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Hot Rods How many are running a stick?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JimSibley, Jun 6, 2022.

  1. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 3,011


    About the mid 60s, automatic transmissions became popular on the drag strips, once the "modern era" of autos became available. The older versions of the auto trans left a lot to be desired as far as shifting, and durability was concerned. By the mid 60s, more heavy duty auto trans showed up, and some performance parts started showing up. It took a hell of a 4 speed driver to out shift an auto trans, and the shock to the drivetrain from the auto trans was greatly reduced. A very large number of manual trans guys switched to auto transmissions for drag racing.

    This forum is based on pre 65. Back in the early days, the manual transmissions were king, most early auto trans simply were power drainers or were fragile, hence the negative auto trans stance.

    Nothing wrong with an auto trans, there are two of them here at my place, and both have proven to be pretty tough. I don't race the 5 speed in my coupe. Its more driver involved to drive it, so that adds a bit more fun to the story, as long as my left knee will allow me to use the clutch pedal. Some days, that is a tough job, and I'm pretty happy I have something with an auto trans I can drive.

    If the day comes that I have to put an auto trans in my coupe so I can drive it and enjoy it, I think I'm going to leave the 3rd pedal in the car, just so I can say "I have a 3rd pedal." LOL! Gene
    vtx1800 and 51504bat like this.
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  3. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 8,602

    from Nicasio Ca

    And mechanic
    mgtstumpy, egads, Toms Dogs and 3 others like this.
  4. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,330



    The idea of owning car as a teenager was one of convenience. It was the car that drew one into the fray. Some were stick shift units and others automatic. It was all based on type of car, availability and convenience.

    When my brother got his first 1951 Oldsmobile sedan, it had an automatic transmission. He drove it for several years and his next car was a 3 speed 1958 Impala. Now, he and his friends all had stick shift cars. Whether from the factory or custom installed LaSalle transmissions, like the one in a 34 ford 5 window coupe with a big Oldsmobile motor a stick shift was the way to go for those early teenagers.

    Later, we even put in a LaSalle 3 speed behind our 671 292 cubic inch SBC motor for the 1940 Willys Coupe build. There were only a few race cars that had an automatic transmission in the popular classes. Slowly, the auto transmissions at the drags, came into play in the later 1960 era.

    On the street, driving a stick had its moments, as a teen and adult. Today the classic opinion is to own a stick shift car and no one would know how to steal it and be able to drive it away… Ha! Somehow, the activity in driving, coordinating the feet and hands all work together to get moving. Once learned, it was something to be a part of the hot rod, cruiser or family line of cars.
    The first thing I learned was the “Hill Brake Start” motion for the LaSalle transmission in the Flathead Ford Sedan Delivery.

    Many years later, I even taught my wife to drive (Including the dreaded Hill Brake start...) her 5 speed sporty car on slopes and hills of So Cal. Then gave her a road test up the coast through Big Sur to San Francisco for the final test. She passed with flying colors and her ownership for that second car was 13 years before she got a new 5 speed car for the next 11 years and another 5 speed adventure.

    She was getting good. The key to security and feeling the road through stick shift driving motions all were made possible by learning the Hill Start maneuver. Once that was a part of the learning process, then everything else falls into place.

    Security in stick shift transmission cars, and the feel of being a part of the whole driving scene was a wonderful set of moments. Part of the stick shift driving test was used on an off-camber hill start at a stop sign in Morro Bay. The line up of cars behind us was definitely a pressing moment approaching the stop sign on a off camber, curved road at the top of a hill.

    But, as practiced, my wife went right up to the sign, pulled up the emergency brake and calmly used the standard red stop sign moment to check the cross traffic. Despite the line up of cars behind her causing some anxious moments, she handled it with a professional motion and attitude. No roll backs, no stalling, just a simple clutch/brake/gas forward movement to continue our long road trip.


    When our son was ready to learn, we had two stick shift family cars. He wanted to learn to drive a stick shift car, so we practiced from the basics to the more advanced “hill starts.” He took to shifting/clutch/braking like a duck to water. He was getting good driving all over So Cal coastal roads and freeways. So, after months of practicing and us getting a larger station wagon with an automatic, he as ready to take the test. The automatic made the driving portion of the test easier.

    For the next 6 months to a year, he put on 24000 miles on our automatic station wagon. He just liked the freedom and was very good about keeping the family station wagon clean and spiffy. But, when he was ready for his own car, he reverted back to wanting a stick shift car. The good thing was, he learned to be a safe driver and now he knew the responsibilities of being in his own car, not ours.

    The only drawback to owning a stick shift car is when the numerous knee injuries swell up and make the clutch work almost impossible. It was definitely a non driving situation and most of the time, I had to be carted around by my wife. In her stick shift car of all things.

