Reserve Is Off: 1999 Packard Twelve Prototype
No, your eyes don’t deceive you. What you’re looking at is the Packard Twelve Prototype, the last reboot of the iconic American automaker that bears the same name. And if it’s something that pleases you – you’re in luck. It’s up for sale.
Packard fell on hard times in the 1950s, eventually closing its doors altogether in 1958, but that’s really where the story starts for this car. The Packard trademark went unclaimed for years, until 1978 when coachbuilder Budd Bayliff re-registered the name to affix to his line of modified GM coupes and sedans. Fast-forward to 1992, and Bayliff sold the Packard name for $50,000 to Roy Gullickson, a former engineer at White Motor Car Company and Massey-Ferguson.
Gullickson visualized more than just a massaged and reshaped GM model, so he sought out investors and broke ground on his Arizona-base Packard Motor Car Company. The plan was to raise $30 million dollars over three years and build nearly 2,000 cars per year – retailing for $160,000 a pop. The scheme never got entirely off the ground, but it did drive Gullickson and his team to produce this truly bespoke prototype, at a production cost of $1.5 million.
Drawing inspiration from the 1941 Packard Clipper, the Packard Twelve features an all-aluminum body, aluminum space-frame chassis, all-wheel-drive, and a powerplant fit for the original marque. Underneath the long sloping hood sits a 525 cubic inch Falconer Racing V12 engine – good for 440-horsepower – attached to a GM 4L80E automatic transmission and Borg-Warner transfer case.
Zero-to-60 is measured at 4.8 seconds, and the quarter-mile is reported to take a respectable 12.5 seconds. That’s not bad at all, especially considering the Packard tips the scales at 3,750 pounds.