Concours d’Lemons ‘Winner’ To Cross Country In His Air-Cooled 1919 Franklin

After collecting the coveted “Worst of Show” award at the Concours d’Lemons Georgia, Jim Eby plans to drive his 1919 Franklin to all the Concours d’Lemons events in the continental United States. And we’d like you to help.

If you live somewhere near the road trip’s loosely outlined route (See below) of near-certain death, you can help by offering up some garage space should something go terribly wrong and the 99-year-old Franklin require some repairs. Let us know by emailing your info to and we’ll set up a chain of folks with a few spare tools and more common sense than Jim.


The Franklin tops out at about 45mph so Jim will be traversing the country on back roads, not the interstates. Progress will be further slowed by having to stop every 100 miles or so to oil the top end of the Franklin’s inline-six engine (Fun fact: Franklin was one of the last American car companies to build air-cooled engines). Jim estimates he will be able to do about 250 miles a day before daylight and his will to live run out for the day.

If by some miracle, Jim or the Franklin don’t expire on the roadside, they will face stiff competition from the exceptionally horrible cars that turn up for Concours d’Lemons Michigan on July 28, 2018, at the Inn at St. Johns in Plymouth, MI, and at Concours d’Lemons California on August 25, 2018, at Seaside City Hall in Seaside, CA.


We told Jim the best he can probably hope for is a hastily made up “Road Hammer” trophy, but he was undeterred. He cited the family history of his grandfather, who bought the Franklin new as his first car, and his father to take the Franklin on long road trips. It appears automotive insanity runs deep in some families.

Look for Jim somewhere near these areas:


July 21, 2018 Leave St. Petersburg, FL

Chattanooga, TN (possible Coker Tire, Ruby Falls, etc)

July 27 to 29Plymouth, MI (Concours d’Lemons, Concours d’Elegance of America)

Jackson, MI
Traverse City, MI (visit Hagerty Insurance)
Mackinac Bridge crossing
Spring Lake Park, MN (Odyssey Restorations, Franklin-friendly restoration shop)

From here, generally follow near, around or on US 2 west:

Grand Forks, ND
Minot, ND
Glasgow, MT
Shelby, MT
Glacier Park, MT (either US2 or Going to the Sun Pass)
Kalispel, MT
Spokane, WA
Portland, WA
Seattle, WA
Florence, OR (Probably drive 101 all the way to SF, maybe follow some of the Pebble Beach tour route)
Oakland, CA (Alloy Motors shop)
Santa Cruz, CA

Aug 21-26 – Monterey, CA (Concours d’Lemons, Monterey Auto Week)

Bakersfield, CA (Five-acre Franklin bone yard, Crystal Palace, Buttonwillow Raceway)
Palm Springs, CA
Gotta do some Route 66 somewhere along here
Phoenix, AZ (almost all my in-laws live there)
Across New Mexico
Somewhere in Central Texas (this part isn’t that well defined as of right now)
New, Orleans, LA
Then skirt along the Gulf Coast to Highway 19 in Florida and home.

Again, drop an email to if you have available garage space on or near that expected route.

Roadkill Fall 2016 Cover