Thread Number: 72802  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Something for you, Hans ~ 1957 Chrysler dealer promo
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Post# 961873   10/11/2017 at 01:40 (349 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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Unless you've already seen it, as soon as I read your posts in "Old cars vs New cars" I thought of something I saw on YouTube. It is a Chrysler dealer promotional called "You're on the Test Track." There is also one from 1958 with popular mechanics writer, Tom McCahill.


Post# 961902 , Reply# 1   10/11/2017 at 07:35 (348 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
OHH yes, I have seen both the 57 and 58 versions!

I agree whole heartedly, Except, the 57s were rushed into production and had many quality control issues, the 58s were much better, but the reason the Chryslers performed so well was two fold, the biggest reason was the Torqueflite transmission, Up against a Dynaflow or Hydramatic there was no contest, the other thing was the engine, in the desotos dodges and Chryslers there was a Hemi under the hood, no contest!

Post# 961929 , Reply# 2   10/11/2017 at 10:47 (348 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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My biggest laugh with the film was when the Buick Super just dropped back as soon as the Torqueflite and Hydramatic that actually have gears accelerated instead of relying on a torque converter alone.

I do think that the high speed cornering test was biased though, just look as to the path the GM cars take vs the Chrysler cars, they clearly choose to drive closer to the gravel.

Post# 961966 , Reply# 3   10/11/2017 at 13:58 (348 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
the 354 poly (semi-hemi)...

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found on the Windsor, many Dodges, etc was also an excellent engine, sharing the block but not heads with the hemis, but of course what really made the difference was the front torsion bar, rear leaf suspension vs the typical mushy GM coils.

Post# 961969 , Reply# 4   10/11/2017 at 14:10 (348 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
still miss

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<<---- our '58 Chrysler, now in Sweden, sold after we got it back in shape.
It had the 354 and top-option TorqueFlite, but some Mopars did have the 2 spd PowerFlite in many models and did for a number of years to come. Our '58 DeSoto had the 350 wedge engine and 2 spd PowerFlite.

Post# 962004 , Reply# 5   10/11/2017 at 16:53 (348 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
You really have to

Drive a old Chrysler product to understand how much better it handles and drives, the steering is my favorite thing, many people don't like it because its totally effortless, but I LOVE it, you can hit a pothole or run off the shoulder of the road with 1 finger on the wheel and still have control.

Post# 962024 , Reply# 6   10/11/2017 at 19:22 (348 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        
Just some observations and memories------

Depended on what kind of ride one expected. If you wanted a "couch on wheels" it was hard to beat a Ninety-Eight, Roadmaster 75, or a Fleetwood Sixty-Special or especially a Fleetwood 75. Considering how much they weighed, their engines got them moving pretty well. They weren't built to race.
Well, the commercial chassis was. Just ask anyone who remembers when you called a funeral home to get an ambulance.

The Chrysler products were lighter and they had a rather stiff suspension. Also, by the late fifties Packard, with their Torsion Bar system was long gone. Ford was busy making the Lincolns as large as they could and still have just four wheels.
All the early Power Steering systems had little "feel". I have driven them all and can't say they were very different. When Cadillac introduced their Variable Ratio system in '66 that made a big difference. Especially with the commercial cars. The big thing I recall about the Chrysler system was that there were less turns "lock to lock" and it could make parking a chore and a U-Turn dangerous.
We had a black '66 New Yorker we used as a lead-car and you needed a football field to make a circle.

It took a while for Chrysler to offer the Torqueflight tranny, and it was worth the wait. Even when the 440 came along, you could punch it and barely feel it shift. I also loved the push-button system. As usual, the Government got involved and by 1965 the push buttons were gone. Ridiculous. It was great not having that shift lever in the way. I loved the Dyna-Flow for the smoothness of operation, and you weren't going to win a race. Still, once you got it past about 50 mph it would really go. The Twin-Turbine system in the early sixties Riviera's was fast! I think the Hydramatic really evolved in the early 60's. When Cadillac introduced a 429 V8 in 1964 that engine/ drivetrain combination was powerful! It felt like endless torque. I think there were actually some Cadillacs built with Dyna-Flows in them one year. Don't remember exactly what year. There were Hydramatics in Fords for a while,too. I was at Capital in downtown Atlanta one day in the late sixties waiting for a car to be serviced. In a fenced off part of their lot were four identical Fleetwood Sixty Specials tagged for "export". I think I was pretty shocked to observe that that were NOT Hydramatics. They all had "three on the tree"! I was told they were headed to South America.

