The Packard Twelve's were introduced in 1932 in response to the second 'cylinder war' initiated by Cadillac among American luxury car marques. Early luxury cars were powered predominately by large displacement six cylinder engines until Cadillac introduced a V8 in 1915. Packard responded in 1916 with the Twin-Six which became the favorite of film stars, industrialists and heads of state. This engine was replaced by the smooth running straight eight in 1924.
In 1930, Cadillac again set off a cylinder race by introducing a V12 and a V16. Packard responded with this new V12 in 19332. In 1934 the V12's displacement was 445.5 cubic-inches developing 160 horsepower. Top speed was reportedly over 100 mph although Packard advertising modestly claimed only 85 mph. For 1934, Twelves also featured evolutionary styling changes that many consider the pinnacle of Packard design.