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Packard Twelve versus Pierce Twelve


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Would anyone care to share some experience and opinion on the relative merits of the Packard Twelve versus the Pierce Arrow Twelve of the early-to-mid-1930's?

I'm sure everyone has their favorite, but from an engineeing point of view, from a reliability point of view, from a practicality point of view, etc. How would you compare the cars. I am speaking of owning one today, not necessarily back then.

Perhaps another way to phrase the question might be, what are the negative aspects of either car? Why would you avoid owning either one? It would be nice to hear from someone who has owned both and can really compare the two.

thanks for the thoughts. . .

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Hi- I've owned the Pierce 12, and can say that the torque and power are incredible. Mine was a '34 production Silver Arrow, and with all standard, original gearing, would go 70 to 75 easily. The mid 30's Pierce 12 was 462 cubic inches, while the Packard 12 was 385 cubic inches. That info was a quick Internet search, so I can stand to be corrected, and it may have varied through the years.

I've been inside both engines in the 8 cylinder configuration, and would rather work on and drive behind the Pierce 8 any time over the Packard. I've not worked on 12's, so it'll be interesting to see what the experienced engine builder might say here.

From an actual hands-on engineering standpoint, I believe the Pierce to be superior, it may be just a factor of 10 or 15 % better, but better. Stronger castings, more robust construction, hydraulic lifters vs. mechanical, are all good points about Pierce.

Let the fun begin.

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Yep, I should have gone to my Packard book, was in a hurry, searched Internet and must have picked up an 8 cylinder number, sorry. Would still love to hear from someone who rebuilds 12's, a good experience opinion on the engineering and how robust, from a real standpoint. Fun stuff.

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That much I can help with.

There were (at least) three Pierce Twelve engines.

In 1932, they offered a 398 cu-in (3-1/4" x 4) and a 429 (3-3/8 x 4). The 398 was only marginally more powerful than the 366 Eight due to the added internal friction and was dropped the following year.

In 1933 and later (not sure how much later) they offered the same 429 as the "small" Twelve plus a 469 (3-1/2 x 4) as the big Twelve.

--Scott

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For what it is worth on relative merits of cars, back in the 1960s I knew an old-time Cadillac mechanic who had worked on the great V-8s, 12s and 16s during the 1930s. And that's what he chose to work on when old cars became a hobby to him.

However, he said that he really respected Pierce Arrows -- but also, that Packards were great too.

Maybe the point is that they were both darn good, admirable cars -- and so were the Cadillacs.

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I'd still like to hear from a mechanic who has worked on both 12's. The machinist who works on my engines has told me what he thinks, not on 12's, but on both my '38 Packard Super 8 and a '31 Pierce 8 engines. He's been into both of them, soup to nuts, and he says he'll take the Pierce engine anytime, more robust construction, easier to work on, etc.

I agree, both are great engines, and great cars. Engineering design, and the execution of that design into the metal that makes the engine, can differ, however.

For example, if you talk to people who know the late 30's Packard engines, you'll find out that a LOT of them (particularly 1938 Super 8's) have casting problems, which show up as cracks in the block. The most common location for cracks is between valve seats. For some reason, this doesn't show up in '37 or '39 engines. This would lead one to believe that it was a material or casting technique problem, as the '37 and '38 engines are basically identical for sure.

Anyone out there with hands-on rebuilding experience of both 12's????

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  • 1 month later...

I'd like to expand this discussion as to which was the overall better engine, the 1932-38 Pierce V-12, or the 1932-39 Packard Twelve. Has anyone unearthed any SAE or vintage tech papers, articles? Hard facts, not opinion. Pierce got good public relations value from Ab Jenkins' 24-hour Bonneville speed runs in a multi-carbureted, finely tuned, stripped down Pierce 12 roadster. Packard owned what luxury market remained in the Depression so probably didn't feel a need for such a stunt, tho' a Packard Twelve did beat a golf ball in a well-publicized event at the Packard Proving Grounds, then the fastest track on earth.

Seagraves used the Pierce 12 in their fire trucks into the late 1950s or early '60s, but rather than this suggest superiority it should be remembered that Seagraves bought the tooling for pennies on the dollar. Similarly, American LaFrance used an enlarged version of the Auburn V-12 with twin ignition.

