Lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched, The V12 Engine explores the great 12-cylinder racing and production cars that made automotive history. Karl Ludvigsen, award-winning automotive historian and author of the acclaimed Porsche: Origin of the Species takes his readers behind the scenes to witness the development and influence of the mightiest auto engine.
From exotic Auburns, Packards and Pierce Arrows in America to Europe's Ferraris, Lagondas and Delahayes, The V12 Engine is a lavish feast for car enthusiasts who relish the untold facts behind the story.
The early debate over the number of cylinders an auto engine should have - Daimler's vee-twin and its connecting-rod layout - side-by-side rods, link rods and fork-and-blade rods - developments in other fields, marine and aviation, with up to 24 cylinders - the first-ever V12 of 1904, made in Britain for marine racing - Sunbeam's Toodles V of 1913 is the first European V12 auto - Packard takes an interest - In 1908 George Schebler builds the first V12-powered car.
● American Twin Sixes
Duesenberg and Miller build V12 aero engines - Buick and Hudson assess twelves - Packard sets the pace, first with aero engines and then in 1915 with its spectacular and dramatic Twin Six - many others follow quickly: National, Enger, Haynes and Pathfinder, the last using the Weidely V12, as did HAL, Austin, Meyer, Kissel, Asinger, Ambassador, Meteor and Heine-Velox.
● European Twelves
Exploration of twelves by Lorraine-Dietrich, Lancia, Fiat and Voisin - Sunbeam's spectacular twelves - the 350 hp that Malcolm Campbell used to break the land speed record - 4-litre Tiger and Tigresse, LSR success for Segrave - Delage's 10.7-litre DH record-breaker - its magnificent Grand Prix 2-liter of 1925 - Cappa's bizarre design for Itala, the smallest V12 ever - Fiat's Type 806 U12 of 1927.
● Aero Speed
Napier's W12 Lion from World War 1 powers Golden Arrow, Campbell's Bluebird and Cobb's Railtons, one for his track car and two for his land-speed-record breaker - Australia's 'Wizard' Smith - America's Liberty V12 and successful LSR cars Babs and Triplex - the '1,000 horsepower' Sunbeam with its twin aero engines for Segrave - Sunbeam's disastrous Silver Bullet - R-Type Rolls-Royce used by Campbell in Bluebird and (two of them) by Eyston's Thunderbolt - Rolls-Royce Kestrel in Eyston's Speed of the Wind - Curtiss Conqueror the choice of long-distance record-breaker Ab Jenkins - Porsche-designed Type 80 for Mercedes-Benz.
● Classic-era Americans
Late 1920s and early 1930s explosion of twelves in America's classic-car era - Cadillac pioneers, followed by Franklin - Packard returns to the fray - Lincoln's KB and KA twelves - extraordinary Cord E-1 provides the basis for Auburn's Lycoming-built V12 - Howard Marmon and his HCM prototype.
● British and French Classics
Eminent European auto companies embrace the twelve - Laurence Pomeroy at Daimler produces no less than five different series, all with sleeve valves save the last - Rolls-Royce produces its most controversial model ever, the Phantom III - Walter Bentley designs a V12 for Lagonda and races it at Le Mans - Gabriel Voisin returns in 1929 with sleeve-valve twelves - Lorraine-Dietrich is heard from - Hispano-Suiza caps the era with by far the biggest twelve of the times, an immortal auto.
● Teutonic Twelves
Germanic nations were not left behind - Ledwink's T80 for Tatra - other Czech twelves by Walter and Gräf & Stift - Horch and its ambitious V12 patterned after American examples - Maybach builds one of Europe's most elaborate twelves without regard to cost - just before the war Mercedes-Benz launches V12 prototypes, with engines which power searchlight generators during the war.
● Racers in America
Auburn's V12 Speedster is fast as well as remarkably inexpensive - setting records on the dry lakes - Ab Jenkins and Pierce Arrow get together to break speed records at Bonneville - evolution of the Ab Jenkins Special - Charles Voelker's V12 is launched at Indy in 1937 - Voelker engine competes at the Speedway twice and is still trying to qualify in 1953.
