scott12180

Packard Twelve versus Pierce Twelve

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On 7/30/2017 at 0:49 PM, alsancle said:

Here is a good video where you can see the tach and the speedo at the same time.  About 2k at 60 mph.

 

 

An Auburn has a great powerplant and gearing all be it certainly is lighter weight which relates to some degree to "lighter quality" than plenty of other CCCA cars, though I will tell you that for touring an 851/852 is probably the second best pre-1953-1955 American made car built (and while a lot of patience is needed to well sort out a Cord 810/812 is probably first).  And, the same problem exists today that existed in 1935 = most people will never be behind the wheel to test drive to figure out its driveability.

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alsancle    437
4 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

An Auburn has a great powerplant and gearing all be it certainly is lighter weight which relates to some degree to "lighter quality" than plenty of other CCCA cars, though I will tell you that for touring an 851/852 is probably the second best pre-1953-1955 American made car built (and while a lot of patience is needed to well sort out a Cord 810/812 is probably first).  And, the same problem exists today that existed in 1935 = most people will never be behind the wheel to test drive to figure out its driveability.

 

Good point John on the Cord.  As a kid I sat in the passenger seat of a 812 SC from Mass to Akron twice going to my grandparents.  From there we would get left off as my parents continued to Auburn.  My dad would sit at 65-70 no problems and never had a single issue with the car.   Although one year our 59 Silver Wraith blew a water pump on 80 dead in the middle of nowhere.  The owner of the nearest garage was hero on that one.

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SaddleRider    32
On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2017 at 9:45 AM, alsancle said:

 

 

On the Packard 12,  earlier in the Summer I was driving a 35 into a show.  There were maybe 20 cars in the line so things were creeping along at a very slow pace.  I didn't realize until I has made it past the checkin that I had the transmission in 3rd the whole time.  Tremendous torque, no shuddering or hesitation. 

 

Alsancle's above comment underscores the problem with most pre-war cars when we try and drive them on today's roads in today's traffic.  Way to "low" ( numerically high )  final drive ratios.  

 

Yes, of course any of the big "super-luxury" cars of that era can go 70 or even 80 mph.   And (assuming they are properly maintained )  they will remain smooth and quiet; difficult to tell from the driver's seat that you are beating them to death !

 

My modern car has a MUCH shorter "stroke" than my pre-war super-luxury car.   So the forces beating on the crank-shaft are far, far less. At 65 mph,  its motor (and everything attached to it...!) is going MUCH MUCH slower.    "Do the math" to get a perspective on this.   A car with a 4.5 to one final drive ratio will have to go FIVE HUNDRED MILES FARTHER in a thousand mile trip, to cover the same distance as a car with, say, a 2.8 final drive ratio. 

 

True, I could get a Greyhound bus or a "eighteen wheeler" going very nicely with my Honda lawn mower engine,  if I geared it low enough !

 

The simple "bottom line" here is the product developers of the big luxury cars of the pre war era knew what they were doing.  The idea of a "car buff" who liked to shift gears,  was pretty much unknown. Certainly no point in engineering a product for them !   

 

Was Packard really that far off the mark in gearing its cars as low as it did,  even tho by the mid 1930's much higher road speeds were practical ? 

 

No question a bone-stock Pierce with overdrive would be far more practical on the open road than a Packard of the same price class.    But for all its superiority as a result of its overdrive,  Pierce went out of business for lack of sales, and Packard didn't. 

 

So yes,  any of the big classics will start moving with little fuss in top gear from a dead stop with "stock" rear axle ratios..   So what?

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alsancle    437
On 8/4/2017 at 11:57 AM, SaddleRider said:

 

No question a bone-stock Pierce with overdrive would be far more practical on the open road than a Packard of the same price class.    But for all its superiority as a result of its overdrive,  Pierce went out of business for lack of sales, and Packard didn't. 

 

 

Pierce didn't have the 120 & 110 line to support itself.  I think Ed would agree with your first sentence.  I'm a big fan of Pierce although I have only been a passenger and never a driver.  My issue is that sometimes the styling is not that great.  Generally all Packards are attractive, except the Rollson High Hats.

 

DadAndIAtGreenwich.thumb.JPG.33335d55fa6177c8ed33b26a0755929f.JPG

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)

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Grimy    293
25 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

YOU CAN PULL OFF FROM A TRAFFIC LIGHT OR STOP SIGN AND EVERYONE IS INCREDIBLY IMPRESSED.