I'm especially interested in both engines' final guise, the 462-cid Pierce 12, and 473-cid Packard Twelve. The final generation 1936-38 Pierce-Arrow 8 and 12 came with standard Warner Gear overdrive, which the Packard Twelve could've benifited from. But that's a car disparity.

What i'd like to find out is which was the better engine? Which had the edge? Or is it just too close to call?

Paging Dr. Hartmann and others. But i'd really like to hear if there are any SAE papers, etc. Hard facts.

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I'd like to expand this discussion as to which was the overall better engine, the 1932-38 Pierce V-12, or the 1932-39 Packard Twelve. Has anyone unearthed any SAE or vintage tech papers, articles? Hard facts, not opinion. Pierce got good public relations value from Ab Jenkins' 24-hour Bonneville speed runs in a multi-carbureted, finely tuned, stripped down Pierce 12 roadster. Packard owned what luxury market remained in the Depression so probably didn't feel a need for such a stunt, tho' a Packard Twelve did beat a golf ball in a well-publicized event at the Packard Proving Grounds, then the fastest track on earth.

Seagraves used the Pierce 12 in their fire trucks into the late 1950s or early '60s, but rather than this suggest superiority it should be remembered that Seagraves bought the tooling for pennies on the dollar. Similarly, American LaFrance used an enlarged version of the Auburn V-12 with twin ignition.

I'm especially interested in both engines' final guise, the 462-cid Pierce 12, and 473-cid Packard Twelve. The final generation 1936-38 Pierce-Arrow 8 and 12 came with standard Warner Gear overdrive, which the Packard Twelve could've benifited from. But that's a car disparity.

What i'd like to find out is which was the better engine? Which had the edge? Or is it just too close to call?

Paging Dr. Hartmann and others. But i'd really like to hear if there are any SAE papers, etc. Hard facts.

We've had a couple of Packard 12s in the family and still have one, but the ongoing 40 year long restoration seems to have gone over schedule so I can't comment on driving one. I've always liked the Pierce Arrow, although I've never driven one of those either. I'm wondering how the overdrive gear worked on the Pierce? Was the unit integral with the transmission or mounted behind it. Does it work on all 3 gears or is it like Mercedes where it's an over the top gear off of 3rd?

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Dr. Hartm--Duck Fur makes a good point in an earlier e-mail on this thread about the Packard Twelve's more generous water passages and, of course, the valve arrangement, shared with the 1936-37 Cord 810/812 Lycoming V-8.

But it would still be nice if someone here could unearth or direct us to SAE papers on both engines, as these were arguably the two best luxury mills in the nation, if not the world.

Alsancle asks about the final generation 1936-38 Pierce 8 & 12 overdrive, which i understand to be a Warner Gear R-1 unit which bolts to the back of the transmission, is largely mechanical, coming in to play centrifugally at speeds of 40-45 mph, and locked out with a cable, like the later Packard R-9 and R-11 units, which had electrical control. Packard's first year for overdrive was 1939, and since only 446 '39 Twelves were delivered, Packard saw little sense in adapting a Warner Gear unit for their Twelve.

Pierce's speedometer features three coincentric rings showing mph, rpm in 3rd gear underdrive, and in 3rd gear overdrive.

You'd think the principle designers of both the Packard and Pierce V-12s would've written about their work in the day's SAE Journal. Of course, they're both fine mechanisms, but it'd be enlightening to glean the subtle differences.

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  • 6 months later...

I can speak for the 473 Packard V12 as I have been working and driving one for 20 years now and it is a very reliable torquie engine. with roller lifter and rockers it is smooth and reliable.

Could use an OD as 65-70mph is a good cruising speed with all the original running gear.

I drive it around town and never have to take it out of third gear.

The 39 I drive has the HC heads on it and only problem Ive had is the heads finnaly rotted and had to be replaced.

Its not as fuel friendly as my 40 super 8 and will not hold a candle to it for everyday driving or long trips. My personal preferance would be the Packard Super 8.

I have not seen a Pierce Arrow V12 running around my area, guess those that own them wont drive them, Shame to waste a car like that to a static display.

