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Features When Three was on the Tree...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. desotoman53
    Joined: Aug 5, 2009
    Posts: 145

    from Conroe

    I never felt comfortable driving standard but when I bought my truck with three on the tree it just felt natural and easier. The only thing I’ve have a problem with is occasionally I’ll have to turn the truck off, and lift the hood and put it in neutral because it got stuck.
  2. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,282


    my 51 merc has the three on the tree and I like it very much learned how to drive in a merc that had the three spd so kind of brings back fond memories.
  3. Hey @TexasSpeed Don't you have a bunch of pics of column shifted hotrods? Or am I remembering wrong?
  4. I realize that it's not the primary focus of this Blog/thread ... but thought it would be worth mentioning that Ray Evernham's "Moonshiner '40 Ford Coupe" is pretty darn C:cool::cool:L !!!

    The car was previously owned by a FordBarn forum member in Alabama (see his COOL "ol'" 40 coupe - Running moonshine car Classified Ad):

    Moonshiner \'40 Coupe - 01.jpg Moonshiner \'40 Coupe - 02.jpg Moonshiner \'40 Coupe - 03.jpg
    Moonshiner \'40 Coupe - 04.jpg Moonshiner \'40 Coupe - 05.jpg Moonshiner \'40 Coupe - 06.jpg
    Moonshiner \'40 Coupe - 07.jpg Moonshiner \'40 Coupe - 08.jpg Moonshiner \'40 Coupe - 09.jpg
    click thumbnails to enlarge

    ... and it appeared in one or more episodes of Evernham's Velocity TV show "AmeriCarna" ... including some footage in this clip:

    footage of Ray's Moonshiner '40 Ford Coupe at the 0:05 & 1:32 marks
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
    Model T1 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  5. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,949

    The 39 guy

    I broke a rear axle while learning to drive in a 52 Ford with Three on the tree. I converted my (first car) 53 Ford to a Hurst floor shift. But now I am installing a 49 mercury three speed with overdrive in my 40 coupe project and it will be shifted with a stock column shifter. It should be fun and I will not be trying to speed shift the old gear box.

    Teaching your girl friend how to shift was always a plus with either floor or column shift. She had to sit close and you could keep that right arm in action with more important tasks.
    aussie57wag likes this.
  6. Gerry Moe
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 498

    Gerry Moe

    How do you speed shift the new dash knob shifter on the dodge trucks
  7. mikhett
    Joined: Jan 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,410

    from jackson nj

    My 56 Ford Victoria im restoring is 3 on the tree w/od.NoN synchro 1st.
    OldSchoolRodz and aussie57wag like this.
  8. jamesgr81
    Joined: Feb 3, 2008
    Posts: 265


    Ah....I can still remember lifting up on the lever and trying to get it back into first before stopping with the old non-sychronized first gear. Or having to stop after a failed speed shift to get those rods untangled under the hood. We used to say when missing a shift "grind me a pound".
  9. starliner62
    Joined: Nov 17, 2010
    Posts: 114


    My 63 Lark still has three on the tree with a V-8 and overdrive. It is fun to drive although I plan on putting a floor shift in. I do have a 55 Stude that will stay three on the tree.
  10. Australia! Swedish girls! A van! sign me up
  11. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,668


    10 years ago I had a 65 Wildcat with three on the tree, a pretty rare car. None of my younger buddies could drive it, and were intimidated by it. Worked as an extra on a movie that was set in the 50s. I got more working hours by being one of the few guys there who could drive one. it was funny as hell to see the cocky youngsters volunteer to drive in a scene, only to have to admit that they didn't have a clue how to drive the 40s and 50s cars.
  12. When I was in high school, I started the build process of my coupe, and was sick of driving my '54 F100, with 3 on the tree. I chose to put in an automatic, with the original column. Now that I am an old fart, I've been strongly considering the option of going back to a 3 speed. Next rebuild, it'll go back to 3 on the tree.
    aussie57wag likes this.
  13. My Dad taught me to drive in a 1960 Chevy Brookwood wagon, 235 and three-on-the-tree. Back then, TOTT wasn't very cool really. A floor shift was waaay cooler. Now, I love 'em. It takes me back in time and always makes me think of my old man.
  14. Oh my gosh, the illustration of the pattern is a '53-54 Hudson Jet !
  15. oldcargary
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 210

