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Chapter 1. ORIGINS  12
The early debate over the number of cylinders an auto engine should haveDaimlers veetwin and its connecting-rod layoutside-by-side rods, link rods and fork-and-blade rodsdevelopments in other fields, marine and aviation, with up to 24 cylindersthe first-ever V12 of
1904, made in Britain for marine racingSunbeams Toodles V of 1913 is the first European
V12 autoPackard takes an interestIn 1908 George Schebler builds the first V12-powered


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.


Exploration of twelves by Lorraine-Dietrich, Lancia, Fiat and Voisin Sunbeams spectacular
twelves the 350 hp that Malcolm Campbell used to break the land speed record 4-litre
Tiger and Tigresse, LSR success for Segrave Delages 10.7-litre DH record-breaker its
magnificent Grand Prix 2-liter of 1925 Cappas bizarre design for Itala, the smallest V12
ever Fiats Type 806 U12 of 1927.

Chapter 4. AERO SPEED  100

Napiers W12 Lion from World War 1 powers Golden Arrow, Campbells Bluebird and Cobbs
Railtons, one for his track car and two for his land-speed-record breaker Australias Wizard
Smith Americas Liberty V12 and successful LSR cars Babs and Triplex the 1,000
horsepower Sunbeam with its twin aero engines for Segrave Sunbeams disastrous Silver
Bullet R-Type Rolls-Royce used by Campbell in Bluebird and (two of them) by Eystons
Thunderbolt Rolls-Royce Kestrel in Eystons Speed of the Wind Curtiss Conqueror the
choice of long-distance record-breaker Ab Jenkins Porsche-designed Type 80 for MercedesBenz.


Late 1920s and early 1930s explosion of twelves in Americas classic-car era Cadillac
pioneers , followed by Franklin Packard returns to the fray Lincolns KB and KA twelves
extraordinary Cord E-1 provides the basis for Auburns Lycoming-built V12 Howard
Marmon and his HCM prototype.



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.

Chapter 7. TEUTONIC TWELVES  204

Germanic nations were not left behind Ledwinks T80 for Tatra other Czech twelves by
Walter and Grf & Stift Horch and its ambitious V12 patterned after American examples
Maybach builds one of Europes 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.

Chapter 8. RACERS IN AMERICA  232

Auburns 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 Voelkers V12 is launched at Indy in 1937
Voelker engine competes at the Speedway twice and is still trying to qualify in 1953.

Chapter 9. GRAND PRIX GLORIES  276

V12s come into their own in racing in the 1930s amazing record-breaker of Voisin Alfa
Romeos Type A with two sixes side by side Alfa Romeos 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 Romeos 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 Unions designs
for a 1-litre E-Type V12 Lago Talbots V12 plans by Walter Becchia Louis Delages V12
sports-racer of 1937, which came to Brooklands in 1938 only to kill engineer Murray Jameison
Delahayes Type 145 twelve and winning The Million at Montlhry monoposto edition a
flop Delahaye Type 165 production version.

Chapter 10. POST-WAR POTENCY  316

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
Americas 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 Grahams
300+ mph at Bonneville inspired by an aero-engined Packard, Enzo Ferrari builds
twelves Colombos role in the design his 125, 159, 166 and four-cam 125F1 engines
Mercedes-Benz plans a 1-litre V12, its M195 Auto Union engineers in East Germany


build the 2-liter Sokol Type 650 Ferraris big twelves, the 375 and 340 America
Gordini and OSCA collaborate on the design of their Type G 4-litre V12 Lagondas
disappointing DP100 V12 and its racing career Ferraris 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 Alfieris
Maserati V12 in Grand Prix cars in 1957-58, 350S sports-racer, mid-engined Type 63 &


Two V12s built for the 1-litre Formula 1, one by Maserati and one, which races,
Hondas RA271E Ferraris four-cam sports-racers from 1965 to 1967s 330 P4
stillborn twelves: Abarths Type 240 and Moteur Modernes 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 CoooperMaserati engines, Types 9 and 10 BRM P101, P142, twelves through 1977 AARs
Eagle-Weslake V12 Harry Weslakes own WRP-190 twelve and its travails BRM
P351 sports-racer engine broadly derived from it Matras shrieking V12s in both GP
cars and sports-racers, MS9, MS12 Le Mans successes, revival in GP racing branded
as Talbot Autodeltas adventures from a V12 for Brabham to Alfas own car and engines for Osella Hondas RA273E Grand Prix engine and Nissans sports-racing R382.

Chapter 12. ENGINES FOR THE ELITE  404

Lincolns 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 GMs 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 dont produce them Ferraris
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.

Chapter 13. CAT, ROUNDEL AND STAR  440

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 BMWs activity spurd 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 Paganis Zonda racing
the M120 in AMGs CLK-GTR of 1997.


