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
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.

Thanks again to Brian for sharing!

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