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Three on the tree......Am I gettin old??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Straightpipes, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. Straightpipes
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,084


    Young fellows gather around my 41 Ford. One looks in thru the window and says "Whats that?" The other says " I don't know, maybe it's a handbrake for the handicaped or somethin" ..... I check it out with some young guys at work. I find out that they never drove a 3 speed, never saw points and condenser, don't know what a flathead is..........on and on, I must be gettin old!!!!
  2. 76ironhead
    Joined: Mar 12, 2009
    Posts: 504


    no it aint you it's them young wipper snappers
  3. pdq67
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 787


    Right, most of the young "pups" don't know what any of this means or looks like.

    But I learned early on that "3-on-the-tree" usually got replaced by a cheap floor shifter only because most of the linkage was worn so bad that I couldn't speed shift.

  4. Trophydash
    Joined: Mar 12, 2010
    Posts: 247

    from Tulsa, OK

    My woman and I were just talkin' about that the other night, she works in her familys salvage yard, and admitted to me she'd never driven a column shifted car......she has yet to drive my '58 Biscayne!

  5. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,816


    three on the tree OR an automatic column shift.... a bench seat that actually goes all the way across the car... the need to "warm up" a choked car.... actual window regulators and opening vent windows.

    things from the dark side of the moon for the current crop.
  6. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    If you want to really confuse them, swing that lever on your '41 over to the left side. :cool: Then they'll know it's a great big turnin' signal handle!
  7. A lot, if not most, of the young people that I work with haven't ever driven a car that didn't have an automatic transmission. I'm willing to bet that most of them don't know if their cars are front or rear wheel drive. Just the way that it is......
  8. Francisco Plumbero
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,531

    Francisco Plumbero
    from il.

    They got them fancy paddle shifters, for playin ping pong I guess, maybe pocket pong.
  9. flathead fred
    Joined: Jul 18, 2006
    Posts: 298

    flathead fred

    I love my 3 on the tree, have had a few. Hell I even had a 4 on the tree in an O/T 67 Saab (which had a German Ford V-4, quicker than shit all hopped up in that light unibody)
  10. MikeRose
    Joined: Oct 7, 2004
    Posts: 1,574

    from Yuma, AZ

    I'm 31 and I learned to drive on one. 59 biscayne with a 235 and a 3 on the tree. Most guys my age I know never have driven one though, even car guys...
  11. An when they get real worn out, on the 1 to 2 shift, you have to go almost into reverse, just before you hear the synchros grind, and then pull back real fast into nuetral gate and then up an over and up to 2nd. You other geezers know what I'm talkin about....................:D
  12. northerndave
    Joined: Mar 18, 2008
    Posts: 354

    from Badger MN


    I too say "3 on the tree"

    I know that many also say "3 in the tree"

    On the tree, in the tree....

    Either way swingin that shifter on the column is how everybody should learn to drive.
  13. gas pumper
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 2,955

    gas pumper

    An what's that button on the floor over there by the other pedal, Nitrous?
  14. I used to work in a tire shop, and had to drive all the cars with 3 pedals, as nobody else could!
  15. Dynaflash_8
    Joined: Sep 24, 2008
    Posts: 3,023

    from Auburn WA

    i can shift a 3 on the tree with overdrive!

    So ha!

    There is hope yet!
  16. Slow55
    Joined: Sep 20, 2009
    Posts: 112


    64 Chevy had a 3 speed column shifter that used to lockup between 1st and 2nd. Pull over and pop the hood-

    I love the "Mack Quadruplex"
    What a busy trip that was. 2 Sticks, they just wouldn't understand.....

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  17. ricky from va
    Joined: Aug 4, 2004
    Posts: 116

    ricky from va

    i would say most people 30 and under have never even seen a column 3 speed shift. let alone a 3 speed at all. i am getting so old i cant even re when every one went to a floor shift. very early 70's i guess. Last 3 on the tree was built when? thats a good trivia question
  18. orphanautomill
    Joined: Jun 21, 2010
    Posts: 156


    A friend of mine from Hungary rode in my Hudson once. He was blown away by "the thing on the column". I explained the "3 on the tree", he was amused.