Wow!  Now THERE'S a wonderful reason to buy an expensive car that's wound out at 50 mph!  Or, another technique for a silent departure from the curb is to engage the clutch in 1st without throttle and upshift to 2nd at about 4 mph and a second later add throttle.

 

For 1936-38, Pierce used the Borg-Warner R-1 mechanical OD with 4.58 gears, nearly as low as Packard's 4.69, but the effective final ratio in OD was 3.23.  It's an excellent combination.

 

Pierces through 1920 were tall-geared despite the roads of the day and their 25-inch wheels used 1918-20. My 1918 has 3.53s and the standard ratio for 5-p tourings was 3.33.  For 1921 (Series 32), the Company deliberately (per the Saleman's Data Book) went to a 3-speed trans (vs earlier 4-speed) and 4.0 and deeper gears depending on body style to make shifting easier--by not having to shift as frequently.  One would think that the synch-2nd-and 3rd transmissions adopted by both Pierce and Packard for 1932 would have been sufficient reason for them to gear their cars a little taller.  

 

 

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2 hours ago, Grimy said:

Wow!  Now THERE'S a wonderful reason to buy an expensive car that's wound out at 50 mph!  Or, another technique for a silent departure from the curb is to engage the clutch in 1st without throttle and upshift to 2nd at about 4 mph and a second later add throttle.

 

For 1936-38, Pierce used the Borg-Warner R-1 mechanical OD with 4.58 gears, nearly as low as Packard's 4.69, but the effective final ratio in OD was 3.23.  It's an excellent combination.

 

Pierces through 1920 were tall-geared despite the roads of the day and their 25-inch wheels used 1918-20. My 1918 has 3.53s and the standard ratio for 5-p tourings was 3.33.  For 1921 (Series 32), the Company deliberately (per the Saleman's Data Book) went to a 3-speed trans (vs earlier 4-speed) and 4.0 and deeper gears depending on body style to make shifting easier--by not having to shift as frequently.  One would think that the synch-2nd-and 3rd transmissions adopted by both Pierce and Packard for 1932 would have been sufficient reason for them to gear their cars a little taller.  

 

 

I am laughing, though not sure Great Grandmother ever wanted anything more than a smooth ride from her parking garage to the department store.  

 

By the way, I was reading RR PI gear ratios and they are outright ahead of their time - the only problem is the car still seems to more about low end torque.

 

Sidenote:  Every Pierce Arrow owner I have ever met says highest quality car they have ever worked on.

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)

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SaddleRider    32
On ‎8‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 7:35 AM, Grimy said:

.  One would think that the synch-2nd-and 3rd transmissions adopted by both Pierce and Packard for 1932 would have been sufficient reason for them to gear their cars a little taller.  

 

 

 

You are under-estimating what the super-luxury market was all about in those days.    Manufacturers, then and now,  TRY TO know something about their market, and tailor their products to meet the expectations of that market. 

 

Yes, we both know that by the mid 1930's,  paved highways, some absolutely straight for mile upon mile,  made inter-city  high-speed traffic practical.  But think about the "mind-set" of the typical super-luxury car buyer.   He was no "car buff" as we understand the concept today.   He was likely born before the turn of the last century; grew up in an era where he had little contact with mechanical devices.

 

Shifting gears without a lot of fuss,  in transmissions manufactured before the synchro-mesh era was problematical for many.    Of course by the mid 1930's,  the super luxury cars had transmissions that shifted easily, "like a knife thru warm butter".  Didn't matter;  the less the buyer had to shift, the more that buyer liked his car.

 

Thus the  interest to develop a "no-shift" car in that became a frenzy in the late 1930's.

 

Of course modern logic says the manufacturers were nuts to gear cars as powerful as the big "super-luxury" cars as low as they did.  They weren't nuts - they were simply trying to meet the expectations of their buyers !

 

Yes - most of us know "long stroke" motors impose punishing loads on connecting rod bearings,  at rotational speeds that are many times higher for any given road speed than modern practice.   The engineers had no choice - low octane fuels made those long strokes necessary.  Then we combine the desire of the market to gear the car to shift as little as possible.

 

Bottom line - I suggest you are in error if you try and understand the pre-war engineer's criteria using the logic of we fellow car buffs !

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