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1916 - 23 Twin-Six


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Hi Steve,

There are a number of Twin Sixes around but I don't see them driven. I think the brakes are the big issue, as they are a heavy car with two wheel brakes only. Fuel is not a problem. They should cruise nicely at 40 - 45 as you would expect. The problem is tring to stop them. That and alot of owners are now elderly and have a hard time handling a substantial car. And, too I guess, parts just aren't as plentiful as with later cars. And.... (I keep thinking of things) for all but the 1915's, there isn't a club hosting tours for Twins to participate with their own vintage, so you see them very seldomly on the road.

Check the web site "packardsonline.com" for a list of what's owned and by whom.

Twin Sixes are magnificent cars and I've wanted one for thirty years. I own a 1926 236 (Eight) Phaeton which is a delightful road car with a powerful engine, overdrive and four wheel brakes. Even if I had a Twin, I'd probably be more inclined to go for local drives with the Eight.

Do you have a Twin Six?

--Scott

dwyers@rpi.edu

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Don't know about driving one today, but in the '50s and '60s I knew a fellow who had a '21 Twin-Six touring that he and his wife drove from Houston to Indianapolis at 50-55 MPH. That car is currently under new ownership and is being re-restored here in Houston.

What overdrive did you put on the '26 phaeton, and where can I get one for my '29 640 Super 8 roadster? I have the 4:07 rear end ratio, but wouldn't mind a little more speed to avoid getting run over.

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Well, yes, theoretically a Twin will go as fast as 70 mph. When the Twin was announced it was driven around the speedway at Indianapolis, reaching 70 mph with top and windshield up, so they are capable. But you certainly don't want to push an 85 year old car that fast. They are still geared rather low to suit the conditions of the day. The ones that I drove seemed comfortable at 40-45. It's the babbit in the engine bearings that gets pounded at high speeds. Remember these things have a long stroke, so that's alot of mass slinging around in there. The last thing you want is to throw a rod on a Twin Six engine. And, too, how do you stop the thing at 60 mph??? No, my philosophy has always been to drive an antique car like an antique. Even with my 1926 Eight and its overdrive, I never get it above 50, typically cruising at 40 - 45.

Steve -- what do you like, the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Series? Me, I want a 1st or 2nd.

--Scott

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On the overdrive, mine is a Mitchell unit. Made in California by a small family-run business. Nice folks. They originally made these things for motor homes and trucks, then branched out into antique cars when they realized there was a need.

They come in a variety of four gearings --- something like 26%, 33%, one lower and one higher. I forget. You can change gears even after you buy the unit, which is nice. I got the 26% overdrive. I still sometimes wish I could have a higher speed, but I live in western New England and upstate New York with lots of hills and a great many slow country roads, so 26% is perfect for me.

The unit mounts amidships, so you need to make a new driveshaft that has two sections -- one in front of the OD and the second in back. Up through 1933 (I think) you can easilly mount the overdrive to the frame. On those Packards with the X-member on the frame, it probably makes it alot harder to mount.

I've thought about the practicality of mounting one on a Twin Six, but I think it wouldn't work due to interference with the torque arm.

--Scott

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Scott - Any Twin-Six from 1915 to 1922 would be great although the first year with the non- detachable head would give me great pause about workability. What do you think? <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" />

........................Steve

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I think the very best driving Twin Six is the third series because by then they ironed out all the problems and produced a truly robust car. The first series with non-detachable heads is a bit of a problem although how often do you really need to remove the head?? Valves are acessible through screw-caps. The bigger problem is that the first series Twin tends to have a somewhat inadequate cooling syetem. This got better with the second series, and by the third series they really increased cooling capacity. However, I've been told that if you install a new radiator and have the engine tuned well, even a first series will run cool enough. So I've been told... I've also known owners of first series to install an auxillary radiator !

Another problem with Twins is the carburetor is in the V-ee of the engine, and the exhaust manifolds are ALSO in the V-ee. That makes for a very hot carburetor. So much that during the 1980's when gasoline was very bad, it was almost impossible to run one without vapor lock. Things are better today, but most owners still go through overtures to keep the carburetor cool. This placement of the carburetor was a good idea for 1915-1919 because gasoline was very poor in the opposite sense, in that it was hard to vaporize. You wanted a hot carburetor. Not so today. At any rate, all of this is surmountable. (Anything can be done with a deep enough checkbook.)

Good luck looking for a Twin. You may contact Bill Boudway in Canandaguia, NY. He's supposedly the Keeper of the List for Twin Sixes although when I inquired he knew of nothing. Brad Skinner was THE Twin Six man for years and years. He lived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, but he died several years ago. Very nice guy. Drove to Hershey right up to the year he died in his 80's.

Send me a private e-mail with your address and I'll keep my eyes open if I hear of anything....anything that I don't want, that is !

--Scott

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I was the seller of the recent listing. I had purchased it a few months earlier on e-bay and took months to get the car. It was the worst e-bay purchase I have ever had. Fortunately, I have had so many good experiences to help off set the one bad one.

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