● Grand Prix Glories
V12s come into their own in racing in the 1930s - amazing record-breaker of Voisin - Alfa Romeo's Type A with two sixes side by side - Alfa Romeo's 12C-36 Grand Prix car and its successors through 1939 - creation of an unblown sports-car version, the 412, in 1939 - its post-war success with Willy Daetwyler - Alfa Romeo's S10 V12 road-car prototypes - 12-cylinder Mercedes record-breakers and Avus racers powered by the big DAB engine - successful 1938-39 Grand Prix twelves of both Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz - Auto Union's designs for a 1 1/2-litre E-Type V12 - Lago Talbot's V12 plans by Walter Becchia - Louis Delage's V12 sports-racer of 1937, which came to Brooklands in 1938 only to kill engineer Murray Jameison - Delahaye's Type 145 twelve and winning 'The Million' at Montlhéry - monoposto edition a flop - Delahaye Type 165 production version.
● Post-war Potency
Aero engines in cars again - Rolls-Royce Kestrel in Flying Triangle, Merlin in Swandean Spitfire Special, Meteor in 2003 Thunderbolt that broke British records at Millbrook - America's Allison V12 is taken up by many - Jim Lytle puts one in a BMW Isetta and four in a Fiat Topolino - Art Arfons starts a record-breaking career with Allisons - Athol Graham's 300+ mph at Bonneville - inspired by an aero-engined Packard, Enzo Ferrari builds twelves - Colombo's role in the design - his 125, 159, 166 and four-cam 125F1 engines - Mercedes-Benz plans a 1 1/2-litre V12, its M195 - Auto Union engineers in East Germany build the 2-liter 'Sokol' Type 650 - Ferrari's big twelves, the 375 and 340 America - Gordini and OSCA collaborate on the design of their Type G 4 1/2-litre V12 - Lagonda's disappointing DP100 V12 and its racing career - Ferrari's big twelves: 375MM, 375 America, 290MM and 315S through 1957 - smaller Ferrari series: 212, 250MM, 250GT, 250TR, GTO - 4-litre Ferrari Type 209, 400 Superamerica and 330P2 - Giulio Alfieri's Maserati V12 in Grand Prix cars in 1957-58, 350S sports-racer, mid-engined Type 63 & 64.
● Competition Ambitions
Two V12s built for the 1 1/2-litre Formula 1, one by Maserati and one, which races, Honda's RA271E - Ferrari's four-cam sports-racers from 1965 to 1967's 330 P4 - stillborn twelves: Abarth's Type 240 and Moteur Moderne's engine - with the 3-litre Formula 1 in 1966, an eruption of vee-twelves - Ferrari 312F1-66, V12s through 1969, 312P prototype - big-twelve Ferrari family with 612P, 512P and 512S - Cooper-Maserati engines, Types 9 and 10 - BRM P101, P142, twelves through 1977 - AAR's Eagle-Weslake V12 - Harry Weslake's own WRP-190 twelve and its travails - BRM P351 sports-racer engine broadly derived from it - Matra's shrieking V12s in both GP cars and sports-racers, MS9, MS12 - Le Mans successes, revival in GP racing branded as 'Talbot' - Autodelta's adventures from a V12 for Brabham to Alfa's own car and engines for Osella - Honda's RA273E Grand Prix engine and Nissan's sports-racing R382.
● Engines for the Elite
Lincoln's Zephyr V12 is a link between luxury cars pre-war and port-war - insights into its troubled reputation - it does well in Britain in Allard, Brough, Atalanta and Jensen models - Packard considers relaunching a V12 - Bugatti designs a V12, its Type 451, but the company folds before it can mature - GM's Cadillac develops a V12 in the early 1960s but decides against production - two dreamers, Franco Romanelli in Canada and Alejandro de Tomaso in Italy, show twelves but don't produce them - Ferrari's luxury models from 365GT to 275GTB/4, 365GTB/4 Daytona, 365GTC4, 400I and 412 - newcomer Lamborghini decides on a twelve - 350GT, Miura, Islero, Countach and four-valve version.
