Rodney Rucker’s Packard Royal V12
Rodney Rucker’s Packard Royal V12
For Additional Information go to http://www.rodneyrucker.com
It looks like a truck but actually it’s a car: Onlookers admire the 30 foot long Packard Royal V12
1940 PACKARD ROYAL
2,500 cu. in. Packard V-12, 3,000 ft. lbs. torque, 31′ long
This little roadster weighs in at just over 13,200 lbs and 31′ 6” long. The supercharged V-12 Packard Royal Streamliner engine is out of a WW II era PT boat from the 1940’s. The designation PT was for Patrol Torpedo. Used for high speed torpedo attack of larger surface ships. PT 109 was the boat President John F. Kennedy made famous. This 4M Packard engine boasts 1,600 H.P. and 3,000 lt. lbs. of torque!! As a boat engine it turns opposite of land engines so the car has two transmissions and drivelines to get the correct rotation for street use. The other challenge with a boat motor is….. cooling. No longer having an ocean of coolant available the car was designed with 4 radiators and six cooling fans. Capacities of 25 gallons of coolant, 30 gallons of oil, 100 gallons of fuel. Air ride suspension, power steering and air over hydraulic brakes makes it comfortable and stop efficiently as well. Rodney worked with Chip Foose on the design and the aluminum and brass body was hand formed by Marcel’s.
The Man The Myth the Legend.
Rodney has a long history of automobile design and construction. Designing and building an array of custom creations for Hollywood movies. Rodney was one of the pioneers of monster truck racing. Designing and racing many of the first monster trucks including a “tank” monster truck on tracks! Rodney has always had the desire to build something that has never been done before. To go faster and build bigger! Creative designs using engines from M-4 Tanks and aircraft engines as well as several cars using 1940’s Packard V-12 engines from WW II era PT boats! Rodney likes to incorporate functionality into his designs and has actually competed in many races such as “The Great Race” across America in many of his extreme creations. Most recently he has acquired one of the original Howard Hughes Spruce Goose engines. A Pratt Whitney radial engine with 28 cylinders and 4,360 cubic inches! He is currently designing a vintage Bonneville land speed racer around this engine!! Once again proving his lifelong motto of “Always think big….. and never give up!”
A lifelong car and motorcycle builder. Art’s background is also in business, residential and commercial construction and development. As Rod’s business partner Art helps out with operations and management including sales, marketing, logistics, budgeting, scheduling, media and public relations. Although he usually has a phone or pen in his hand, he prefers to get dirty in the shop and can turn a wrench with the best of them.
“Big Steve” got into cars while still in the stroller! In the shadow of his father Steve Sr. known by all as “Dad”. “Big Steve” and “Dad” are lifelong master mechanics and engine tuners. They have a long history of building and racing. Steve also has many years as a diesel and heavy equipment mechanic specializing in air brakes, hydraulics and air ride suspension. When Steve’s not building, fabricating and tuning….he’s drag racing their ’67 Mustang Fastback that “Dad” bought “brand new” back in the day!!
Loyal and full of energy. Jay has been Rodney’s right hand man for over 10 years. Jay runs the shop and is involved in everything…. everyday. Bringing a lifetime of experience in construction, heavy equipment, diesel , fabricating, welding and mechanics. Jay’s the guy with the experience when it comes to really big and really heavy…….Jay’s done it all, and has the scars to prove it!!! Jay’s better half Pam the shop “mom” keeps us all fed, making the pizza, burgers and taco runs. Their dogs “Patches” and “Little Girl” are the resident shop dogs and can usually be found laying down in a shady spot nearby…….providing “undercover security”.
Rich brings with him what is probably the longest and most diversified experience of the crew. A lifelong career as a master in custom fabrication, design, mechanics and automotive electrical. Rich has an incredible background working with many of the greats in the custom car field. Working in the most famous shops in the country and on some of the most notable cars such as the 4 engine Challenger land speed car. Growing up in Southern California his career in custom cars starting out by riding his bicycle to the little back alley garages of the likes of Big Daddy Roth as a youngster and watching from the sidewalk…….. and eventually being invited in to help. Without looking back and keeping his head down and working hard he learned by working alongside many of the greats including Mickey Thompson and Big Daddy Roth. Rich continues this legacy, as he’s always willing to take the time to teach and explain to those around him. He’s brings with him the wisdom and patience to round out the Rucker Crew.
Bringing years of experience in bank management with her. Luann’s known affectionately around the shop as “The Boss”. She controls the money side of things. She try’s to keep a lid on the spending…… and also let’s us know when we need to step things up and get a project out the door…..so she can keep the bills paid! She’s the beauty and the brains of the operation. She can usually be found with her two little buddies in her lap….”Jack” and “Chopper”, her twin Yorkies.
As Rodney’s sister….. Rhonda has the monumental task of keeping Rodney healthy. Rodney tends to get a bit carried away in his work, doesn’t sleep too much, doesn’t bother with a proper diet etc. (like most genius’s and mad scientist) Rhonda has the hardest job of all, trying to get him to bed at a reasonably hour and monitoring his insatiable sweet tooth! She provides the grounding, comfort and counsel that he needs on a daily basis 24/7.
Everyone on the Rucker Crew considers ourselves lucky and blessed to be doing…….. what we love to do. Working hard with our hands and taking part in the creation of new and exciting automobile art and design.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us, yes establish the work of our hands! Psalm 90:17. You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Psalm 128:2