Years ago in Florida I had a turquoise metallic late sixties Imperial. It was a great car. The Air-Temp A/C could freeze you out!

Post# 962033 , Reply# 7   10/11/2017 at 20:39 (348 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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I believe that in 1964 GM switched from the Hydramatic to the Turbo-Hydramatic (400) which had more in relation to the design of the competing Torqueflite than with the Hydramatic that proceeded it.

Post# 962041 , Reply# 8   10/11/2017 at 21:39 (348 days old) by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Re funeral home ambulances

In my hometown of Leonor nc we had three funeral homes millers had cadillacs pendrys had mercurys and greets had pontiacs in 1965 a friend of ours had a baby who was very premature her husband held the baby on his lap in a portable incubator all the way to baptist hospital in Winston Salem he told me he had never been as scared in his life they were in greets new 421 Pontiac and they made a hour and forty minute trip in 45 minutes he said on all the straight stretches they did well over a hundred. Greers not greets. Lol

Post# 962043 , Reply# 9   10/11/2017 at 22:08 (348 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        
Cadillacs with Dynaflow

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I had read about this before too Steve. Here is the clip from Wikipedia about this:

The early 1950s Cadillacs were normally equipped with Hydramatic transmissions. In 1953 the General Motors Hydramatic Plant burned to the ground, leaving Cadillac without a source of transmissions. Buick Dynaflow transmissions were hastily adapted to Cadillac mount points, and some 19,000 1953 Model 62 Cadillacs, and some 28,000 Cadillacs of all models, were equipped with Dynaflow transmissions. Several thousand 1953 Oldsmobiles were also equipped with Dynaflow.

I owned a 67 Buick Skylark 2 dr HT from the spring of 76 til the fall of 81. The car was without doubt the most favorite car I ever owned. The Twin Turbine Dynaflow was a smooth as silk and I consistantly got 19 mpg. I know this because the float for the gas gauge stuck for about a year, so I had to keep track of my milage so I wouldn't run out of gas, which never happened. Then one day when I went over some RR tracks fast the gauge suddenly began to registar again, the float must have been rusted and the sharp movement shook it loose.

I also owned a 55 Cadillac Coupe DeVille for about 8 months in 74. That big old boat just floated, but big as it was I used to parallel park it in downtown San Francisco, and it took the curves of the north coast Hwy 1 like a much smaller car, handled with ease, the power brakes were very good, little fade and they didn't grab like a lot of the power brakes on 50's and 60's cars. But the gas milage, terrible! I could actually watch the gas gauge go down on the Waldo Grade. It got about 8 mpg and used a quart of oil with every fill up. But for a 19 year old car at the time, with 100,000 plus miles it really flew. And if you've never driven a car with vacuum wipers before, its a different experience. They will slow to almost a stop on acceleration. The Hydramatic shifted smoothly and predictably. I got rid of it because it was a money pit and there was gas rationing, but I sure enjoyed that Cadillac while I had it. You could squeeze four in the front and another four in the back, so it was popular with friends.

Post# 962051 , Reply# 10   10/11/2017 at 23:19 (348 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
Hydra-Matic vs Turbo Hydra-Matic 400

I've read in more than one place that royalties were paid to the same gentleman by both GM and Chrysler for that 3-speed design, but not sure. There's no doubt that the original four speed Hydra-Matic was more economical if not as smooth, but when GM brought out the Turbo in '64 the difference in acceleration was quite noticeable. Read the Motor Trend test of the '64 deVille compared to that of the '63. Of course, in '64 the Series 62 still had the old 4-speed as did the Series 75.

If other car guys on here like these YouTube clips be sure and check out the ones that Bob Rodger did on a few years of the Chrysler 300. He was an amazing engineer and I'm glad he's immortalized on film with the cars he mentored.

Post# 962078 , Reply# 11   10/12/2017 at 07:00 (347 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Of course

The 63still had the 390 engine, the 64 not only had the new Turbo Hydra Matic, it also had the new 429 engine, I had a 66 and let me tell you, for a big heavy car, it would really move!

