 - Total of 15 built
Start 10118 - end 10204 Model "K" Series 2 - Total of 87 built
Start 11132 - end 11133 Model "L" Series 1 - Total of 184 built*
*Note: In 1932 to 34 the Series 18 Olympic was given chassis numbers which were between 11001 and 12509, with a prefix of 83, 84 and 85.
Start 12801 - end 13180 Model "G" Series 1 - Total of 308 built
Start 13181 - end 13329 Model "G" Series 2 - Total of 149 built
Start 14401 - end 14623 Model "D" Series 1 - Total of 223 built
Start 14624 - end 14670 Model "D" Series 2 - Total of 47 built
Start 14901 - end 14922 Model "D" Series 2 - Total of 22 built
Start 15201 - end 15410 Model "M" Series 1 - Total of 210 built
Start 15411 - end 15683 Model "M" Series 2 - Total of 273 built
Start 16001 - end 16025 Model "O" Series 2 - Total of 25 built
Start 17001 - end 17168 Model "G" Series 1 (4 cylinder) - Total of 168 built
Start 17169 - end 17201 Model "G" Series 2 (4 cylinder) - Total of 33 built
Years total 1,639

1913
Start 9683 - end 9752 "H" Series 3 Touring - Total of 69 built
Start 9901 - end 9912 "H" Series 3 Limousine - Total of 11 built
Start 14671 - end 14812 "D" Series 3 Touring - Total of 141 built
Start 14923 - end 14975 "D" Series 3 Torpedo - Total of 52 built
Start 15683 - end 15999 "M" Series 3 Touring - Total of 316 built
Start 16101 - end 16215 "M" Series 3 Touring - Total of 114 built
Start 17202 - end 17218 "G" Series 3 (4 cylinder) Runabout - Total of 16 built
Start 18001 - end 18105 "M" Series 3 Roadster - Total of 104 built
Years total 831

1914
Start 16216 - end 16860 "M" Series 4 (all models) - Total of 644 built
Start 16895 - end 17000 "M" Series 5 Touring - Total of 135 built
Start 18106 - end 18195 "M" Series 4 Roadster - Total of 89 built
Start 18196 - end 18205 "M" Series 4 Roadster - Total of 9 built
Start 18206 - end 18310 "M" Series 5 Roadster - Total of 104 built
Start 19001 - end 19510 "M" Series 5 (all models) - Total of 509 built
Start 19511 - end 20643 "M" Series 6 (all models) - Total of 1,132 built
Years total 2,649

1915
Start 18311 - end 18527 "M" Series 6 Roadster - Total of 216 built
Start 18528 - end 18653 "M" Series 7 Roadster - Total of 125 built
Start 18654 - end 19000 "M" Series 8 (1st run) Roadster - Total of 346 built
Start 20644 - end 21980 "M" Series 7 (all models except Rds.) - Total of 1,336 built
Start 21981 - end 25234 "M" Series 8 (all models except Rds.) - Total of 3,253 built
Start 26001 - end 26175 "M" Series 8 Roadster (2nd run) - Total of 174 built
Years total 5,456 (NOTE: Some of Series 8 are 1916s)

1916 / 17
Start 27001 - end 28387 Series 9A 2 pass. Runabout - Total of 1,287 built
Start 28388 - end 29000 Series 9A 2 pass. Runabout - Total of 612 built
Start 40001 - end 40470 Series 9A 4 pass. Roadster - Total of 469 built
Start 50001 - end 51000 Series 9A Sedan (1st run) - Total of 999 built
Start 51001 - end 51350 Series 9A Brougham (1st run) - Total of 349 built
Start 51351 - end 51500 Series 9A Limousine (1st run) - Total of 149 built
Start 51501 - end 51587 Series 9A Town Car - Total of 86 built
Start 51651 - end 51799 Series 9A Cabriolet - Total of 148 built
Start 52001 - end 58999 Series 9A Touring - Total of 6,998 built
Start 90001 - end 90326 Series 9A Sedan (2nd run) - Total of 325 built
Start 96501 - end 96619 Series 9A Brougham (2nd run) - Total of 118 built
Start 98001 - end 98100 Series 9A Limousine (2nd run) - Total of 99 built
Years total 11,651

