Post WWII V-8 manual transmissions-how were they?

Started by Andrew 10642, July 18, 2005, 06:15:24 PM

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Andrew 10642

The LaSalle discussion previously prompted a little review of the Cadillac Ebay listings under "other", and I noticed no manual transmissions.  Was 1950 the last year (Until the Cimarron, that is)for these transmissions?  What was it like to drive, flat head vs. OHV engine starting in 1949, when equipped with a manual trasmission?  These were 3-speeds, correct?

Finally, just to get some blood boiling, what modifications can be done to these 331 displacement engines that would not be noticeable by just looking at the engine?

I think thats enough. . .

Doug Houston

Cadillac used the same manual transmission through 1953, which was tha last year it was offered. I dont know how many manual shifts went out in 1953, but you can probably count them on one finger.

Interesting that when Oldsmobile brought out the new engine in 1949, it was too much for the B-O-P transmission that had been in use since the early forties. For those jobs that went out with manual transmissions, they used a Cadillac transmission through 1950, so Ive been able to determine.
When I first heard this, I went to my Olds and Cadillac parts books and looked up internal parts for the two transmissions, and there they were! part for part,identical.

Ive had one of those transmissions for quite a while, and the tail housing is different from Cadillac, but its a Cadillac transmission. After learning the above, I now know what the thing is.

And on the engine "improvements" you might be able to keep the block and put a hotter crankshaft, bigger pistons, bigger valves and the inevetable hot camshaft. Nobody would ever suspect your highly technological improvements until you had it running (if it would run at all).

Andrew 10642

Doug,

I did notice that on Ebay only the professional/commercial chassis cars had a manual transmission after 1950, but unfortunately Ebay has such a short look back period for completed auctions its almost meaningless in terms of a "sample size".

Thanks for your info, always enjoy learning about these cars from your postings.

Does anyone else drive a post WWII manual transmission vehicle and what is the best/worst feature?

Porter 21919

We would ever see a Cadillac with a manual transmission ever again ?

Give the customer what they want, Mercedes always had a manual transmission car for sale.

Even the vast majority of Corvettes have an automatic transmission but for the true performance minded you have to offer the manual shift.

Performance and sports cars still boosts the bottom line and the image of the brand.

JIM CLC # 15000

07-20-05
Andrew, I was in the AF with a man who had either a 53 or 54 Cadillac with a Manual Transmission. He got it in late 54 and he had to special-order it.
HTH Good Luck, Jim

Matt Harwood

Quote from: Porter 21919We would ever see a Cadillac with a manual transmission ever again ?

Give the customer what they want, Mercedes always had a manual transmission car for sale.

Even the vast majority of Corvettes have an automatic transmission but for the true performance minded you have to offer the manual shift.

Performance and sports cars still boosts the bottom line and the image of the brand.

I know the CTS, CTS-V and perhaps even XLR/XLR-V are available with manual transmissions.

The funny thing about Corvettes is that the automatic is standard and a manual is an extra-cost item. I guess that says a lot about the current Corvette buyer demographic...
--
Matt Harwood
Cleveland, OH
My 1941 Buick Century restoration:
http://www.harwoodperformance.bizland.com/1941buick/index.html TARGET=_blank>http://www.harwoodperformance.bizland.com/1941buick/index.html

Doug Houston

Of course, since the 1942 engine was built after the war, driving a 46-48 Cadillac with the manual trans. would be the same as a 41 or 42. I say that because the pre-41 cars had higher ratio rear axles and would not be quite representative of the postwar models.

I have one 41 car with manual transmission. Its the convertible sedan, and was a pretty impossible mess from the start. It has the optional 3.36 rear end. The engine had to be bored .060" oversize to clean them up. I know that Im comparing apples to oranges, but that car is a responsive fool. Its true that it would be a bit peppier than the Hydra-Matics, but its more than I had expected.

I cant recall driving a 49 series engine with manual shift, but I have heard that theyre far from being a dog! One big reason that the hot rodders always snatched Cadillac transmissions is that the second gear is a close ratio to high. I dont do it often at all, but Ive  had the 38-60S up to 45 MPH in second. Thats a lot for a car of that era.

Andrew 10642

Jim,

Funny about the AF comment.  One reason I was interested is that my brother served in the late 70s and knew someone who had a 1950 Cadillac with a manual transmission that they drove all over.  Of course, that was almost 30 years ago!  It has stuck in brain ever since.

Andrew