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Also have a 48 Lincoln Conv Coupe(not CCCA qulified but much rarer than a continential)

The little V12 will keep up and eat the mighty Packard on the road while getting 18mpg with the edelbrock 2x2 intake in OD.

Another fun car to drive as a daily driver. The ignition is the only pain to work on.

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Also have a 48 Lincoln Conv Coupe(not CCCA qulified but much rarer than a continential)

The little V12 will keep up and eat the mighty Packard on the road while getting 18mpg with the edelbrock 2x2 intake in OD.

Another fun car to drive as a daily driver. The ignition is the only pain to work on.

Is the Lincoln stock? I've never driven one myself so I can't comment from experience but I've heard many guys call them dogs - especially complaining if they get stuck behind one on a caravan going up hill. Is this criticism unfair?

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Wow, this old thread now reminds me of the discussion on early teens Cadillacs----I've heard many time that they are beautiful cars with engines a work of art, copper jacketed cylinders.....but any other four cylinder brass car can pass them on a hill.....easily.....fun stuff

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My Lincoln is stock except for 3 ring aluminum pistons, opened up the intake and exhaust runners rebalanced and blueprinted the entire engine and added slightly larger exhaust and the 2x2 intake manifold. I have driven it up hwy 80 from Sacramento to Reno and it will do better than hold its own on the steep grades. Most people dont know how to maintain thier old engines thats why they get a bad rap for being slugs. I drive mine all the time so I keep it in top shape.

But with the right gearing you just cant beat the Packard V12 for its dependability and power.

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  • 5 years later...

I'm shocked to see that Ed Minnie has not replied to this thread.   One thing I have learned in the last year is that it is very easy to warm over a Pierce 12, bring it up to almost 500 cubic inches and really make it a performer all without altering appearance, idle, or durability.

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The reading I did on Ferrari states the he was impressed early on with the performance of a Packard twin-six of the teens, not by the later V-12's.....and being familiar with Italian style of engineering, I doubt his engine designer paid much attention to other designs....

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AJ also known as Alsancle has asked me to chime in on this post. As I will always honor any request he makes of me, here it goes. A comparison of the Pierce twelve to the Packard twelve. I could do an hour long video comparing and contrasting the two engines. We could talk design, efficiency, power, aesthetics, longevity, ease of service, the list could go on for quite some length. I have had countless experiance with Pierce V12 cars, worked on more than 35 cars that I can think of, and driven more than 25 of them. I have more than 25,000 miles behind the wheel on them. I have driven no less than ten Packard V12's from 1932 to 1938. Total mileage is in excess of 750 miles, at all speeds and road conditions. I have worked on and serviced several of them, and looked over and handled every major engine component of the Packard twelve. I have a good basic understanding of the Packard engine, including roadside tuning and repair. Stock motor comparison the Pierce has 20 percent more power and a quite a bit more torque. The Packard and Pierce properly tuned are both very smooth and have no signs of vibration at idle all the way to full throttle. It seems they both have similar starting and cold blooded traits. Acceleration and pulling power goes to the Pierce hands down, it's a bigger difference than one would expect, the Packard is adequate for its time, the Pierce will impress you with its surplus power. The Packard engine is much more pleasing to the eye and in finished detail. No argument there. The Packard motor is more "flowing and finished". The Pierce engine is more industrial and heavy equipment in nature. In 1932 a Pierce V-12 ran at The salt flats for 24 hours averaging 117.5 miles per hour, NO other American multi cylinder motor could come close pre war........NONE. They were indestructible as long as they had oil in them. That's why Seagrave used them as a power source for fire truck pumpers. They ran at 80 percent throttle for days on end pumping 1000gpm for years serving as front line equipment into the 1990's. I think it's a fair statement that the Pierce 12 was the most powerful and reliable of the great pre war motors. Yup, a J will make more power but it won't hold together at wide open throttle like a Pierce 12 will, and I know of no other power plant pre war that would. I am sure many people will disagree.....but AJ asked. Both Packard and Pierce built GREAT cars, and Packard in general had better styling overall than Pierce, but when it comes to driving them, Pierce is the tops. I am a Pierce guy........and will always will be, my father was a Pierce fan, but owned many more Packards in the old days and always praised them. I guess the son must rebel and carry a different torch. We could go on for pages about chassis, transmission, fuel, oiling, exhaust, ect....... With both cars having excellent construction and engineering methods. Truth be known both of them are great cars. As an interesting side note, a friend of mine has both world class Packard and Pierce twelves. Recently he purchased a new Packard 12 and after driving it for an hour, he brought it back to me and said it's great, but needs to be tuned and dialed in as it just didn't pull the hills or have the power or acceleration of the Pierce. The Packard was running fine and there was no room for improvement, it just doesn't perform as well......... This coming from a owner who has multiple Packard and Pierce twelves. An unbiased opinion. As to my two cents....... I would include several other cars that have great engines and are often not included in the list of GREAT power plants. Marmon 16 and Bently Speed Six are just the first two off the top of my head......but that's another story!

