1917 Packard Twin-Six

1917 Packard Twin-Six 1917 Packard Twin-Six Landaulet
Chassis #: 126934
Sold for $192,500 at 2011 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auctions.
For 1914, Packard produced the Twin Six in two models, the Model 2-25 and the 2-35. In total, 8999 examples were produced, with 4049 being the Model 2-35 and the remaining 4950 were the Model 2-25. The distinguishing features between these two were that the Model 2-25 rested on a platform that measured 126.5-inches while the Model 2-35 had a 135-inch wheelbase. Powering both were a 424 cubic-inch L-head, 60-degree engine capable of producing nearly 90 horsepower. It had two cast iron blocks and mechanical valve lifters.

The Packard Twin Six was introduced in May of 1915 and it was an engineering tour de force that placed the marque firmly in the top tier of American luxury cars. This new V-12 lifted Packard prestige to an unprecedented level.

From its introduction in 1915 to mid-1923, Packard's Twin Six was the flagship model for the company. After the Twin Six's noble service, it was superseded by the first of the famed straight eights. The Twin Six also was the basis for the successful Liberty V-12 aircraft engine that powered many Allied planes during World War I, and also was the powerplant for several record-breaking land speed and Indy 500 entrants during that period.

This Twin Six Model 2-35 Landulet has a history that can be traced back to 1928, when it was in the care of Henry Branford Lewis, a resident of Andover, Massachusetts. On May 29th of 1948, Mr. Lewis sold the Packard to Roderic M. Blood. After Mr. Blood passed away in 1966, the vehicle was sold at auction to New Jersey industrialist, George Tilp. In the late 1960s, Mr. Tilp began a complete restoration but sold it before the process was complete. It was sold to Phil Hill of Santa Monica, California, who completed the finishing touches.

In 2011, at the Pebble Beach, CA auction presented by Gooding & Company, the car was estimated to sell for $80,000-120,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $192,500 inclusive of buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2011
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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