More Mystery of the Manual Transmission
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 restoration.
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 acceptable. 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 bullet. 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.
Thanks again to Brian for sharing!