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Thanks Ed!   I think that was a very fair write up.  I'm wondering if the Packard engine has the room to be "tweaked' the way you can with the Pierce.  Also, I agree with your "finish" comment as the Packard certainly has a higher level of finish on it while the Pierce has a certain "industrial" look to it.

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Thank you, Edinmass - few people have such deep experience with these cars.  Too often we hear people share cliches that have been passed down over the years, when they really should say "I don't know."

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Thanks Ed for your assessment of both engines from considerable personal experience, something most of us lack.  To what engineering features and details of the Pierce-Arrow twelve engine do you attribute the more robust character?  Bore/stroke ratio?  Bearing surface size? Oiling and cooling system design? Metallurgy? 

Edited by 58L-Y8 (see edit history)
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  • 11 months later...

Since Ed was gracious enough to let me drive his 36 Pierce 12 this summer I thought I would bring this back to the top with some comments.   I was really impressed with the power and drivablility.  Just an easy car to handle in general.   Pierce made a couple of small design mistakes with the vent windows (which can cut your fingers off on a sharp turn if open) and the parking brake (which can prevent you from exiting when engaged) but what a great car.  A double lucked out and got to drive a 36 12 Conv too.  This was a fresh restoration and just so easy to handle.

 

As a side note, we were following Ed's Pierce on the NE Caravan which was following a Duesenberg.  There were spots where the Model J was just flying and the Pierce was hanging right with him.

 

I come from a Packard family but I have to say that the more I learn about Pierce the more impressed I am.

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24 minutes ago, alsancle said:

I come from a Packard family but I have to say that the more I learn about Pierce the more impressed I am.

 

Same here. Now that I've spent a lot of time with this coupe, I'm more and more impressed. Compared to the '34 Packard sedan I sold recently, the Pierce has lighter control efforts and man, it's strong! The Pierce isn't quite as smooth as the Packard, but it's a pleasant mechanical feeling, not a flaw, and I'd say that the Pierce will easily outrun the Packard (although it's coupe vs. sedan). I'm also impressed by how over-built the Pierce is: fully boxed frame, oversized suspension components, giant brakes. No wonder they went out of business, that's just too much time and material for a car.

 

I'm talking eight-cylinder cars, I have no experience with a Pierce 12, but you can count me as a Pierce fan. I wish I could find a way to keep this coupe, I haven't loved a car this much maybe ever.

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Ed is the expert for sure on Pierce Arrow engines (and a lot of Pierce information in general!).  Every now and then a Pierce turns up that few people know about, but Ed ALWAYS seems to know the cars!

 

I don't have the experience Ed does, but I have been into Pierce and Packard engines of the 30's.  I own one of each, so I can say this as a neutral party, even though being stoned by Packard people may be a result:  the Pierce engine almost makes the Packard engine look effeminate.

 

The Pierce engine is more robustly built, simpler, and overall, just made to last.  It is true that it looks more "industrial" than a Packard engine, I'd never thought of it that way.

 

For example, look at the mid to late 30's.  Pierce engines had hydraulic lifters (an engine improvement pioneered by Pierce, although I believe early Cadillac V-16;s used them too).  The Packard valve lift system wasn't even a simple pushrod style, but rather a  side rocker arm that moved a pushrod, quite a lot of parts added to engine design and all needing adjustment. 