Post# 962111 , Reply# 12   10/12/2017 at 09:36 (347 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
'63 to '68

The '63 Cadillac had the first all new engine since their first OHV was introduced in 1949. The 429 was simply bored out from the 390. The next all new engine came with the 472 in 1968. It was not only much more powerful, but GM had designed it to accommodate the coming emission challenges. If you remember, the '68 Lincoln started the year with the 462, being enlarged from the '58 430 in 1966, and then finished the year with the new 460. It was introduced for the same reason--emissions.

I still think the 1966 Cadillac was the best looking of the 1960's models, and the dashboard was stunning. Still floors me the number of sane people who would buy a car at that price, though, and not buy the climate control! I dated a girl in the 70's in college who had a '66 Calais coupe and while it wasn't all that fast, it was a true land yacht. I had a '65 Olds 98 convertible at that time and there was no comparison in quality, even though they did share a body.

Post# 962129 , Reply# 13   10/12/2017 at 11:32 (347 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        

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"it took a while for Chrysler to offer the Torqueflite tranny"...

Actually it was introduced first in the '56 Imperial, then optionally available in most Mopars across the board for '57, waaaay before the 1st truly modern GM trans the THM400.

Post# 962146 , Reply# 14   10/12/2017 at 13:19 (347 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Was the first Chrysler Torque Flight

the A727? But for a lock up convertor clutch, it never changed through the 80's.
Maybe an overdrive?
GM lost the only then Hydramatic plant in Livonia to a fire in 1956. That set them back.
They did have a 3 speed automatic for Pontiac, Olds, and Buick before the Simpson planetary based Turbo 350 and 400's. Not sure if that was the roto-hydramatic, or slim Jim. At least one had a second rear pump and could be push started. That may have been the later Dynalfow made in Flint, not certain.
Chevrolet only used the 2 speed Powerglide until their Mk1V big block 327, and 396 V8's debuted. Pontiac, Olds, and Buick, and Cadillac were the first to offer the turbo hydramatics in 1965.
The 400 has a center trunyon support the 350 doesn't, plus electric passing gear kick down vs. detent cable on the 350.

Post# 962176 , Reply# 15   10/12/2017 at 16:55 (347 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
The Hydra Matic plant, burned in 53

The Slim Jim AKA Roto Hydramatic was a dreadful thing, Odd shifts and very prone to break, especially if raced, and who wouldn't want to step down on a Olds with a 394 or a Pontiac with a 389! I had 2 of them, a 61 and a 63 Olds, the cars would have been wonderful if not for that transmission.I had a 65 Olds with the Turbo 400, and it really WOULD fly! The first THM had a switch the pitch toeque converter much like a Dynaflow, if you power braked that thing, you could here the rpm go up when the blades changed pitch, then it would lay rubber! That big old 98 embarrassed several kids in Camaros and such!

Post# 962177 , Reply# 16   10/12/2017 at 16:56 (347 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
And NO

I don't drive like that now, now I drive like a old Lady..LOL

Post# 962182 , Reply# 17   10/12/2017 at 17:06 (347 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

'vacerator' - actually, the Livonia fire was 8/12/1953. It remains the worst dollar-loss disaster in our auto industry.

If you remember, they had to put Dynaflows into Cadillacs until they could get going with Hydra-Matics again. I've never ridden in one of those but boy, I'd sure have waited to get my Cadillac with the Hydra-Matic!

My first car in high school in the early 70's was a 1951 Lincoln Sport Sedan - the one with the Lincoln front and cowl and the Mercury body from the A-pillar back. Mine had the original Hydra-Matic in it and I loved driving it. Mated to that 900 pound flathead V-8 that was borrowed from Ford's medium-duty truck line, it was smooth, positive shifting. The only thing I didn't like about it was the lack of a parking pawl. I can understand why people in that time enjoyed that transmission, since it wasn't slushy like the Dynaflow or the original Powerglide.

Did you ever drive a Chrysler Fluid Drive much? When I was a kid in the 60's my father had a Dodge 'work car' that had one. I just thought that thing was so cool, and boy, was it smooth! Of course, you couldn't be in a hurry between that, and that old Dodge flat head six. But people weren't as obsessed with looking cool back then. . .

Post# 962187 , Reply# 18   10/12/2017 at 17:15 (347 days old) by moparwash (Pittsburgh,PA -Next Wash-In...June 2019!)        
Without going too far off topic...

