Sunday, June 26, 2016

Two big Packards in there. It's amazing it floats with all that cast iron.


  1. The blocks were alloy---Ray

  2. Can you imagine the vibration and sound levels of all those detonations and moving parts you would experience piloting that craft while those engines were cranked, especially when actually racing but even when idling. Investigating this on the web, it shows that where the men are sitting IS THE COCKPIT and most pics I saw showed bare pipe exhausts straight up into the air..
    I presume those stacks are intakes for the V12 engines and the exhaust was ?below water level? or uninstalled because I can identify no supercharger, carbs nor exhaust. But, in that case, why are there three banks of stacks for two engines? **********
    I went to the web for an explanation but I am handicapped with poor eyesight and the long articles were too tough to read through and solve it all (damn getting old and useless). Gar Wood apparently was with boat engines like some women with shoes. He dithered over and frequently swapped V-12 Packards and V16 Miller engines in his several boats. The high point (in the early 30s) being a supercharged Miller V16 which was then installed in Miss America VIII.
    NOTE: Miss America X packed 4 V12 engines generating 7,600 HP and set the speedboat record (then, 1932) of over 124mph. I have been in fast boats (40-50mph) and I have to admit to not having enough huevos to even think about crusing at 124 mph in one.

  3. It only needs to float enough till it gets up on plane.

  4. Those are Packard “Liberty” V-12s - aircraft engines Packard built for WWI. The WWI-era Packard aircraft V-12s were all-Packard whereas the WWII Packard “Merlin” V-12 aircraft engines were originally a Rolls-Royce design. The Merlins were extraordinarily complex (14,000 parts!). RR couldn’t figure out how to mass produce them, but Packard did and built over 50,000 of them in WWII.

    The Liberty V-12s from WWI weighed just under 900 pounds and developed (depending on tune) 400 - 450 horsepower. The Liberty was designed over one weekend (!) by Packard’s VP of Engineering, Col. Jesse Vincent and Elbert Hall.

    I think that the man on the right in that photo is Gar Wood himself. The “Gar” is short for Garfield. He made his fortune by designing the first hydraulic lift and that enabled him to pursue his passion for boating. His first boats were built for him by Chris Smith Boat works - which became Chris Craft after Gar Wood set up his own boat building operation. In 1929 (?), Packard’s Col. Vincent, who also liked fast boats, beat Gar Wood in a boat race. Col. Vincent was piloting a Packard Liberty V-12-powered boat built by Chriscraft as it was called at that time. The Packard-powered Chriscrafts were called Packard-Chriscraft.

    Just as the Liberty and Merlin V-12s were different, the Packard V-12 that went into the PT boats in WWII was an entirely different engine. The V-12s that went into the PT boats weighed almost 3,000 pounds. Each PT boat took 3 of them.