1918
Start 29001 - end 29300 Series 9A 2 pass. Runabout - Total of 299 built
Start 40471 -end 40600 Series 9A 4 pass. Roadster - Total of 129 built
Start 40601 - end 41350 Series 9B 4 pass. Roadster - Total of 749 built
Start 51598 - end 51630 Series 9A Town Car - Total of 32 built
Start 51631 - end 51650 Series 9B Town Car - Total of 19 built
Start 51801 - end 51876 Series 9B Cabriolet - Total of 75 built
Start 59001 - end 59572 Series 9A Touring - Total of 571 built
Start 60001 - end 62899 Series 9B Touring - Total of 2,898 built
Start 63301 - end 63350 Series 9A & 9B Chassis (1916-1918) - Total of 49 built
Start 90327 - end 90400 Series 9A Sedan - Total of 73 built
Start 90401 - end 91886 Series 9B Sedan - Total of 1,485 built
Start 95001 - end 95051 Series 9B 4 pass. Sedan - Total of 50 built
Start 96620 - end 96636 Series 9A Brougham - Total of 16 built
Start 96701 - end 96935 Series 9B Brougham - Total of 234 built
Start 98101 - end 98195 Series 9B Limousine - Total of 94 built
Years total 6,788

1919
Start 29301 - end 29468 Series 9B 2 pass. Runabout - Total of 167 built
Start 29469 - end 29475 Series 9B 2 pass. Runabout - Total of 6 built
Start 41351 - end 41800 Series 9B 4 pass. Roadster - Total of 449 built
Start 62900 -end 63300 Series 9B Touring (1st run) - Total of 400 built
Start 63351 - end 66041 Series 9A Touring (2nd run) - Total of 2,690 built
Start 66042 - end 66900 Series 9B Touring (1st run) - Total of 858 built
Start 66901 - end 67000 Series 9B Chassis - Total of 99 built
Start 67001 - end 68999 Series 9B Touring (2nd run) - Total of 1,998 built
Start 91887 - end 93918 Series 9B Sedan - Total of 2,037 built
Start 96936 - end 97365 Series 9B Brougham - Total of 429 built
Start 98196 - end 98260 Series 9B Limousine - Total of 64 built
Years total 9,208

1920
Start 29476 - end 30135 Series 9B 2 pass. Runabout - Total of 659 built
Start 38001 - end 38100 Series 9B Chassis - Total of 99 built
Start 39001 - end 39109 Series 9B Demi-Coupe - Total of 108 built
Start 39501 Series 9B Demi-Coupe - Total of 1 built
Start 41801 - end 42427 Series 9B 4 pass. Roadster - Total of 626 built
Start 69000 - end 73476 Series 9B Touring - Total of 4,476 built
Start 80001 - end 80336 Series 9B Sedan (1st run) - Total of 335 built
Start 93919 - end 94229 Series 9B Sedan - Total of 310 built
Start 94230 - end 95000 Series 9B Sedan (2nd run) - Total of 770 built
Start 95052 - end 96500 Series 9B Sedan (3rd run) - Total of 2,270 built
Start 97366 - end 97433 Series 9B Brougham - Total of 67 built
Start 97434 - end 98000 Series 9B Brougham (1st run) - Total of 566 built
Start 98261 - end 98602 Series 9B Brougham (2nd run) - Total of 341 built
Year total 10,641

