Packard introduced the world to its V12-engine as early as 1912. In 1915 it was put into series production known as the Twin Six. It would remain in production until 1920, though development would continue for racing purposes for many years. When Cadillac introduced their V16 engine, followed by Marmon's Sixteen-cylinder unit, and a host of other potent powerplant from other marque's, Packard was convinced they needed a suitable competitor.
Their development of this new V12 unit was during the Great Depression, which continued to shrink the need for an expensive V12 engine. The Twin Six was introduced around the time of the Light Eight, which was an affordable version of their eight-cylinder model.
Conelius Van Ranst was hired by Packard to create a small bore version of their V12 unit. It was positioned at a 67-degree angle and sent the power it produced to the front wheels. This was a very unusual setup, as rear-wheel drive was the preferred configuration of the era. This new setup was complex, new, and met with major transaxle problems which delayed development. Only one example was ever created as Packard switched to the more conventional RWD layout. The production V12 engines were placed in a Deluxe Eight chassis, which were very heavy and required the V12 engine to be enlarged. by Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2008
The Packard Twelve was the company's top-of-the-line automobile and many people believe the signature car of the Classic Era. It was a conservative automobile with elegant appointments and a refined chassis powered by a quiet 12-cylinder powerplant. ....[continue reading]
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