Just Listed: Franklin 0-805 Air-Cooled Flat-Twelve Engine

We think of drone aircraft as a modern technology, yet it has its beginnings in World War II with military drones used to test aircraft and rocket telemetry. However, the drones of yesteryear were vastly different than the drones of today. Chief among those differences were the propulsion systems used, as evidenced by this Franklin 0-805 drone engine.

Coming in at a staggering 805 cubic inches, the Franklin 0-805 is an air-cooled flat-12 originally designed for a prototype drone during World War II. The engine supposedly makes 450 horsepower—no word on torque—and was initially destined for an aerial combat vehicle. The 13.2-liter engine never saw production due to an apparent change in the scope of the project. Now though, it could once again see the light of day, although it’s not likely to see combat.

Franklin 12 10

The Franklin motor is currently in Houston, Texas and is up for sale on eBay. It has a Buy It Now price of just $ 8,500, which isn’t that much for a piece of aeronautical history, particularly one that likely sounds like hellfire and smells like brimstone when fired up. And according to the seller, it can do just that, which has us thinking of engine bays to swap this preposterous motor into.

Being a flat-12, our initial and obvious answer is some type of Porsche. We’d definitely love to see what Rod Emory of Emory Motorsports could create given his propensity for beautifully ludicrous machines. Another option would be to create a standalone car, like the Brutus or any of the other cars with airplane engines. However, those could be too safe and boring. After much debate and careful consideration, we think the idea of dropping this massive flat-12 into the back of an Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI would be just right. Not only would it be an insanely difficult technical accomplishment, once completed, it would be something wholly unique.

What crazy projects would you fit this engine find into?

Automobile Magazine

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