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