 

I can't speak much to metallurgy, except to say that Packard had metallurgical problems in 1938, for sure, in their block castings.  It's well known in Packard circles that 1938 straight eight blocks are of two varieties, those that have developed cracks, and those that will develop cracks.  These are usually cracks in the top of the block between valve seats.  My 1938 1604 is dead in the water right now, because of this cracking, and my block is not repairable.

 

Someone could probably source the bearing surface areas, that would be an interesting comparison.

 

My opinion is that Pierce emphasized chassis engineering, and styling was a secondary consideration.  Packard emphasized styling, and while their engineering was quite good, it wasn't the driving force behind selling cars.  This statement applies mostly to cars of the 1930's, as before then, styling wasn't as big a consideration to any car company, form followed function.

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Thank you fellas for the nice words........I hope to live up to them some day! It's been a busy and eventful summer. I have had an opportunity to put about 750 miles on Packard 12's since I first posted here, another 1600 miles on several Pierce 12's, and 1900 miles on two Model J's. All great cars, well sorted and running and performing at their full potential. All three cars have a diffrent feel while driving them. How to pick a favorite? We shal try......

 

If we took the top ten current super models and lined them up on the cat walk in let's say the swim wear competition, and there were three of us judging the ladies........... And I turn to you and say, pick out the best looking of the bunch, the least attractive one of the bunch, and the one that you find overall most appealing taking into consideration all possible aspects of what you find attractive in a lady, the diffrent answers would sure be interesting..........remembering we are trying to pick out the "standouts" of the top ten super models! Would any of us be embarrassed of hesitant of being seen with any of them? No, so I think one can honestly compare the three cars that are the subject of this thread. They are all world class, just with diffrent attributes that make each one special in their own way. Taking any one of these cars........or ladies .......... For a ride will always be a positive experience!

 

Interesting observations of the cars....... Model J, Packard 12, and Pierce 12.

 

 

Overall in the last 24 months I have driven no less than seven Duesenberg's and the most interesting attribute of them is they seem to be the most poorly maintained, poorly running, and suffer from poor workmanship of restoration than any other cars I have ever worked on, and believe me I have worked on a bunch of stuff. You think the owners of these legendary cars would see to it that only the best quailified people would lay their hands on them.......nope, there are lots of collectors who let the cars sit, with old gas, weak batteries, tires with flat spots, exhaust leaks, oil leaks, overheating issues, clutch chatter, wrong parts, ect,ect,ect! When running and sorted properly the J is a GREAT car......and overall lives up to the legend of being the best American car built before WWII, yup it's number one........in style, in power, and performance ..............that is if you like driving a dump truck! Ok, that may be a bit much, but the J is the best.......BUT     It is heavy and a much less refined driving experience. For a short drive of under an hour, it can't be beat. Period. They can be hard to get into and out of, steer heavy, shift hard with their crash box, and burn fuel like it's going out of style, and they tire the driver out pretty quickly. Drive one over two hundred miles in a day,(we did) and when you get out of it, it feels like you got your ass kicked in a school lot fight. You feel,every bump, rut, hill, body sway, vibration, every part of the road gets transferred into your body. Getting out of the car after seven or eight hours driving and you know you accomplished a impressive and special feat, driving the worlds best car, being seen in a true masterpiece of style and engineering, but man, is your ass dragging. We won't even consider purchase cost, or matainance frequency, if money and time were no object, it's the Model J hands down.

 

The Packard 12........ Is our next contestant. I will refer to the Individual Custom Dietrich series from 1932 to 1934 for this exercise, yup, the Big Boy Toy........ As its Coachwork is most similar to what you find on a J. Beautiful styling, the best, hands down in my opinion the most beautiful cars ever designed, from the start of time to today, the Individual Custom Dietrich Packard 12's are the most beautiful design ever placed on four wheels. The chassis and motor are extremely refined and elegant, smooth and detailed, quality and finish are the tops, road manners are wonderful, and it's almost impossible to find any fault with the cars, and any you can name are almost not worth commenting on as they are so insignificant. Increase the Packards horsepower and torque and I would consider them a perfect motorcar. The power is adequate, it is very smooth and predictable,  a bit under powered............ Only when driving in the 80 percentile and above does it lack anything, and almost no one today drives these cars in that range........ But I do, so thus the comment. Overall the golden era of the custom Packard 12 wins the "best overall road car for the luxury car buyer" no questions asked. The Packard is a gem, if you were going to purchase such a machine today, nothing modern can compare at all, not even close, today's Bentley or Rolls just isn't a third the refinement and attention to detail of the golden era of Packard.  And the Packard Individual Custom Dietrich's biggest downfall is a BIG one........PRICE. No working man can afford one today, they are MUCH more expensive than you think.......think again and double it, and then add your last ten years salary to it. Duesenberg's can be bought on the cheap compared to the Individual Custom Dietrich Packard cars. 