Chapter 14. FORMULA TWELVES  482

After the banning of turbos and the setting of a 3-litre limit, Formula 1 exploded with
12-cylinder engines designs for GM by Scott Russell Motori Modernis efforts
Austrian NeoTech engine for Walter Brun designs from HKS, Nissan and Isuzu
in Japan, their tests and problems Paul Rosches BMW studies including a six-cam
60-valve twelve Porsches catastrophic Type 3512 for Footwork Arrows unraced
twelves of Renault and Cosworth the W12 idea is revived by Harry Mundy for his
Trident, Guy Negrs MGN and Franco Rocchis Life engine, a Grand Prix laughing stock
Yamahas entry, evolving into its OX99 road car, built in Britain Honda makes a
serious effort with its RA121E and successor RA122E/B Lamborghinis 3512 V12
powers several teams including its own Ferraris Grand Prix V12s from 1989 through
1995 derived from them, F50 and F333SP engines.


Comedian Jay Leno tunes up a hot rod powered by 29.4 litres of Patton tank V12
Detroiter Cyril Battens engines machined from scratch Ryan Falconers successful
Chevrolet-derived V12s their use in a prototype for a planned Packard revival
Cadillacs XV12 programme and its use in the mid-engined Cien Mazdas 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
Chryslers mid-engined ME Four-Twelve BMWs 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 VWs family
of W12 engines its use in record-breaking W12 sports car, Phaeton. Audi A8, Bentley
Continental GT Peugeots 907 concept car of 2004.


At Ford, engineer Jim Clark breaks the rules by building V12s they power Fords
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 TVRs
Speed Twelve on a fabricated steel crankcase Al Mellings engine design for a Lola GT
car project Monte Carlos MCA Centenaire and its various twelves Paolo Stanzanis
amazing design for Bugattis EB110 and its turbulent saga new generation of big
twelves for Lamborghinis cars, inspired by its sport-utility for Saudi Arabia Ferraris
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 Maseratis MC12, stunning new road and race car of 2004.

Appendix - V12 Firing Orders 580

established 1950
Automotive Reference



The V12 Engine

The Technology, Evolution and Impact of
V12-Engined Cars
1909 2005
by Karl Ludvigsen
Bentley Stock Number: H674
Publication Date: 2016.feb.15
ISBN: 978-0-8376-1733-6
Hardcover, 8 in. x 10 in.
590 pages, 585 photos, illustrations and diagrams, including 58 in color

The V12 Engine gives an unprecedented and in-depth

overview of the historic V12-powered cars and the
magnificent engines that powered them.
In this richly illustrated volume, author Karl Ludvigsen
takes the reader behind the scenes of the creation of the
greatest V12 engines of all time, recalling the effortless urge
of the luxurious Hispano-Suiza of the 1930s and the scintillating surge of the Lamborghini supercars of the 1960s.

In 1957s Sebring 12-hour race Ferrari fielded a team

of sports-racers powered by a new generation of
four-cam twelves of 3.8 and 4.0 litres, developing up
to 390bhp. Potent though they were, they were overmarched that year by Maseratis 450S, though Piero
Taruffi drove one to a win in the Mille Miglia. This was
destined to be the last Mille Miglia, for a sister car
crashed late in the race, killing its occupants and nine
Chapter 9 - Grand-Prix Glories

From exotic Auburns, Packards and Pierce Arrows in

America to Europes Ferraris, Lagondas and Delahayes,
The V12 Engine is a lavish feast for car enthusiasts who
relish the untold facts behind the story.

When Ferruccio Lamborghini, in foreground, first unveiled his 3.5-litre V12

engine it was in the racy configuration as
originally produced by Giotto Bizzarrini.
Joining him at the launch were Giovanni
Canestrini, cigar-smoking editor and journalist, and driver-engineer Piero Taruffi,
in Argyle jumper.
Chapter 12 - Engines for the Elite

American Twin Sixes
European Twelves
Aero Speed
Classic-Era American
British And French Classics
Teutonic Twelves
Racers In America
Grand Prix Glories
Post-War Potency
Competition Ambitions
Engines For The Elite
Cat, Roundel And Star
Formula Twelves
American And German Luxury
Ultimate Sports-Car Power
V-12 Firing Orders

typically authoritative and comprehensive examination by

a remarkable study which is also highly readable and
superb value
Classic & Sports Car
something of a tour de force
Speed Scene
'Get it, read it and return again and again to marvel over the
intricacies of the marvelous V12 engine'
Hot Rod Engine Tech

Bentley Publishers, 1734 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-1804 USA

Tel: 617-547-4170 Toll Free: 800-423-4595 Fax: 617-876-9235