An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

The Packard Patents – A Graveyard of Automotive Designs From the Past

  • pack3
  • A 1919 overhead cam design by H.D. Church, a Packard Engineer

One of the most enjoyable parts of researching for The Old Motor articles is uncovering important forgotten automotive designs from the past. The other day we stumbled on to a large number of patents assigned to the Packard Motor Car Co. Many of them originated from within, but many were apparently designs Packard bought from the inventor and had them patent the design in the name of the Motor Car Co.

The drawing above shows a 1919 s.o.h.c. design by H.D. Church, who was Packard’s Chief Truck Designer. The Company had been involved with other o.h.c. designs at the time including the Packard Liberty engine, the 299 Packard engine and the 905 Packard. Church’s 1919 Packard overhead cam design may have been the first design for the automaker to use what Church called, a valve operating sleeve. This inverted cup (part no. 2), did away with all side thrust from the cam on the valve assembly.

You can learn more about this era including Ralph De Palma’s involvement with Packard and the racing car between 1914 and 1923 in an article by Gary Doyle at Packards International. The racing car engines were tied together with the aircraft designs because Packard engineer Jesse G. Vincent knew that it was easier to develop them in a racing car  on land rather than it was in the air. 

  • pack4     pack1      pack5
  • OHC cam design, 1918 – Railcar design, 1918 – A rotary valve design, 1911

Three more designs that caught our eye can be seen left to right above: Another 1918 s.o.h.c. design also by H.D. Church; a 1918 design by F.H. Dewey for converting a Packard Truck into a railcar, and a 1911 design by M. Tibbetts for a double overhead rotary valve design.

  • pack2
  •                       1903 Packard walking-beam engine patent drawing

Having been involved with Duesenberg walking-beam racing engines, finding the first application of this design to an internal combustion engine has always been of interest. The earliest reference to this concept we have found so far are these 1903 patent drawings above and below for one of the designs by none other than J.W. Packard.

The design is seen below for a two-up, two-down engine with bolt-on crankshaft counterweights. The unusual linkage designs seen above were intended for governing engine speed. You can learn more about this walking-beam engine here, and many more Packard patents here.

pack6

One response to “The Packard Patents – A Graveyard of Automotive Designs From the Past

  1. When I was in the Navy, the ship I was stationed on, a minesweeper had 6 Packard diesels on it, 4 V-12 1700 CID DOHC all aluminum and stainless steel, (non-magnetic) for main propulsion and minesweepeing, and another V-12 in the forward engineroom for minesweepeing and a straight six, half of a V-12, for our main ships service generator. The V-12’s were rated at 600 HP. They had that valve actuating sleeve in the design above. Also individual cylinder heads that were round and fitted to the aluminum block with a bolt plate. Lots of head gasket problems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>