 

Time me to take a break, I'll get back to Pierce Arrow's in my next post. Ed

 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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"My dog is better than your dog"....?

Enjoyed browsing this "thread" about which is better - Pierce or Packard Twelves....

 

Fun reading - no question about it - people love to share their opinions,  Who cares about technical facts if we are having fun...!

 

For example, I   "learned" from one poster ( who claims to be well-versed on the subject..!)  that "Packard V-12's are a bit under-powered".  Another who claims he is "into" these engines tells us Packard V-12's have a "rocker arm that moves a push-rod"...!   And still another tells us "Pierce had giant brakes".....!

 

Yes, of course in addition to the nonsense, I did find some comments I agree completely with.  One of our contributors pointed out the sad story ( he was picking on Dusies, but unfortunately, his remarks are equally valid for so many of the high-value cars you see displayed today).   

 

He noted... sad to see so many high-value big-engine classics reduced to little more than very pretty "costume jewelery".   If they can make it from their trailer out to their assigned spot on the show-field, the owners are satisfied.

 

Back in the real world, there were not separate engineering schools for Pierce Arrow and Packard.  Sorry to have to tell you guys there are not different laws of physics and chemistry for the two makes.

 

Yes, if you are accustomed to a car of the weight of a Buick, the brakes on a heavier Pierce will seem huge.    Basic law of physics; heavier the car, the bigger the brakes. Tells us something about the technical knowledge (  or lack of it...) of the contributor;  dosnt tell us which is the "better" car.   As a side note, I believe Packard bragged its 12 cyl. cars had the largest "swept area" of brake lining;  if there's a dime's worth of difference between the braking capacity of a Pierce or Packard V12 I have not seen that demonstrated.

 

As for power and speed comparisons - again - hate to bother you folks with the laws of chemistry and physics - they wont bend to favor any particular make car.   Simple fact is, given the similarity of design, compression ratio, and displacement, you are going to wind up with similar power.   Well...that is....if both engines have been PROPERLY maintained.

 

Of course there  are variables that can affect performance...weight and "final drive" gearing.  Yes, a stripped down and re-geared Pierce did come close to 120 mph;  in '32 Packard did show their V-12 could beat a golf ball (around 124 mph).  Of course the ones that came out the factory door were geared for the roads of the day - with the exception of the later over-drive equipped Pierce, the big-engine super cars of the pre-war days, again, as delivered with the gear ratios of the day, would be "neck & neck"... lucky to break 90 mph.  No question the over-drive of a later Pierce gave it a tremendous advantage over the Cad., Packard, and Lincoln multi-cyl. cars.

 

Let's be realistic - at modern prestigious car shows, folks pay good money - LOTS of good money, to be entertained by display cars.    The cars that are selected are often brightly painted with paint technology not available during the classic era,  in colors that are not historically correct,  engine parts that were nickel-plated now brightly chrome-plated.  Hardly the way the cars were when placed in service by the original owners.    The owners of these cars have paid a fortune to make them show-worthy;  how they actually run on the open road is of little or no interest to them - certainly not something the show-goers, again, who have paid to be entertained, would know or care about.

 

Phil Hill had a bone-stock Packard V-12.   He loved "driving the cat-nip" out of it around the roads of Southern California.  Of course he knew how to make its motor deliver what it was supposed to do ( yes - it was bone-stock).   A Packard V-12 is "a bit underpowered".....well...depends on who is taking care of it!    I rather doubt if anyone who TRIED to catch Phil when he was out fooling around up Laurel Canyon Blvd. or Coldwater Canyon Blvd....would say Packard 12's are "a bit underpowered" or that they don't handle quite well.....!