1921

Start 30136 - end 30340 Series 9B Runabout - Total of 205 built
(NOTE: The end of the series 9B intermediates in 1921 is uncertain because of the differing information published officially by the factory. This also causes uncertainty as to the first chassis number for 9B late cars in 1921.)
Start 30341 - end 30350 Series 9B Runabout - Total of 9 built (See note above.)
Start 38001 - end 38100 Series 9B Chassis - Total of 99 built
Start 38101 Series 9B Victoria Coupe - Total of 1 built
Start 38102 - end 38500 Series 9B Coupe - Total of 398 built
Start 39110 - end 39391 Series 9B Demi-Coupe - Total of 281 built
Start 39392 - end 39435 Series 9B Demi-Coupe - Total of 43 built
Start 39502 - end 39926 Series 9B Demi-Coupe - Total of 424 built
Start 39927 - end 40000 Series 9B Demi-Coupe - Total of 73 built
Start 42428 - end 42726 Series 9B 4 pass. Roadster - Total of 298 built
Start 42727 - end 42729 Series 9B 4 pass. Roadster - Total of 2 built
Start 43001 - end 43105 Series 9B Touring Limousine - Total of 104 built
Start 73477 - end 75800 Series 9B Touring - Total of 2,323 built
Start 75801 - end 76060 Series 9B Touring - Total of 259 built
Start 80337 - end 83171 Series 9B Sedan - Total of 2,834 built
Start 83172 - end 83922 Series 9B Sedan - Total of 750 built
Start 98603 - end 99000 Series 9B Brougham (1st run) - Total of 397 built
Start 99001 - end 99100 Series 9B Cabriolet - Total of 99 built
Start 99501 - end 99510 Series 9B Town Car - Total of 9 built
Start 100001 - end 100129 Series 9B Brougham (2nd run) - Total of 128 built
Start 100130 - end 100336 Series 9B Brougham - Total of 206 built
Years total 8,961

1922
Start 125001 - end 129971 Series 9B - Total of 4,970 built
Start 130001 - end 132631 Series 10A - Total of 2,630 built
Start 133001 - end 134012 Series 10B - Total of 1,011 built
Years total 8,614

1923
Start 134013 - end 144588 Series 10B - Total of 10,576 built
Years Total 10,576

1924
Start 144589 - end 147000 Series 10B - Total of 2,411 built
Start 147001 - end 149873 Series 10C - Total of 2,872 built
Years Total 5,285

1925
Start 149874 - end 151327 Series 10C - Total of 1,453 built
Start 151501 - end 158872 Series 11A - Total of 7,371 built
Years Total 8,826

1926
Start 18873 - end 164697 Series 11A (Some Series 11B were delivered in 1926) Total of 5,824 built
Years Total 5,826

1927
Start 164801 - end 171363 Series 11B (NOTE: Some of these could have been delivered in 1926) Total of 6,562 Built
Years total 6,563

1928
Start 172001 - end 177716 Series 12A - Total of 5,715 built
Start 178001 - end 182441 Series 12B - Total of 4,440 built
Years total 10,157

1929
Start 183000 - end 197288 Series 13 (130 & 30-, 135 & 35- and 137 & 37-) Total of 14,289 built
Years total 14,289

1930
Start 198000 - end 203744 Series 14 (145 & 45- and 147 & 47-) Total of 5745 built
Years total 5,745

1931
Start 204000 - end 207850 Series 15 (151 & 51-, 152 & 52- and 153 & 53-) Total of 3,851 built
Years total 3,851

1932
Start 208002 - end 209021 Series 16A (163 & 63-) (early) Total of 1,019 built
Start 209011 - end 209229 Series 16A (163 & 63-) (late) Total of 218 built
Start 10157 - end 10275 Series 17A (173 & 73-) Total of 118 built
Years total 1,355

1933
Start 209501 - end 209671 Series 16B (164 & 64-) Total of 171 built
Start 10276 - end 10373 Series 17A & 17B (173 & 73-, 174 & 74-) Total of 98 built
Start 11001 - end 11889 Series 18A (183 & 83-) Total of 889 built
Start 12001 - end 12329 Series 18B (184 & 84-) Total of 329 built
Years total 1,487 (NOTE: some of this total -- 18A and 18B -- were delivered in 1932 and 1934)

1934
Start 210001 - end 210186 Series 19A (193 & 93-) Total of 186 built
Start 210201 - end 210311 Series 19B (194 & 94-) Total of 111 built
Start 10276 - end 10373 Series 17A & 17B (173 & 73-, 174 & 74-) Total of 98 built
Start 12401 - end 12509 Series 18C (185 & 85-) Total of 109 built
Years total 504 (NOTE: some of this total were delivered in 1933)

According to this report, total production was 151,266.