● Cat, Roundel and Star
As early as the 1950s Jaguar starts planning a V12 - its four-cam racing version in the 1960s in the XJ13 - insights into the gestation of the great Jaguar V12 by Heynes, Hassan, Mundy et al - its use in racing in USA and Europe, leading to victory at Le Mans - BMW begins studying V12s as a marriage of two of its fine sixes - experimental M70, M73 and M66 prototypes - introduction of M70 V12 in 1987, improved as M73 in 1994 - BMW's activity spurred Mercedes-Benz engineers, who had been thinking of a V12, the M101, for their 600 - new 'KOMO' prototype of 1985 - using six-cylinder components to create the M120 of 1991 - employed in Pagani's Zonda - racing the M120 in AMG's CLK-GTR of 1997.
● Formula Twelves
After the banning of turbos and the setting of a 3 1/2-litre limit, Formula 1 exploded with 12-cylinder engines - designs for GM by Scott Russell - Motori Moderni's efforts - Austrian NeoTech engine for Walter Brun - designs from HKS, Nissan and Isuzu in Japan, their tests and problems - Paul Rosche's BMW studies including a six-cam 60-valve twelve - Porsche's catastrophic Type 3512 for Footwork Arrows - unraced twelves of Renault and Cosworth - the W12 idea is revived by Harry Mundy for his Trident, Guy Negré#'s MGN and Franco Rocchi's Life engine, a Grand Prix laughing stock - Yamaha's entry, evolving into its OX99 road car, built in Britain - Honda makes a serious effort with its RA121E and successor RA122E/B - Lamborghini's 3512 V12 powers several teams including its own - Ferrari's Grand Prix V12s from 1989 through 1995 - derived from them, F50 and F333SP engines.
● American and German Luxury
Comedian Jay Leno tunes up a hot rod powered by 29.4 litres of Patton tank V12 - Detroiter Cyril Batten's engines machined from scratch - Ryan Falconer's successful Chevrolet-derived V12s - their use in a prototype for a planned Packard revival - Cadillac's XV12 programme and its use in the mid-engined Cien - Mazda's V12 plans for its Amati range - Toyota introduces a V12 for its Japan-only Century prestige model in 1997 - relationship between the new turbocharged Maybach V12 and the 3-valve Mercedes-Benz M137 twelve - AMG super-powered versions and an AMG engine for Chrysler's mid-engined ME Four-Twelve - BMW's twelves for the McLaren F1 and its P74 for a Le Mans winner - 2002 introduction of new N73 BMW twelve and its use as basis of engine for new Rolls-Royce Phantom - inside story of creation of VW's family of W12 engines - its use in record-breaking 'W12' sports car, Phaeton, Audi A8, Bentley Continental GT - Peugeot's '907' concept car of 2004.
● Ultimate Sports-car Power
At Ford, engineer Jim Clark breaks the rules by building V12s - they power Ford's GT90 and Indigo concept cars - Aston Martin discovers them when looking for a new engine - creation of the Aston engines and their evolution to suit new models - TVR's Speed Twelve on a fabricated steel crankcase - Al Melling's engine design for a Lola GT car project - Monte Carlo's MCA Centenaire and its various twelves - Paolo Stanzani's amazing design for Bugatti's EB110 and its turbulent saga - new generation of big twelves for Lamborghini's cars, inspired by its sport-utility for Saudi Arabia - Ferrari's F116 and F133A evolution in its 456GT, 550 Maranello and 612 Scaglietti - new-generation F140 V12 introduced in Enzo in 2002 to be basis of future Ferrari twelves - F140 also powers Maserati's MC12, stunning new road and race car of 2004.
● Appendix - V12 Firing Orders