    from devore, Ca

    Remember reversing the shift pattern on a 3 on the tree where the shift from 1st to 2nd was a straight pull down and the 2nd to 3rd wasn't as critical...haven't thought of that in awhile..
  16. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    While my 58 Plymouth was down for an engine swap I got to drive my mothers 60 Rambler American...the gear selector came out of the dash board at the base of the column.
  17. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,639

    from Berry, AL

    I learned to drive a standard shift in a Chevy pickup. I also remember stacking the gears a few times, having to get out and untangle them, how embarrassing to a teen guy trying to look cool, LOL. Haven't owned a three on the tree since my son's 68 Ford pickup. He didn't have any trouble picking up the pattern after a few tries.
    Now, the only standard shift vehicle I own is my 94 Ranger, unless you can count my Freightliner.
  18. KRB52
    Joined: Jul 9, 2011
    Posts: 1,009

    from Conneticut

    Dad always preferred "standard", figuring if he could get one vehicle running in the winter, he could use that to either jump or "tow" start the other. If he had standard, he could put it in gear, roll down the slight hill in the driveway and pop the clutch. He was disappointed in '72 when the wagon we got Mom could only be had with a automatic.

    My first car was a '72 Dodge (in 1977) that was three speed, but on the floor and it was factory. Power shifting that trying to get on the highway (Merrit Parkway was just as tough then as it is now) was just as exciting as power shifting Dad's pick up, which was three-on-the-tree.
  19. 33sporttruck
    Joined: Jun 5, 2012
    Posts: 532


    I have to agree with 2OLD2FAST. There is something Special when You can get the shift lever and Knob between your Girlfriends Legs. She always giggled and said,"Stop That".............. Jeff
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  20. TexasSpeed
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 4,618


    I think you're right. They're probably in my Hot Rod Yearbook Scans. Unfortunately, the PhotoBucket links are still not working and the files themselves are just too large for the server to upload. I found two to try and upload on here. I've already reduced them down to 25% of their original size and they're still too large.

    Miracles of modern technology.. :rolleyes:
  21. boo
    Joined: Jul 6, 2005
    Posts: 557

    from stuart,fl.

    had a few 3spd colums,50 plymouth, 50 ford, 61 ford, 40 ford. building a 34 rdst. now w/55cad. eng ford t-85 3 spd od, colum trans. love colum shifts.
    aussie57wag likes this.
  22. TexasSpeed
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 4,618


    Attached Files:

  23. sedan33
    Joined: Mar 27, 2009
    Posts: 100


    I have a 3 on the tree with OD in my 33 Ford,,,,,,,just because I can.
    bchrismer likes this.
  24. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200


    I had a vintage Mercedes with a four speed on the tree. It wasn't too tough to learn,some people just don't have the knack..
  25. Personally, I love the "3 on the tree".
  26. CTKing
    Joined: May 27, 2013
    Posts: 13

    from Reno,NV

    I learned to drive a stick in a 1959 Chevy p/u with a 3 on the tree. It confused the hell outta me the first few miles.
    Between that and the starter button on the floor I didn't ever bother to lock it or roll the windows up when I drove that truck to high school in 2006-2007.

    Posted using my fat fingers, excuse the typo's.
  27. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,432


    A column mounted shifter has always screamed either Kustom or Grandmas four door to me. I had one in my Econoline Pickup and quickly sold it off. I think I'll stick with a...........

  28. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,094


    Two of my cars are "three on the tree", both get driven a lot. For me it's no novelty, it's second nature. Although sometimes an extra gear would be nice.
  29. Being stock, my 56 Customline has a column mounted 3 spd shifter. Non sync took a while to get around, thinking and coming to a halt before engaging, but now I'm ok with it.
    Its a car from "another time, another place" as its said in the begging of Streets of Fire... and I love it!
  30. elba
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 621


    Does anybody know what the last American vehicle produced had three on the tree ? I don't .

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