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Suicide Cruise Control?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Chevy48, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Chevy48
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 201


    I'v alway been meaning to ask about the nonchalantly named “Throttle Control knob” described in the operators manual.

    This thing had to have been deadly! :eek:

    Did people use it as an early form of cruise control? Considering the road conditions and construction standards at the time (and even now), I can’t imagine it! Perhaps in the wide open plains, it might have been feasible? But here in Boston and Greater New England, I’d give the life expectancy of about a week.

    Is it even legal? Grand fathered in like seat-belts? What about Hot-Rods?

    Good thing mine is unhooked. Otherwise I’d probably try it!

    What Say Ye?

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  2. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,241

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER you use cruise control in town? How about overdrive? LOL
    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069


    The whole hobby itself is suicide, if you compare it to todays standards. STOP COMPARING!!!
  4. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,902


    Good post!
    I had an old Willys jeep that had a throttle control, that was actually hooked to the governor so would kick up the rpms when needed to maintain speed.
    This was made for use when using the Willys as a farm tractor, which was common back in the 40's.
    I would mess with it a bit on the road, but it didn't react real well, as it was meant to be used in low gears when plowing etc...
    Suicide....maybe so, but on an open road I wouldn't think it too bad if you have a quick left foot for a clutch !!! as for an auto??? Not too cool.
    Similar "throttle controls" are on many motorcycles, before the real cruise control was available, and they were/are a pain in the butt...
    Curious as to what others have to say...
    JMHO !

  5. Why would this be an issue. Think about it. When I am driving an old car and need to panick stop, I stomp both the clutch and brakes, Don't you. Remeber most cars that this was an option were standard. Hell it is an option on New over the road trucks sold today, well at least any truck that is non-computer optioned trucks.
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,367


    I've seen them used on trucks that had pto drives on them to keep the rpm up. To use it to be able to take your foot off the gas pedal on a road trip you had better have reactions quick enough to be able to reach out and push the Throttle button back in quickly.
  7. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don

    Put your head back in the mid forties and ask the question again. Many roads were deserted. You could see a lot of traffic, and miss both of them.
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,718


    57 chevy truck owners manual


    It wasn't a cruise control, it was to keep rpm up for whatever reason, generally when the truck was sitting still.
  9. Chevy48
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 201


    Youz guys is a riot......:D

    Yes I suppose depending on the vehicle, and what your using it for it does have some practical uses.

    But still! I wouldn’t use it, even on the freeway here. And your right about the modern cruise control thing, but still this is far more dangerous IMHO.

    Yes the Brake and Clutch reaction is something I didn’t consider. I suppose that is true, as I do find, I have to pay far more attention to driving in my Stove-Bolt as compared to my 2009 remanufactured load of melted tunafish cans.

    I do appreciate the technology advances of today, but I LOVE driving my beautiful beast! Nothing compares....ooops right no comparisons!
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  10. I would use it to idle up in the winter, to warm my junk up. It probably would work great as cruise control too. What's the big deal?
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  11. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,590

    from Michigan

    I had suicide cruise control in a '68 Torino years virtue of a broken motor mount, and the stick-shift trans. Let the clutch out just a little too fast, and the engine would lift, pulling on the throttle, and there she'd go...WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!! Or should I say WHOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAHHH!!!

    One day, my buddy was drivin' it, pulling through the median. I said, "Now be careful when pulling out here..........." WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!! You shoulda seen him tryin' to regain control...laughed my ass off.
  12. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,132

    from Minnesota

    IMHO there is only two reasons for them, one is for a fast idle as the owners manual post explains, and the other is for PTO's on trucks like a cement mixer or hydraulic lift gate or tow truck, etc.

    I would never use a choke cable style control for anything on a throttle or fuel shut off where it has to be fail safe. Like an airplane throttle control is a Morse type cable control. Until you have had one of cheapies jam on you, you may not understand why.
  13. 12bjoshu
    Joined: Nov 6, 2011
    Posts: 17

    from Kansas

    I once was looking at my 60 Chevy Apache 10, and asked my dad, who is basically an expert on those what the knob with the T on it was for... He commenced telling me that it was a throttle cable, and that as far as he always knew, it was for when the truck was cold, especially in the winter, to speed up the RPM of the engine while allowing you to take your foot off the pedal. I suppose this was designed to work along with the parking brake, so that you could get out and scrape windows, shovel snow, whatever it was you would have to do.
  14. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,271

    Rusty O'Toole

    Old cars had a hand throttle and a hand choke for starting and warming up.

    Later the throttle was built into the hand choke. More expensive cars got an automatic choke with built in fast idle control.

    Last American car I owned with hand choke (factory) was a 53 Ford. Last foreign car, 1984 Renault.

    Not sure when the last car was made with hand choke and hand throttle, probably in the forties.

    You could use the hand throttle as a primitive cruise control in the wide open spaces but not recommended.
  15. Sixness
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 137

    from Cen Tex

    Was realy handy when you were HAND CRANKING your old 30s Chevy by your self to keep it running till you could get inside ease the choke back a little....!!
  16. toreadorxlt
    Joined: Feb 27, 2008
    Posts: 733

    from Nashua, NH

    back when people had brains....
  17. monkeyspunk79
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 553


    I remember many moons ago my Dad & I looked at a 48 Chevy Fleetmaster Coupe. The guy started up the stovebolt six and had pulled the throttle cable out instead of the choke. Car started up and VAROOOM ran at about 5000 rpm for about 15 seconds before the brainiac realized what he did. He had a panicked look on his face and clearly didn't know his stuff. Even as a kid I knew the difference between the two and enjoyed a good laugh.
  18. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,069


    My 06 Harley has a thumb wheel device to lock the
    throttle I will use it a bit on interstate rides, but keep it loose so the throttle can be snapped closed with a wrist motion.
  19. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,710


    i think all 1940 chevys had them.. and I've seen it used as a "cruise" control.. first hand..
  20. erlomd
    Joined: Apr 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,213


    Not as crazy as the control knob on my '77 screws the throttle in place when you reach a desired speed...always made me nervous using it since you also have to manually loosen it to disengage it.
  21. goose-em
    Joined: Aug 23, 2008
    Posts: 349

    from Louisiana

    Well I am just an old farmer and that throttle control was used in conjunction with a pto.

