A Manual Transmission Update

27 April 2010

Brian Ford was kind enough to send in some updated pictures of his ‘60 Olds Super 88 Convertible, with 5 speed manual transmission conversion. With bucket seats, Torque Thrust D wheels & spinners, and a racing steering wheel it definetly looks like a ’60s rod. The work on it looks top notch too. I hope Brian is out enjoying it this summer…it looks like a lot of fun to drive!







Thanks again for sending in pictures of your finished project, Brian!

More Mystery of the Manual Transmission.

26 April 2010

After posting the first “manual transmission mystery” article here, I got an e-mail from Brian Ford, who was kind enough to share his own experience with manual transmission 1960 Oldsmobiles. Here’s Brians’ story in his own words…

You said you have never seen another 60 with stick. I have been
“blessed” to have
three; actually four Stick Olds counting the 50.

My first was a Super 88 Blue two door hardtop. I order it in May of
1960, no power
steering or brakes. I did order many other options. I converted the
car to floor shift
using “Ansen”  linkage. After getting married in 1961 I sold the car
as my wife had
trouble driving that car with stick and no power steering. Who ever
thought of having two
cars at that time.




The second was rust bucket barn find in 1997 near Milwaukee. It was to
much work for me
and to much money to have someone else due for me. I bought it anyway
mostly for the
extra parts and sheet metal that came with it. I got it drivable and
sold it to a fellow
in northern Indiana. As of last year he still says he is going to do a
body off



The third car I bought while I still had the rust bucket. The motor
had been redone. I
had the bodywork done and painted in 98. The interior was original and
The rest of the story about this car is that it had a Jetaway
Transmission. For 9 years
it was fine but I wished it was a “stick”. About March of last year I
decided to bite the
I looked around and talked to many shops about doing the conversion.
Most did not want to
touch it and the rest did not think it was doable. Then I found a guy
near Youngstown
Ohio. Tony had all the right answers etc. He had the car till October
last year. In 1959
I changed a 1950 Olds from Hydro to three speed on the column. It was
a lot of work but
when your 18 with more time than money you do it yourself.  Tony did a
fine job. The
trans is a Richmond 5 speed with 5th being overdrive. Also changed the
rear gear from
3.08 to 3.64. Over the winter I did some fine tuning of the clutch
linkage and changed
the front to buckets from a 64 Olds or Pontiac and a center console
from a Honda. I also
made the parking brake into the console. Now the car is in the
upholstery shop for a
complete interior. The buckets were a different color and the rest
looked tired. I am
promised the car will be ready for the OCA Nationals the end of July.
I look forward to
driving it to Dearborn Michigan for the Nationals.

Special thanks to Brian for sharing! Sounds like his latest project

is going to be a lot of fun to drive.

Mystery of the Manual Transmission

26 April 2010

For years I’ve wondered if Oldsmobile ever actually made any ’60s with a manual transmission. The Factory Service Manual has a large section on rebuilding the 3 speed manual, as well as clutch replacement and adjustment, etc, so it made sense that it must have at least been an option. 3 Speed column shift equipped cars were fairly common in the late ’50s and early ’60s…automatic transmissions were still optional equipment and must have still been seen as an upgrade. I’ve looked at a lot of 1960 Oldsmobiles over the past 12 years, and they’ve all been equiped with the 4 speed Hydramatic…until now.

I’ve finally confirmed the exsistance of a three speed manual transmission ‘60 Olds. Thanks to Larry from the Classic Oldsmobile forums for sending me pictures of his Dynamic 88. It looks like a really sharp restoration, and features a J2 equipped 371 and original early ’70s Cragars…but what really got my attention is that transmission. This must have been a very basic car when it was purchased new…the Dynamic was the least expensive model, and it’s a Celebrity Sedan, not a hardtop. Looking at the pictures, it doesn’t look like it has many of the power features a more expensive model would have been equipped with. It doesn’t even have power steering! This looks like a very basic, no-frills Oldsmobile, possibly purchased originally by a value conscience customer who wanted a more upscale brand of car. Very interesting to be sure. The J2 “six pack” intake manifold and 3 carburetors was not an option in 1960, but was added recently. This car would have originally had a Rochester two barrel carb and intake.

At any rate, here is the proof of Oldsmobile using manual transmissions…

60-old-dynamic-006 60-old-dynamic-008 60-old-dynamic-014 60-old-dynamic-015 60-old-dynamic-016 60-old-dynamic-017 60-old-dynamic-018 60oldstripowerblk-003 60oldstripowerblk-004 60oldstripowerblk-007 60oldstripowerblk-014 post-resto-002 post-resto-003 post-resto-006 post-resto-007 post-resto-008 post-resto-011 post-resto-012 post-resto-013