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TorqueFlite was the first automatic with a Simpson Gearset, which Chrysler had to licence...Ford's 1958 3-speed Cruise-O-Matic and GM's 1964
3 speed Turbo-Hydra Matic also used the Simpson Gearset, which leads many to believe that they copied TF, which is partially true. The 1940-1965 Hydra-Matic used a Fluid Coupling, which does not multiply torque like a torque converter, which is why the were 4 speed units with a low 1st gear ration to compensate. They were not overdrive units, since top gear had a 1:1 ratio. The 'Slim-Jim' Roto-Hydramatics were strange birds indeed...I would run screaming from them!

This post was last edited 10/12/2017 at 17:37
Post# 962192 , Reply# 19   10/12/2017 at 19:00 (347 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

It seems to me Oldsmobile was the first to offer a Hydramatic in the late 1930's. Cadillac the following year. I remember when a lot of the late fourties and early fifties Cadillac commercial chassis cars were still manual shift. A hearse was little more than a truck in those days. Most of them lacked any creature comforts save a heater and I remember one that didn't even have that. If you had a Combination there was always a two-way radio. That was it.
In about 1953 we started to get Combinations with air conditioning. It was a great sales tool for the ambulance business but the old timers would yell at the attendants to keep the partition closed so only the customers could stay cool. If you were using it as a hearse you had to roll down the windows and suffer irregardless. Seems ridiculous now, but, the old timers remembered having to drive a horse-drawn hearse in all kinds of weather with just a top-coat and hat. They were bitter.

The 1956 Commercial cars were tanks. So large they would barely fit into the garage bays. I loved the sound of the engine/drive-train from a standing start. It would sound really fast in 1st gear and then drop down into 2nd gear with a slow and throaty, bass, bummmm,bummmm,bummmm sound. The hearse and Combination had the fuel door on the back behind a normal little lid. The Sixty-Special was under the left tail-light. You would mash the little reflector and the tail light would pop up. Cars had so much character back then. The a/c was ducted through the roof. Not sure how smart that was with a black car. In the oppressively hot and humid Atlanta summers, the vents would drip on people's heads. Nobody complained unless it put out their cigarette. The Power Brake Pedal was the size of my father's foot. A huge steering wheel as well.

I had a friend with a 1967 Buick Skylark GT. Burgundy with black top and interior. Wonderful and very powerful car. He was whacked on hash one night and drove it over a curb on Mt. Paran. Ripped the oil pan off. Parents took it away from him. Duh. They always blamed me for supplying the hash. Which wasn't true, but I did share a couple hits of Windowpane on another occasion.

I thought the old Chryslers with Fluid Drive were pretty cool. People would say " if it has a clutch it ain't an Automatic". Which was true, but, I thought it cool anyway. Relatives had a massive late Fourties New Yorker. What a tank. I loved it. They kept it well into the early Sixties and even then were loath to retire it.
I can still remember driving around Flatbush in that thing.

Fun to reminisce about these things. Helps keep the memories alive!

Post# 962204 , Reply# 20   10/12/2017 at 20:12 (347 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

I was always fascinated by hearses when I was a kid but never was around them. I'd just see them in action. I can remember when I started working in hospitals in college in the early 70's and we were using a mix of Cadillac ambulances and the newer 'box style' in Houston for the Medical Center. I was so shocked when I got around one of the Cadillacs for the first time and saw how spartan the front compartment was! Lord, those were beautiful vehicles, though. Within a very few years they were all off the road in Houston except for private transport, and that didn't last much longer.

As for a/c, I can't imagine having to transport before air conditioning in this area. We not only get the heat here in the Houston area, but we also get the humidity. I was born in 1955; in 1954 my parents bought a beautiful Pontiac Star Chief coupe, the first year for it with the ultra-long trunk, but also the last year of the straight eight. However, Pontiac actually offered in-dash a/c that year and yes, my parents bought it. Everyone who could afford it had either wall units in their homes or central for new homes. We had 3 wall units in our home, two Carriers and an old Fedders that I think made more noise than cold air. I had an aunt with a '56 Sixty Special with the a/c vents in the roof. It's funny how remote a/c units has come back around now.

Kids these days don't understand that part of the issue with those early automatics was driver control because they're so used to being passive with today's cars. I had two uncles who just swore by Fluid Drive and drove them until they couldn't any more. They were relatively simple (certainly more than the H-M) they were easy to use and they didn't cost a lot. You just couldn't be in a drag race.

Do you know why, when GM began using the excellent Harrison a/c compressor in the mid fifties with the 'wobble plate' technology, why the other car makers stuck with the piston compressors, that made not only more vibration, but more noise? Was it a patent issue?