    It was also used to control the speed of the vehicle when driving through a field picking up hay or straw.

    My old pappy always said that it wasn't to be used when driving on the road as that was a death sentence.

    And yes, we used to warm the old Farm Hand up using it and used it to control the speed when in the field.

    Just what I was told and what we did. Not an expert on them by any means.
  22. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,970

    from Dublin, OH

    My '57 Has a factory installed hand throttle. Since my car is standard shift (3 speed on the column) it is quite useful at traffic lights on steep hills. I have also used it on the hiway as a cruise control since Ohio is pretty flat it works quite well!
    It is also handy on cool mornings, I can kick the choke off but still bring the R's up a little until it warms up.
  23. busch167
    Joined: Mar 26, 2006
    Posts: 107


    sawzall is right
    And yes I was there
  24. That's how we use them on our old trucks on our ranch.
  25. Straightpipes
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,084


    I put one on a Jeep Rubicon a few months ago for use off road. Comes in handy trying to keep your foot on the gas pedal while you are jouncing around. Just set the throttle and steer.

    I,ve got one on my 34 Peekup. I use it as a fast idle for warmup.
    My 2N Ford tractor has one. Thats all it has...

    Hand throttle is just one of those things that some of us grew up with. Along with foot dimmer switches, starter buttons, wing windows, curb feelers, crank holes in the grille, add-a-walls, three on the tree, necker knobs, AM radio, vacuum wipers, points, hand chokes, 6 volts, and so on.

    I think now a days people depend so much on technology that they can't think for themselves. I had to show a 28 year old the shift patern on a 3 speed.....:rolleyes:
  26. erlomd
    Joined: Apr 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,213


    Now that I can see handy! The carbs on my O/T jeep would always want to seice and desist whenever i was off roading for a long time...dam thing always wanted to die out on me....
    Also if you're in a traffic jam on an up hill...:D
  27. erlomd
    Joined: Apr 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,213


    "My old pappy always said that it wasn't to be used when driving on the road as that was a death sentence. "

    Now that's true not only for this knob, but for pretty much anything all of us drive here ain't it?:eek:

    "I think now a days people depend so much on technology that they can't think for themselves. I had to show a 28 year old the shift patern on a 3 speed....."

    Man, I hear ya...almost every new car out there has some form traction control, speed control, suspension assist, night time driving assist, parking assist, automatic braking, automatic lights, automatic wipers, steering assist....
    I wonder what the mortality rate of hotrodders to everyday people is? You would still most likely be surprised to know its higher in everyday drivers with all them assists and safety features...
    Today, the more stuff a car has the cheaper the need to pay extra for a manual transmission? What the hell is that all about

    I'll get off my high horse now...sorry guys
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  28. Slick Willy
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 3,010

    Slick Willy

    Why is this such a big deal? Its not like you pull the lever and you get punched in the face! You will still know how fast youre going! (I hope)
  29. Straightpipes
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,084


    I like that...... Pull a lever and get punched in the face..... I'll have to get out to the shop and work on that one :D
  30. Chevy48
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 201


    Well alrighty then,

    I suppose not such a big deal after all, still I’m amazed it is still an option for some vehicles. And on a Harley’s too! For sure, in 1948 people did use there sedans on the farm as power units. But, I would think they would want to use a truck as it is more practical. And it has to be handy for warming-up the car and a few other things. (You can still buy a belt-drives to fit on to the drive-wheel to run saws and other things off your car even now.)

    One thing I do find with the old stove-bolt, it has torque that (most) modern cars don’t seem to have. After reading what people are writing here and trying a few things, going up a fairly steep hill at 45 MPH, I noticed I don’t even have to press on the gas pedal. It is, as if, the hill is not there. And when holding the gas pedal perfectly still on the highway, the speed up and down grades, hardly changes more than about 5 MPH.

    Even though it just might be safer than I first thought, still I’m going to push the “Pussy” button for now.

    As far as modern tech goes, the engines now weigh half as much, get double the gas mileage, and have twice the power. The suspension and braking systems are outstanding. With modern material technology and engineering, cars have taken a giant step forward. And for the better. (Until something breaks that is. And that’s another story.)


    These new cars can not hold a candle to these old beauties, as I feel like I’m part of the road. The steering feedback that is something I truly enjoy. The solid thumping raw-power (even from a Chevy six) is a sensation no longer felt in (most) newer cars. The power-band is so wide, once in third gear, it is like having an automatic-transmission. The suspension is solid and firm around corners and one can feel the grip first-hand when speeding around exit ramps. It is hard to describe, but overall, I very much enjoy the down-to-earth-ness of it all.

    However, getting a speeding ticket is unlikely, and more likely to get one for obstructing traffic in this modern era!…lol. The 1940’s was a different world…for sure!

    I very much enjoy this thread! Allow me to thank you all!


    Footnote: Ever notice many Chevy ads of the 40’s show cars and trucks effortlessly climbing hills? :cool:

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