Franklin Mint Precision Models were made by the Franklin Mint, originally a private mint founded by Joseph Segel in 1964 in Wawa, Pennsylvania. The company is now owned by a private equity firm headquartered in Midtown Manhattan New York City, NY and Exton, Pennsylvania. Besides diecast automobiles, the Franklin Mint manufactured and marketed coins, jewelry, dolls, sculpture and other collectibles.
In 1983, after Warner Communications had purchased the Franklin Mint, the company entered the die-cast diecast vehicle market introducing a 1935 Mercedes Benz 500K Roadster. In the following years, Franklin Mint produced more than 600 different issues of motorcycles, trucks and tractors besides automobiles (Johnson 1998:78-79; JSS Diecast 2012). Marketing of all vehicles was almost exclusively through mail order catalogs.
Cars produced spanned all decades from brass era vehicles to 1960s muscle cars. Vehicles - often called 'Franklin Mint Precision Models' - usually cost between $75.00 and $150.00 and were meant as adult collectibles - not toys (Johnson 1998:78-79). Over time, models were often made available in several different paint schemes (Doty 2007a, 87-88). Models were made in China, usually in batches of between 1,000 and 5,000 pieces (Doty 2003a, 88). The normal scale produced was 1:24, but models were also issued in 1:43, 1:18 and even a very large 1:8 for the 1885 Daimnler Single Track Reitwagen and the 1886 Mercedes Motorwagen (Johnson 1998:78:79; Flickr Reitwagen. 2012).