After Cadillac introduced the first mass-produced V-8 engine for its 1915 models, Packard raised the stakes with the first series-production V-12. Presented for the 1916 model year, the Packard Twin Six was made until 1923 and returned for 1932. The tourings were among the most popular styles. The Twin Six's reliable engine of almost seven liters (424.1 cubic-inch) was noted for smooth acceleration in high gear and sufficient power to propel some of the models to 70 mph with this 88 hp engine. The 3-speed manual transmission had been moved from the rear axle to the back of the clutch. The Twin Six established Packard's reputation overseas for quality. Twin Sixes had press-steel frames and were built on a choice of 125, or 135-in. wheelbase. The open models were painted in blue striped with cream-yellow. The hood and fenders were black; however, and the huge three-ft.-diameter artillery wheels were cream yellow striped with black. Standard equipment included a top that could be raised by one man, side curtains, a windshield, horn, clock, tire carrier and pump, and a complete tool kit. The car sold new for $2,600 to $3,350.
The inception of the Packard Motor Company was in 1899 and was originally founded in Warren, Ohio before moving to Detroit, Michigan in 1905. Packard introduced the four-cylinder Model 30 in 1907, then a six-cylinder car for 1912. It was initially known as the Six, later taking 'the 48' as its name. Engineer Jesse Vincent then began work on a twelve-cylinder automobile. By late 1915, production began on the model named the 'Twin Six.' It was given a chassis that was an evolution of Packard's previous models.
This particular Twin Six with custom coachwork. It was the work of Leon Rubay of Cleveland, Ohio who built the sporty roadster bodywork. Rubay was initially a salesman in the automotive accessories business before producing bodies in 1914 after stints with both Rothschild and Holbrook. In 1916 he hired Tom Hibbard to create body designs. Their work was notable enough for Packard to allow them to offer a portfolio of bodies to be built on the 3-35 Twin Six chassis. Each style they produced had a name inspired by WWI. The Roadster was named the 'Ormonde.'
This Packard 3-35 Ormonde was ordered in 1918 by an Oklahoma oilman. He was a tall individual, having a height of six-foot five. Special accommodations were requested to accommodate this height. The steering column was lengthened six inches and lowered to a dramatic rake. The doors were lengthened and the seat set unusually far back for the pedals for a car of the day. With all the customization, work did not finish until 1920.
This Ormonde also has an unusual three-piece windshield which is highly raked. It incorporates a second internal glass pain used to help divert airflow. Below the windshield was an asymmetrical, polished, cast aluminum dashboard houses the full complement of instruments. The bodywork is formed from aluminum. The rear compartment opens to a two-passenger rumble seat.
This Packard has resided at America's Packard Museum in Dayton, Ohio for the past two decades. About a decade ago it was given extensive internal engine work. It has recently been re-commissioned for road use including a full fuel system cleaning along with other service and maintenance. It currently has all its side curtains as well as a full original tool set.
Power is from a 424 cubic-inch V12 engine mated to a single carburetor and offering 88 horsepower. There is a three-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel mechanical brakes. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2016
The Packard Twin Six was produced from 1915 - 1923. The name 'Twin Six' would be revived years later eventually becoming known as the Packard 'Twelve'.
There were 7,746 examples of the Packard Twin Six sold in 1916, its introductory year, with figures increasing to 8,899 in 1917. This was an amazing accomplishment considering the relatively high starting price of $2,600 that these luxury cars demanded.
The V-12 engine was comprised of two six-cylinder cars-iron blocks set at a 60-degree angle and rested atop an aluminum crankcase. It was a side-valve design that displaced a total of 424 cubic-inches and produced 88 horsepower. The pistons were made from lightweight aluminum alloy and there was full pressure lubrication which aided in the engines longevity.
The engine, clutch, and gearbox were a single unit and replaced Packard's earlier design of having the transaxle mounted on the rear axle. Packard was one of the first to use this type of drivelines. This setup reduced unsprung weight of the rear axle, improved ride and handling, and provided more reliability and rigidity.
The technological improvements continued for 1917 with Packard introducing a redesigned Twin Six with separate cylinder block and head castings. The aluminum pistons now had two compression rings and an oil scraper. Also, the intake and exhaust manifolds were redesigned. Even with these improvements, the horsepower rated remained at 88, although the rated RPM figure droped from 3000 to 2600. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2008
The Packard Twelve was produced from 1933 to 1939 with over 35,000 examples produced. It is considered by many to be one of the finest automobiles produced by Packard and one of the most significant creations of the classic car era. The long and flowing front hood hid a 445 cubic-inch side-valve twelve cylinder engine that was refined, powerful, smooth, and quiet.
The engine was originally destined for a front wheel drive project which eventually proved to have weaknesses. That and the anticipated development cost were too much to be practical so Packard decided to scrap the idea. Cadillac had introduced their 16-cylinder engine and other marques such as Pierce-Arrow were improving the performance of their offerings. Packard was feeling the pressure and decided to place the engine into the Deluxe Eight Chassis and dubbed it the Twin Six. The name was in honor of Packard's achievement fifteen years earlier when the introduced their first 12-cylinder engine. By 1933 the name was changed to Twelve to be inline with the rest of the Packard models.
Most of the Packard production Twelve's received factory bodies. Only a handful received custom coachwork by such greats as LeBaron and Dietrich.
In 1935 Packard introduced more horsepower and mechanical improvements. The suspension became more plush and comfortable while the steering became easier to operate. The cars were designed and built as one unit including the fenders, running boards, hood and body.
1936 the final year for 17 inch wire wheels and the double blade bumpers with hydraulic dampers. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
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