Page 1 of 2 Next >> Introduced in 1932 as the Twin Six and a year later renamed the Twelve, the V12-engined Packard ranks among the finest American luxury cars of the 1930s. Interestingly, it was originally created to recoup some of the investment to develop an affordable front-wheel-drive car for which a V12 was best suited due its relatively compact dimensions. This sophisticated machine was abandoned because dwindling sales limited the resources available. Instead the V12 was enlarged and fitted in an existing, conventional chassis to create a new range topping model; the Twin Six.
In its original guise, the new V12 displaced just under 6.2 litre, which was actually less than the straight eight found in the DeLuxe Eight. In order to top the existing range, this was increased to 7.3 litre ahead of the Twin Six launch. The sophisticated engine had a cylinder angle of 67° and sported a Stromberg downdraft carburettor. A high mounted actuated the near horizontal valves directly through rockers. The smooth V12 produced 150 bhp in its first guise and with the increased displacement, power was up to 160 bhp. By 1934 a high compression aluminium head was offered, which further raised the power to 180 bhp.
The new engine was fitted in an adapted DeLuxe Eight chassis, which greatly helped reduce development time and expenses. The chassis consisted of a steel ladder frame with an X-shaped cross brace for additional support At the rear the frame swept up to clear the axle. Rushed into production, the Twin Six originally used Packard's worm-and-sector steering but this was quickly replaced by the superior worm-and-roller steering produced by Gemmer. A three-speed gearbox was fitted with a synchronised second and third gear. The customer had a choice of four different final drive ratios to best suit their specific needs. Page 1 of 2 Next >>