PACKARD 1M-245 (R) MARINE ENGINE

Information & discussion on Packard's non-automotive businesses.
Retromotive1950
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PACKARD 1M-245 (R) MARINE ENGINE

Post by Retromotive1950 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:10 am

I have been reading from such sources as Wikipedia etc, that Packard produced an experimental marine racing engine between 1947-1950 based on the 1M-245. Has anyone been able to validate that information. Has anyone ever seen one in person or a picture of said engine. Wikipedia says that only 10 were made. I have restored several of the 1M-245 engines over the past 20 years and would love to know if the 1M245 R (racing) is a myth or if it did in fact exist. Thanks in advance to all.

Dave Czirr
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Re: PACKARD 1M-245 (R) MARINE ENGINE

Post by Dave Czirr » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:25 am

Bob Neal's book on Packard marine and aircraft engines is the definitive reference work on this topic and has an appendix that lists all such engines produced. Next time I have the book handy I'll take a look. And with your interest in these engines, you really should have a copy if you don't already.

"Master Motor Builders" by Robert J. Neal
ISBN-9647483-1-2
Copyright 2000
Aero-Marine History Publishing Company

PS - no mention of a high performance or racing version of the IM-245 in Bob Neal's book and thus I'd be dubious about the validity of claims about them.

AussieMarine1
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Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:26 pm

Re: PACKARD 1M-245 (R) MARINE ENGINE

Post by AussieMarine1 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:03 pm

G'day from Straya! I am not a Packard expert down here, but back in the 90s I did work down at the local harbor (close to Melb.) There, we did have a nice old chap, he came from the US though, I believe Detroit - not sure..?!. Again, decades ago! I recall he was once talking about special Packard marine engines in the 40s he worked on as part of the marine team...; think he stated these engines were for some fancy VIPs ??! And highly powerful; this guy was quite straight to the pool room about the excellent quality... welll- just read up on Wiki too. Think this could fit - so if you were not in a cooee of it so far, I'd say this could be true remembering that old man. Okay, Smoko is over, take it easy, Mike

Dave Czirr
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Re: PACKARD 1M-245 (R) MARINE ENGINE

Post by Dave Czirr » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:45 am

Welcome Mike, I enjoyed your comments.

Packard marine engines powered some pretty famous races, plenty of information on them in Bob Neal's superb book "Master Motor Builders".
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AussieMarine1
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Re: PACKARD 1M-245 (R) MARINE ENGINE

Post by AussieMarine1 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:35 am

A very early "morning", Dave - thanks mate, my pleasure!! Will check it out...off to work now. Regards from Melbourne, Mike (I think the guy's name was Ron, Rob, Bob or Roy...was thinking all day yesterday about it...he must be in his early or even mid90s by now I'd guess...)

miarka_jr_1956
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Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:16 pm

Re: PACKARD 1M-245 (R) MARINE ENGINE

Post by miarka_jr_1956 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:40 pm

Hi Dave/Mike! One of my relatives, Stanley Miarka, was working in the Packard marine division in the 1940s - image attached, which you can also find in various online collections. He was very proud working for Packard. I remember him talking to my dad about experimental/special engines for smaller race boats, not the V12s, but flathead 6 post war engines, a small team worked on after WWII (yet, not Stan himself) - I believe the 1M 245R mentioned above. Though, I don't think they built many as far as I recall, maybe a handful.?! They were too expensive for most people to afford and the industry and customers soon favored V8. Hope this helps.
S Miarka.jpg
Stan Miarka at Packard marine division - 1940s

Retromotive1950
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Re: PACKARD 1M-245 (R) MARINE ENGINE

Post by Retromotive1950 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:53 pm

I appreciate the comments, and agree with Dave Czirr. As much as I wish there were such a secret 1M-245R racing engine, I am inclined to believe that If it isn't in the referenced book referenced by Dave, and it isn't found anywhere in the Packard archives, then it is highly doubtful that it ever existed. Documentation beats conversation, especially conversation over many years ago with just one individual that could produce not any sort of proof, and whom has since passed away. Packard was extremely proud of there racing marine engines and highly publicized them, they did not keep them secret for a select few wealthy clients. I would like to challenge anyone who can provide proof that such an engine was build to do so. Proof.. I would love to see it. I am building my interpretation of what the fabled 1M-245 might have been like, if it had ever existed.

YoungPackardFan
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:00 am

Re: PACKARD 1M-245 (R) MARINE ENGINE

Post by YoungPackardFan » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:47 am

Hello fellow Packard-fans!

