The Packard Museum is set to fire up a Mustang fighter plane V12 with twin-stage superchargers

Firing up classic motors

by Packard Motor Museum’s Geraldine Craw

Saturday, August 31 is the next start-up tour at the Packard Motor Museum. An interesting aspect of the museum is the variety of engines displayed either in a vehicle or on an engine stand.

The first engine to confront the visitor is the V12 Packard Merlin, with its two-stage supercharger out of a second world war mustang aircraft. The first car started on the tour is the V12 (twin-six) Packard Opera Coupe. This engine was first produced in 1915 and became the basis of the V12 Liberty aircraft engine designed in 1917 by Jesse Vincent and Elbert Hall.

Another interesting engine is the sleeve-valve engine in the 1927 Falcon Knight automobile. The design has two cast-iron sleeves per cylinder, one sliding inside the other, with the piston inside the inner sleeve. However, the engine was more expensive to manufacture than the poppet valve engine and ceased production in the 1930s. Interestingly, the Bristol Freighter aircraft was fitted with sleeve-valve radial engines.

Of our 65 classic motorcycles, the Ariel Square-Four presents an interesting engine.

The four cylinders of 1,000cc are arranged vertically in a square pattern.

The pistons are paired off and drive two separate crankshafts geared together operating overhead valves through a chain-driven camshaft. This motor produces a lovely distinctive burble when running.

A particularly rare engine is the Napier Lion W12, three banks of four cylinders in a W configuration similar to the Bugatti Veyron’s 16.

This motor came from a second world war English Channel rescue boat.

The engine was built from 1917 until the late 1930s, and a number of advanced features made it the most powerful engine type of its day.

To start our Aveling Barford Calf Dozer, our director needs to crank it, which gives him his daily workout. The Calf Dozer is fitted with a single-cylinder Ruston diesel engine and is the world’s first skidsteer loader. These are only some of the interesting engines on display, so come and have a look and listen on August 31, starting at 10.30am.