1918 PACKARD TWIN SIX MODEL 3-25 RUNABOUT
Chassis No. 154991
Engine No. 154991
Beige with dark beige fenders and belting with tan leather interior and a beige canvas top
Engine: L-head, V-12, cast in two blocks of six, 424.1ci., 90bhp at 2,600rpm; Gearbox: three-speed manual with reverse; Suspension: front and rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: two wheel internal expanding and external contracting. Left hand drive.
One of the greatest contributors to the long and storied history of the Packard Motor Car Company is undoubtedly Colonel Jesse Vincent. Vincent's relentless pursuit of the twelve cylinder engine proved to be one of the most astute, cunning and profitable ventures the company ever undertook. His presentations to top executives on the revolutionary engine are reported to have begun as early as 1914. It was not that the V-8 engine configuration was a bad idea, Vincent just knew that the balance of two pairs of six vee opposed cylinders would be the formula for motoring success. Only a short time after introducing and essentially selling the idea to the top brass at Packard, an experimental version was ready for testing and in fact far exceeded the expectations of nearly everyone. Vincent was obviously very proud of his new engine. Made up of two banks of L-head six cylinders, the engine had become slightly narrower as bore and stroke had been decreased enough to allow the larger capacity engine to fit snugly within the chassis rails. Overall, horsepower on the first year production cars of 1916 was rated at about 88. Performance was quite impressive and the now very agile cars proved themselves to be a supremely executed balance between weight, horsepower and torque. Packard had swiftly become a very successful automotive empire as the company was employing over 10,000 people nationwide. Their continual success bolstered this figure as the popularity of the new Twin Six line showed steady and continual increases in sales in the years following the new twelve cylinder car's introduction.
The 1918/19 Packard Twin Six, referred to as the Third Series, was a further step in the evolution of the engine's design. The improved head design provided for better breathing which in turn gave way to a modest increase in horsepower. Additionally, the gearshift lever was relocated to the center of the floor adding a new, much appreciated driver convenience. Production of the Third Series cars, which actually continued into 1919, was begun in July of 1917 and topped off at nearly 10,000 units in total, an impressive figure that truly spoke for Packard's successful new design. A well-admired motor car on the road, the designers managed to continue production utilizing the distinctive Packard radiator shape. Much like the Pierce-Arrow's fender incorporated headlamps, this very recognizable design allowed the onlooker to know immediately what kind of car was about to pass them. Nearly 20 different body styles on two different wheelbases were available that year. The example on offer here was constructed on the 128 inch wheelbase designated by Packard as the Model 3-25.
Since joining the Browning Collection in 1995, this example has seen little use and we understand it has been used quite sparingly. We understand that the car's most recent owner was Mr. Milo Smith from whom Mr. Browning purchased the car. Overall, this example displays some signs of body alteration as the rear section of the car may have been redesigned by a prior owner to create a rear rumbleseat as some more recent welding marks are present along and inside the rear fenders. The car appears to have had a more recent repaint, though undoubtedly prior to Mr. Browning's ownership of the car. The radiator shell and headlamps, which are painted as well, are a slightly different shade than the rest of the car. Though presentable, the paintwork in general appears to have been applied quite heavily. There are some various stress chips and cracks across the bodywork as well as on the dashboard. The tan leather interior is presentable, the dashboard and instrument cluster appears correct and features a Waltham speedometer and clock, the headlamps are correct Packard examples and feature Liberty Lenses. The chassis, running gear and underbody appear clean and tidy and are painted to match the body. The Packard is currently fitted with a mismatched set of tires, as the front set are 35x5 inch R.J.A. Pneumatics and the rears are 35x5 Goodyears; a spare of each is mounted at the rear of the car. Though this example may require some mechanical attention prior to regular use, it is a significant example of the strong willed and sporty Twin Six motor cars that would find Packard thanking its creator, Mr. Jesse Vincent, for many years to follow.