Several months ago, I was checking out a yard sale one Saturday morning, when my wife overheard a conversation between two gentlemen discussing a forthcoming car show. As we were members of two car clubs, including the local Red Rock Road Runners, we were interested in hearing all the details. That is how we met Derek Haberman and Frank Peredo of the Franklin Car Club. They were planning the Westrek, a week-long series of events based in Kanab beginning on June 17, with daily tours to the national parks and monuments in the area.

The Franklin first appeared in 1902 as a small runabout and was manufactured in the USA until 1934. It was unique in the fact that it had an air-cooled engine. The later models were large, high-priced touring cars, a far cry from Henry Ford’s Model T.

While we were talking, I suddenly remembered Frank Olsen, whom most of you have seen driving around in his Model T pickup, was in the process of restoring a Franklin, which had been sitting in his shed for several years. I took them to meet Frank and they spent the next hour or so going over his car and discussing the restoration project. They were able to give Frank a lot of information, which would assist in the restoration project.

He has since joined the H. H. Franklin Car Club and is enjoying all the benefits of membership. His car won’t be finished in time for the show next week, but Olsen is going to put it on a flatbed trailer and display it in town during the meet.

Westrek begins next Sunday, June 17, and we will see as many as 30 Franklins on display at Parry Lodge and driving around town. The oldest will be a 1922 runabout. Also appearing will be a 1922 Marmon, a 1919 Locomobile and a 1928 Dodge.

Here are some additional facts about the Franklin cars:

The farthest person driving in is from New York state.

The greatest distance hauling their Franklin is from Maryland or Florida.

The greatest distance flying in are three couples from Sydney and Queensland, Australia.

The selling price for the large touring cars in the 30s usually started around $2800 for a basic coupe. On the high-end is a Franklin Pursuit, which was probably around $3500, with accessories. Accessories and upgrades included a trunk rack, bumpers, artillery wheels, example of a deluxe sedan had vanity lights, note pad compartment, humidor, smoking ashtrays, cigar lighter, pull-down silk shades, activated dome lights when the door opens, foot rest for the back seat drivers, Tiffany glass visors, clocks for the rear passengers and more.

This is our 43rd Franklin Westrek. We have one gentleman, Mike Knips, from Campbell, California, who has attended every tour since 1970.

The suspension on the cars has full elliptic and four-wheel hydraulic brakes and shocks.

The show will bring 150 or more owners and fans of this magnificent car to Kanab.

When you see any of the Franklins and their drivers, please feel free to engage them in conversation and tell them you are happy they chose Kanab for their gathering. Bring your cameras, as these are memorable vehicles.