Don’t miss it! This great newsreel film provides a priceless look inside the Detroit Packard plant in World War II and the production of Merlin aircraft engines. You’ve seen the plant in ruins—now see it in its finest hour, helping the allies win the war.
Here at Mac’s Motor City Garage, we’ve been beating you up pretty regularly with all the gloomy photo features and drone video of the old Packard complex on East Grand Boulevard. Now we’re going to change course 180 degrees and show you the plant in its finest hour—manufacturing Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engines to win the Second World War.
Less well known today are the Packard PT boat engines of the company’s own design. These were also exceptional, well-engineered powerplants, and this film covers them as well.
Gen. James Doolittle inspecting a Merlin engine at the Packard plant
There’s a lot to see here, so Packard fans may want to view the film multiple times to catch all the historical details. By the way: The Packard marine engine plant, on East Grand across the Michigan Central tracks from the main complex, is still standing, and still in decent shape. The Packard Merlin building at the north end of the plant still intact as well, and the film provides great views of these structures—and the entire manufacturing process, too.
Packard built over 50,000 Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engines before the war was over—a stellar achievement given the technology of the day. This video is a valuable piece of history, and a powerful one. Please enjoy.