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, shinyhubcap said:

there were not separate engineering schools for Pierce Arrow and Packard.  Sorry to have to tell you guys there are not different laws of physics and chemistry for the two makes.

 

Well, Shiny, you can ignore my comments, but if you want to really know how the cow ate the cabbage, pay attention to Mr. Minnie's thoughts.  He's been around these cars for decades, and knows of what he speaks.

 

As to Engineers, since I am one, I can speak on that comment.  Yes, there ARE different schools of thought on how things should be built, and how they thus function.  You seem to think that all cars are the same from an engineering standpoint, and nothing could be further from the truth.  I've worked on American and foreign cars, and I also worked in the food industry for over 30 years, traveling to Europe and Japan to inspect, test, and buy food processing equipment.  Engineering in every country is different.

 

Americans use heavy castings and big bolts and robust parts.  English use lighter weight components, sometimes make simple things very complicated, and in the case of Rolls Royce, "sew" parts together by using a multitude of bolts.  Italians like monkey motion and chains, and if something here needs to be pushed by something there, then you can bet there'll be rods and levers galore.  Japanese are meticulous in precision, as are the Germans, and both design and build machinery that is focused on function.  The French, well, they're in a world of their own, do genius stuff (witness the Citroen hydraulic suspension, a wonderful system), but one needs to really understand it to work on it.

 

If you don't think Packard and Pierce had different thoughts on how an engine should be built, then you've never looked at one.  Sure, they both have crankshafts and pistons and so on, but they are different.  Suspensions and braking were different, too, with Pierce offering power assisted braking while Packard was not, different steering design, and so forth.

 

I believe it's a very interesting discussion, and I don't know what your experience is in the antique and classic car world, but it seems your negative analysis is a little over the top for this friendly thread.....

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9 hours ago, shinyhubcap said:

Let's be realistic - at modern prestigious car shows, folks pay good money - LOTS of good money, to be entertained by display cars.    The cars that are selected are often brightly painted with paint technology not available during the classic era,  in colors that are not historically correct,  engine parts that were nickel-plated now brightly chrome-plated.  Hardly the way the cars were when placed in service by the original owners.    The owners of these cars have paid a fortune to make them show-worthy;  how they actually run on the open road is of little or no interest to them - certainly not something the show-goers, again, who have paid to be entertained, would know or care about.
 

 

 

 

 

I'll agree with this for the most part.  But after the show life of many of these cars they are used for touring and 150 miles a day of driving will sort out the good from the bad pretty quickly. 

 

I don't take Ed's comments as downing the Packard so much as explaining the differences (there are a few) between the two approaches.   How many guys out there have really got the chance to drive a V12 hard of either marque?  Ed has driven both in to the ground.  There are very few guys that can say that AND are willing to candidly talk about it.

 

Ed,  have you ever driven one of the later (post 35) bigger Packard 12s?   Possibly unfair to compare the later Pierce (especially the ones you drive with 500cubes) with the earlier 12.

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AJ, I was keeping my comments compared from the 32 to 35 Packards and Pierce cars. Yes, I have driven the later Packard 12's and they are a good bit of a step up from the earlier cars, but still not caught up to the PA. The late Packard chassis are much better than the earlier Packards and the PA marque to the end. I didn't down the Packard, I rated it better than a PA even before I have commented on the PA cars. I'm off to a wedding in my 1936 V-12 right now, I will finish up the post tonight. 

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THREAD TITLE - fellow asks us to discuss the differences, if any, between Pierce and Packard V-12's

 

"interesting...and every post seems to confrontational"

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Yes Trim - I agree with you - I see that -  my apologies -  clearly, there are some folks in here whose status is such that we do not dare disagree with them. 

 

I note they apparently not only  kicked out some guy,  but also deleted his comment for his noting something about larger water passages in the Packard V-12's cooling system ( I spotted a reference to that earlier in this "thread" - wondered what that was about ).

 

For example, as Matt tells us  "the Pierce will easily outrun the Packard".   True, Matt was honest - he stated later in that post   " I have no experience with a PierceTwelve...".   So what ?   - he and some others in here have a greater right to their opinions.  That's the way it is.

 

So - no problem - I apologize - I will try and remember not to disagree in the future.

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