ORIGINAL: William Robison
Franny was the C.F. Lee and George Aldrich of the 50s, for speed fliers, at least. If you were flying "C" speed, there were McCoy 60s, and then there were "Franny's McCoys." As I remember he also supplied chromed cylinder sleeves for the McCoy engines. The Red Head 29 I still have has a Franny's lapped fit piston and liner in it. Not chrome, though. It was a "Trick" replacement for the original ringed piston set.
By 1960 the Doolings weren't competitive either in B or C speed. The McCoys still owned C, in B the Mac Red Head 29s were second to the K&B Greenies, the SuperTigre 29s did well, and Duke Fox swore his 29R was the hottest of the lot. And that was just more of Ol' Dukes BS. The Fox 29R (the "Bathtub" engine) might have won a backwater contest somewhere, but nothing else.
When Duke replaced the 29R with the 29X things changed. The X was a winner when you got it loose enough, but when you got it loose enough it was only good for eight or ten flights before it was too loose. A winner, temporarily, but still a POS. Had to buy five or six just to make it through one season.
The Dooling 29 was a beautiful piece of work. On a bet I bought one and put it on a rat racer. Right. Bladder tank and all. And I won the race I set it up for. It really wasn't that the Dooling and I were all that fast, I had consistent speed and fast pitting, honorable loser didn't have his engine sorted and his restarts were slow.
Back on Franny for a moment. I thought his slickest trick was putting both the McCoy 60's piston rings in one groove. What he did was make new rings 1/2 as thick as the originals. That way he had the surface area of a single ring, and by spacing the gaps the ring pressure could be a lot lower and seal better than the original two in separate grooves. Slick.
That's enough rambling for now.