I have read through this great discussion and would like to thank Retromotive1950 for putting up the question as well as Dave, Mike and miarka_jr_1956 for giving their valuable inputs, a lot of things I wasn't aware of yet. I do agree with Mike and miarka_jr_1956 though - I have personally investigated into the history of my Gar Wood boat and the previous owner was the Shah of Persia - he did in fact order such engine type, confirmed by various valuable sources! How it looks, I have never seen one either, but I was told that it had three carburetors, was of highest quality and was based on the Standard 1M-245 with an "R" at the end!

Yes, they were all old people, mostly in their high 80s and even early 90s, I met them or spoke to them on the phone personally - but without the shadow of a doubt they were honest people, had no reason or benefit to lie to me and I believe that Mike met the same old gentleman I spoke to a few years ago. He was an old Packard Marine engineer: Robert (Bob) Miller (jr.)!

So Mike, that's why I think we speak about the very same person! He told me that he has been working as a young apprentice in that very department of Packard and not everyone knew about this very department. He later moved to Australia and was living in Melbourne - it can't be coincidence! I interviewed him already about four years ago, sadly he died about 13/14 months ago from a heartattach. Mr Miller was a really kind Gentleman as far as I can say from the telephone conversations and he did confirm that the Shah ordered one of these special straight six at the plant. I have an original letter from 1936 where it can be seen that the Shah was already interested at that time to have the Gar Wood come with a Packard engine. Something that was not known until recently, but could be proofed after 4 years of intensive research worlwide.

By the way: There is a standard book about Gar Wood Boats too and I am in close contact with the fantastic author (also over 80 years old) and the Gar Wood Society and the very kind librarian herself. Here, we also had to rewrite parts of the history about that model of mine more than 20 years after the last round of great research has been done, but after so many years it could be proofed as well, yet that's a different story... In today's world, international investigation and research possibilities in secondary as well as primary research are far better than it was up until the early/mid 90s - you can reach so many people and sources much faster and more precise than it was years ago. If retromotive1950 would have not raised this question, I would have never got the contact to you Mike and miarka_jr_1956. I will send you both a PM, if okay, for further contacts.

Anyway, that's why I believe some of the most valuable standard books need regular updates and we should not be afraid of correcting our findings, if new historic traits pop-up. I can only say that in finding my Gar Wood boat, I first followed a rumour, than I found people knowing about and then I found the very last bits and pieces of my boat - including the knowledge about this engine type. It was like a big international puzzle, but once you start to digg deep, there is always somebody raising a hand and able to help you further in your research.

The good thing is - we are all, about 60(!) years after Packard closed down, together still so enthusiastic and passionate about Packard, Packard Marine and their engines - this is the biggest and best value and shows the fascination this great American brand still gives us. This combines us all and that's a great thing. So, enjoy your day, Gentlemen!

Dave Czirr
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Re: PACKARD 1M-245 (R) MARINE ENGINE

Post by Dave Czirr » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:49 am

Thanks for the input. It would be interesting to know what features made the engine unique, I'd guess it had to be more than multiple carburetors as that was something most any local hot rod shop or even enterprising teenager could have easily done with off-the-shelf components. Hopefully more info will surface.

YoungPackardFan
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:00 am

Re: PACKARD 1M-245 (R) MARINE ENGINE

Post by YoungPackardFan » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:21 am

Hello Dave, of course :) I had two telephone calls with Bob, in the first we mainly talked about how it was working at Packard and why he wanted to work for Packard Marine (he grew up at a lake and his father had a small boat) and that he and his colleagues were very proud about the war production efforts and alike. Well, he was VERY, VERY proud of his job as a young man working in the marine department. I can tell you that. It was a great conversation! In the second telephone call a couple of weeks later we discussed the engine of the Shah's Gar Wood (he could confirm the story, which was a major break through that led to quite different sources thereafter and in finding missing parts of my Gar Wood) and at that time I realized that it was not the standard six 1M-245 from 1947 the Shah put into his Gar Wood instead of the old Gray 125hp engine (and I had just acquired a Packard 1M-245, so I was quite shocked), but that he had a special version made directly at Packard - and then he talked about the special department of Packard Marine were they tried to push the flathead six further than any of the competitors - most of them were focusing very much on the V8s already. So, no, it was not a local hot rod shop or teenager's idea... :!: and I can just hope you take this as serious as much as I do since talking to Bob - he was to me a guy you can trust and I have the feeling that Mike speaks similarly about him. In regards to the specs: He could only tell me that they experimented with aluminum heads, larger valves and he mentioned three instead of one carburetors and about 200hp - that was all I could investigate so far. Now, I do hope that Mike can maybe help me more and put me into the right direction. I want to know more myself and so do all of us Packard fans I guess, so I will not rest till I find more details about "my engine" - but I know I will find them - maybe takes another four years, but it's worth it for sure. ;) Have a nice evening!

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