«Louis'» designs for Packard are admittedly derivative rather than original. The shape of the Riviera clearly dictated the then 16 year-old «Louis'» idea for his Packard Twelve. He saw the Riviera's front as being easily adapted to an update of the Packard Predictor-inspired front end he used on his Packard design in 1960. As on the design for 1960, the front turn signals would be housed in pontoons that mimicked the classic Packard radiator shell. This cue, in turn, was reminiscent of the way the headlights on the '34 Packard Twelves mimicked the radiator grill shape.
The roofline of the Riviera was similar to the roofline of the 1962 Hawk, so «Louis» used his roofline idea from 1962 on his 1963 design. In turn, this roof could easily be a modern interpretation of the classic lines of the 1934 Victoria.
Familiar Packard design cues appeared on this car as they had on «Louis'» two earlier designs: the cormorant hood ornament and the sweep spear on the side.
In the case of the 1962 design, «Louis» was trying to use as many off-the-shelf parts as possible to make the car inexpensive to produce and, hopefully, give the Packard name a toe-hold back in the market. In 1963, he had no such illusions and this car, despite it being heavily derivative of the beautiful Riviera, would have been a completely new car. Thus, «Louis» imagined a new overhead camshaft, overhead valve V-12 that would have the same cubic inch displacement of the 1934 engine. The classic-era Packard Twelves were of an undersquare design that produced gobs of torque at relatively low engine rpms. «Louis'» idea for 1963 would flip the dimensions of the cylinders so that the engine was oversquare and thus producing more horsepower at higher rpms and proportionately less torque. Like the V-12 of the 1930s, «Louis'» new Packard Twelve engine block would be finished in a green enamel.
As was the case with «Louis'» Hawk-based Caribbean design, the deck lid of this new Packard Twelve would have been trimmed with the "circle-V" emblem and Packard crest that Richard Teague introduced on the '55 and '56 Packards. «Louis» saw the shape of the rear deck on the Riviera as being an adaptation of the '34 design.
For many Packard aficionados, the 1934 Packard Twelve Victoria is the epitome of the classic-era Packards. It was for «Louis» in 1963, and remains so today.
Packard Aviation and Marine Engines
Seldom remembered today is that Packard built engines both for marine and aviation uses. The Packard-built Merlin V-12 powered the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (Kittyhawk) fighter. The Packard-Merlin V-12 found its most famous application in the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang fighter, where it vastly improved that aircraft's performance at altitude, transforming the Mustang into an outstanding fighter with the range and performance to escort heavy bombers over the European continent. By 1944, P-51B, P-51C and P-51D Packard-Merlin Mustangs were able to escort Allied heavy bombers in daylight all the way to Berlin and yet were still capable of combating German fighters attempting to intercept the bombers. By late 1944, the Allies had won air supremacy over the whole of Germany, and Germany's defeat in World War II began to appear inevitable.
Packard V-12s also powered the fabulous U.S. Navy Patrol Torpedo (PT) boats in World War II. The PT boats were fitted with four of these engines.