Post# 962224 , Reply# 21   10/12/2017 at 22:01 (347 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Chrysler Push Button Automatic Transmissions

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The goverment had nothing to due with this cool feature being discontinued, but rather public opinion, a survey showed that about 10% of car buyers in the US would NOT BUY a Chrysler automobile because of this feature, so Chrysler decided that it was not worth it to kill off the chance to sell their cars to even 10% of the buying public.

Post# 962225 , Reply# 22   10/12/2017 at 22:17 (347 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Interesting article on Chrysler push button transmissions. They include a number of possible explanations for why the system was dropped.



Post# 962271 , Reply# 23   10/13/2017 at 09:35 (346 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        
Thanks Lord Kenmore-----

I understood why the Government would want to standardize the "Order" in which cars were shifted. However, they could have done it with push-buttons as well. Once the Government got into the business of saving people from themselves it was all over. It was pretty dumb to have a Park N D L R sequence, though. Seemed like a no-brainer to keep Reverse over by Neutral and Park.

I liked the system that had the slide-lever for "Park" the best. I never heard anyone complain about push-button shifting---ever. But, hey, it stands to reason there would be people who didn't like it. I loved removal of the clumsy stalk! Dad had one of the last Packards and it had a little "pod" with push-buttons on it where the stalk was normally positioned.

Post# 962273 , Reply# 24   10/13/2017 at 09:43 (346 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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The reason early automatic transmission shift quadrants were set up PNDLR on early Powerglides and Dynaflows was to make it easier to “rock” your car from being stuck in sand, mud or snow by shifting quickly between low and reverse. There are at least a few You Tube videos about this, and it is also explained in the owners manuals of these earlier cars.

This did pose a problem though for people that were used to driving automatics without the R at the end of the quadrant. I saw this happen to a girl that lived up the road from us. She was following the school bus up a steep grade in her Dads 57 Buick Stationwagon, when she needed to shift to Low she instinctively pulled the lever down to what she thought was Low and dropped her Dads transmission on the spot. Lucky for her that her Dad had a wrecking yard and a tow truck just 2 miles up the road when this happened.

Post# 962276 , Reply# 25   10/13/2017 at 09:50 (346 days old) by kevin313 (Detroit, Michigan)        

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Here's the dash of my l964 Dodge 440 with the pushbutton transmission system located to the left of the steering wheel. I often wondered why they didn't put it on the right, where most people were used to having the transmission controls, but I think it would have put too many buttons on that side with the heat/defrost controls and the radio.

Funny how some new cars are using buttons again for transmission control, or in the case of my 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, a round dial that you turn to engage the transmission.

My Dodge 440 has a 318 engine, and while it doesn't get too much use these days, the acceleration on that car is incredible, and the TorqueFlite shifts almost seamlessly.

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Post# 962292 , Reply# 26   10/13/2017 at 12:15 (346 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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...isn't that interesting. I always wondered why some cars had reverse at the end of gear selection. The only car I've ever driven with push-button drive was back in high school . My friend's dad had a 64 Dart convertible which we'd cruise around in thinking we were the "cool guys". Another friend had an Edsel with Teletouch but I never drove it. Back then it was considered embarrassing to be seen in an Edsel.


Kevin, I like that photo. That steering wheel has tasteful "60's Class".


They say people refused to touch the Teletouch. 

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This post was last edited 10/13/2017 at 13:32
Post# 962671 , Reply# 27   10/15/2017 at 09:40 (344 days old) by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

The larger Ramblers also used a push button automatic from 1958 to 1962. It was a Borg Warner unit.

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Post# 962727 , Reply# 28   10/15/2017 at 16:27 (344 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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The original Hydramatic did have a parking pawl; you just put in in R with the motor off to lock the transmission, but a lot of people didn't realize you could do it.

Post# 962835 , Reply# 29   10/16/2017 at 08:50 (343 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Yes, I remember putting them in Reverse, however, I don't think I knew I was putting it in Park. The assumption was it wouldn't roll if left in Reverse.

Post# 962839 , Reply# 30   10/16/2017 at 09:25 (343 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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" Hydra-Matic didn’t have a Park position until the second-generation Controlled Coupling Hydra-Matic arrived in 1956, but with the engine off, the reverse pawl would effectively lock the transmission output shaft, serving the same purpose."

Not sure why they did it that way, but people who drove manual transmissions were used to leaving them in gear when they parked.


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