    I laugh at my kids friends when they ride in my cars, they never know how to open the windows when they can't find the buttons. It also make me laugh when people walk up to the passenger window to talk to me when I'm in the driver seat. After a moment of awkward gestures, they usually figure out that I can't open the window from the other side :)

    My kids all know crank up windows, and I intend to make sure all 5 have driven a column shift car. My wife has driven my Hudson, and my 13 & 11 year olds have driven a regular stickshift (kind of). I plan to make them drive a manual car when they start driving. I think it helps build focus on driving, road conditions, and hopefully will keep both hands tied up from texting !
  19. Granger Perry
    Joined: Jul 12, 2009
    Posts: 134

    Granger Perry
    from Albany, WI

    That's what I like about my Plymouth, just shift up. Don't have to worry about that mumbo-jumbo :D
  20. Cosmo49
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,231


    Me too, daily driver only vehicle.
  21. MrFire
    Joined: Jun 22, 2010
    Posts: 6,801

    from Gold Coast

    "Three on the tree", headlight dimmer switch on the floor, umbrella handbrake, hand choke, no radio as standard, no heater, no rear view mirror that adjusts for night driving (remember the car following with lights on high beam?)


    but, the big plus ++++, a bench seat. No good for driving, but there were times ............................... I seem to recall, or perhaps it was just imagination. :)

    PS: Photo is of a 48-215 Holden aka FX Holden or a Humpy Holden.
  22. I've lot driven a 3 on the tree a couple times. But the first car I had to myself to drive was a 4 on the floor with a big V8, and I miss shifting for myself.

    I can admit to being young enough to be spoiled by power windows and locks though, so much so that my current beater while it didn't really need both front doors replaced, I replaced them first and I pulled the replacements off a van with power windows - GM made it easy on some vehicles to add them, just pull an add-on wiring harness piece out, and cut the holes for it to pass through in the door jams. Did the same to add the solenoids for the locks on the other doors. But it's a van, it's not easy to reach across and make sure all the doors are locked.

    Now that I've added PW/PL to a couple cars, I could do it to a '50s car no problem using the same harnesses -
  23. shmoozo
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 672

    from Media, PA

    I shared a house for a while with a guy who collected old Alfa Romeos. One of them was a rather rare (on this side of the Atlantic) 1965 sedan powered by a 2.6 liter, DOHC inline six. The car had a five speed manual transmission with a column shift.

    I've never seen another car with that arrangement.

  24. Stovebolt37
    Joined: May 1, 2009
    Posts: 23

    from Idaho

    My 14 year old says they won't teach three pedals in his driver's ed class anymore because of burned up clutches in the cars. That's just sad.
  25. I learned how to drive with 3 on the tree. The old mans 52 Chevy. Then his 60 Falcon, 3 on the tree also. Also put chains on the 52 one winter, thats something I will never miss nor do again in this life. I have had a 4x4 pickup for the last 20 years and wont ever go back to a 2x4 pickup ever again as long as I live in Nebraska!
  26. Bama Jama
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 365

    Bama Jama

    What would they do in an old vacuum shift Chevy? Try speed shifting! Come to think of it, if you put one those kids in a 3sp in the floor they would back all over something.
  27. mike1951
    Joined: Jul 15, 2007
    Posts: 706

    from Colorado

    I got my 53 buick 3 on the tree and the wife, who avoided the 51 chevy 4 on the floor...if you count the granny gear....learned to drive it in 30 seconds... It is nice to not worry about gettin the buick stolen if you run in to get a soda at the gas station....
    I did have a buddy with a 75 ford truck 3 on the tree... don't know when they stopped makin em
  28. wallygator
    Joined: Jun 22, 2009
    Posts: 124


    I recently sold my 40 chevy coupe to a guy that bought it without a test drive. When he went to leave with it and discovered its was a three on the tree he asked me to drive it to his house for him. "TRUE STORY"
  29. 3 on the trees are cool as shit. If I had known I was gonna have a sled when I started buildin' the '53, I would have liked to put one in.
  30. joeybsyc
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 803

    from PA

    OK, here's a good trivia question I personally don't know the answer to... Whats the newest car or truck that could still be had with a 3 speed column shift? My grandfather had a '75 Chevy truck with a 3 on the tree, but I can't think of anything newer than that... I'm sure there's something. Was there anything made in the 1980's that still had it? How about the dimmer on the floor, what year did they stop doing that?

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