    These days, after numerous stick shift family of cars, it is all automatic transmission cars for ease of entry and driving. Even when an old man knee injury takes command, it is still possible to stay mobile in an automatic transmission family station wagon. It then becomes a process to get in and out of the driver’s seating area…but at least we are mobile… YRMV
  5. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 24,146

    Staff Member

    Just finished putting a 4 speed in my Impala. It is way more fun to drive now and I use it more than I did before when it was a "girls car"

    4speed.JPG 61.jpg
  6. Bert Kollar
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,137

    Bert Kollar

    Attached Files:

  7. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,651


    And no valve covers!:cool:
    JimSibley likes this.
  8. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 22,198

    from Michigan

    2 with 5-speeds and one with a 6-speed.....:)
    chevy57dude likes this.
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,580


    I've got an AX 15 with a Novak adapter to go behind the 292 in the 48 but the left knee has started throwing a fit when I drive my 77 flatbed or moms 77 F250, both with stout clutches and granny 4 speeds. I don't need a super stout pressure plate for the 48 though.
  10. uncleandy 65
    Joined: Jan 14, 2013
    Posts: 4,002

    uncleandy 65

  11. Crkrjac
    Joined: Jul 26, 2016
    Posts: 98

    from Waxhaw NC

    Excuse the non era correct cylinder heads…. 1187D5CC-A04C-49DF-BB4E-BCEE67783597.jpeg 610FCA76-7F91-46AF-8D17-3671DD00410D.jpeg
    Deuces, mgtstumpy and chevy57dude like this.
  12. uncleandy 65
    Joined: Jan 14, 2013
    Posts: 4,002

    uncleandy 65

  13. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 24,146

    Staff Member

  14. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,386

    Deuce Daddy Don

    Great Grand daughter likes the T-10 4 speed! Layla 32a.JPG
  15. aussie57wag
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 409

    from australia

    302 and 4 speed top loader. Though I always wanted to upgrade to a 312 y-block. Never did though 20210826_125656.jpg .
    Deuces, mgtstumpy and chevy57dude like this.
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 4,404


    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2022
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  17. We have 3 "hot rods" running a stick. The race truck has a Jerico, the '56 has a Tremec TKX, and our blue daily driver has an early Tremec 3550.
    Oops, I guess I must be going brain dead. I know I have posted pics on here before, but I don't remember it asking for a URL. If I can get it figured out, I'll post some pics of the vehicles.
    Deuces likes this.
  18. deucetruck
    Joined: Jan 8, 2010
    Posts: 705

    from Missouri

  19. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,715


    Looks good! Your shifter landed in the "sweet spot" and the fabrication of the crossmember looks really sharp. Nice work.

    I thought I might have to do that with mine, too. But, after a bunch of measuring, I lucked out. I did have to move my shifter over though.

    Offset Shifter Model A Coupe with Muncie 4spd.jpeg HURST Shifter Stick Offset After.jpeg
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2022
  20. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,559

    Ned Ludd

    I've technically just inherited 50% of two Mercedes Benzes, and in those are the very first automatic transmissions I've owned in my almost 60 years.
  21. 4speed411
    Joined: Jun 8, 2013
    Posts: 354


  22. Crkrjac
    Joined: Jul 26, 2016
    Posts: 98

    from Waxhaw NC

    Thanks Brent! Appreciate the comment! Means a lot coming from someone who has one of the most bada$$ A’s on here! Your car is a huge inspiration.
    I cheated with trans tho….planned on an early T10 but after measuring a zillion times, I went ahead and switched to a Tremec TKX 5 speed. Plan to long haul the crap out of this one so was an easy choice to switch.
    -Brent- and firstinsteele like this.
  23. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,285


  24. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,285


    My Beater Bird-- 037.jpg 040.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
  25. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,285


    My Model A-- model a 003.JPG DSC00005.JPG
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
  26. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,285


    My '29 Peerless:):)-- IMG_0529.JPG
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
    Ned Ludd likes this.
  27. wuga
    Joined: Sep 21, 2008
    Posts: 424


    1962 Studebaker wagon with T5


    1930 Tudor with Super T10


    1931 roadster pickup with 3 speed soon to be T5


    Unfortunately 1932 Bantam altered didn't offer enough room for pedals so th350, but is towed by 5 speed wagon.


    Fordors and egads like this.
  28. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,483


    Four speed with a Hurst Comp/Plus:

    Duncan Ceramics February 2017 #3.JPG

  29. I Like Tacos
    Joined: Sep 12, 2017
    Posts: 267

    I Like Tacos

    331 Hemi and Ford 4 speed.

    Attached Files:

  30. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,724

    phat rat

    Well this one has large valve covers with holes in them. Also an A-833 4spd 14390692_10205633632638862_6163705993039102610_n.jpg
    TomT likes this.

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