Franklin Car Club members traveled from around the world to Buellton this week to celebrate the annual Franklin Westrek — and the group's official 50th anniversary.

Car club members and their 28 classic cars visited Central Coast locations this week that included Vandenberg Air Force Base and Hearst Castle from their home base at Pea Soup Andersen's in Buellton.

The innovative air-cooled luxury motorcars were made between 1902 and 1934, according to the H.H. Franklin Club.

Of the 150,000 Franklins built, club members believe about 3,700 have survived.

H.H. Franklin Manufacturing Co. engineer John Wilkinson was a technological innovator and introduced a number of firsts, including the first four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines, float-feed carburetors, automatic spark advance and valve-in-head cylinders.

In addition to air-cooled engines, he also pioneered the use of aluminum pistons and closed bodies made of aluminum to reduce weight.

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