Richard Pratt of Gorham readies his 1929 Franklin Model 130 for the Lions Club Classic Car Show Sunday. Robert Lowell / American Journal

A 92-year-old Prohibition-era car will be entered in the Gorham Lions Club 13th Annual Classic Car Show on Sunday.

Richard Pratt of Gorham will display the 1929 four-door Franklin Model 130 he restored. It’s the favorite in his collection of Franklins – he has six – and will be among the 150 cars expected at the show.

Other than the upholstery and paint job, Richard Pratt did all of the restoration work on his Prohibition Era Franklin. Robert Lowell / American Journal

The Model 130, manufactured during the roaring 20s, features a secret compartment behind a backseat folding armrest where illegal booze could be stashed.

“They built cars to hide alcohol,” Pratt said.

Pratt was behind the wheel for a short spin Tuesday, but he usually drives the car tours and has racked up 20,000 miles.

“This is my old faithful,” Pratt said, checking the odometer.


Pratt discovered his “old faithful” in East Baldwin while hunting parts for another car. The Franklin was stored in a tractor-trailer and a tree had to be cut down so it could be removed. The car was in rough shape and the engine was in pieces, he said.

Richard Pratt behind the wheel of his prized 1929 four-door Franklin Model 130. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Pratt did the restoration work except for upholstery and painting. The maroon car with black fenders now looks the way it did fresh from the factory in Syracuse, New York. It was considered a luxury car in 1929, with a price sticker of $3,000. In comparison, a 1929 Ford Model A went for $495 at the time, Pratt said.

His Franklin is probably valued at $30,000 today, he said, but “there isn’t a price on this one.”

The car’s “Run Dry” license plate refers to it not needing coolant as the 6-cylinder engine is air-cooled. The car has three forward gears, 19-inch wheel rims with wooden spokes made of white ash, and a 6-volt electrical system. Its rear doors open in the opposite direction from front ones.

Amenities include rear window curtains and a fold out windshield to eliminate night headlight glare from vehicles in the rear.

Sunday affords a rare opportunity for car buffs to talk with Pratt about his car, its history and times.

“I’m not a car show guy” but supports the Lions Club show, said Pratt, whose son Lee Pratt is chairman of the Town Council.

“The weather is supposed to be glorious,” Lions Club President Ken Aldrich said.

The show will award first, second and third place awards in 22 classes for vintage vehicles. Aldrich said he expects a good turnout.  The annual event was canceled last year because of the pandemic.

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