View Full Version : 2nd gear start

04-01-2008, 03:10 PM
Did other cars "back then" have the 2nd gear start automatics, or was it unique to Studebakers? And what was the point of it? As in, why lug around a 1-st gear when it doesn't start in it anyway?


04-01-2008, 04:25 PM
I think Ford did the second gear start also.

People liked smooth back then. If you have ever ridden in an
early 4 speed Hydromatic ( can you say lurch!), you will appreciate the second gear start.

Leonard Shepherd


04-01-2008, 08:12 PM
First gear was there just in case you needed to out run a brand X off the line. you can wind it out in low, shift into drive then back into low and lock it in 2nd, wind it out again then shift into drive to catch 3rd. just besure you don't hit reverse. NT

Neil Thornton
Hazlehurst, GA
'57 Silver Hawk
'56 Sky Hawk
'51 2R16 dump truck
Many others.

04-01-2008, 11:46 PM
In reading the Borg-Warner Manual for the O/D transmission found in many Stude's, they advertise the fact that you can leave your vehicle in second with the overdrive for all of your city driving including starts and cruising in town.

'57 Transtar Deluxe
Vancouver Island </h5>

04-02-2008, 06:30 AM
When I used to ride with my grandfather in his 50 Commander, he would start off in first and at about 5 MPH, he would shift directly to third and just lug around town.

Leonard Shepherd


04-02-2008, 07:26 AM
quote:they advertise the fact that you can leave your vehicle in second with the overdrive for all of your city driving including starts and cruising in town.

Yep, I do that around town in the orange truck. :)

Matthew Burnette
'59 Scotsman
'63 Daytona
Hazlehurst, GA

04-02-2008, 07:58 AM
I was driving my grandmother one day and due to the way a car was coming towards us on a cross street, I gunned it a little in 1st and then went to third. Got a real tongue-lashing from her for not using second. The factory put it there for a reason!

'50 Champion, 1 family owner

04-11-2008, 03:41 PM
Ironically, Chexrolets with AT cleverly avoided second gear, altogether. What they did with Powerslide was have it start out in Low (like a transmission really should) and then shift directly into High! That pretty much sidesteps the "Second Gear Start" issue. Well, doesn't it?
BTW, they didn't even HAVE a pan gasket to leak, until around 1963, which is pretty much a benefit.
"You Can't Have Everything--Where Would You Put It?" ---comedian Steven Wright

04-12-2008, 10:21 PM
quote:Originally posted by rockinhawk

just besure you don't hit reverse. NT

I sure thot someone would jump in here...but...if you put Studebaker Automatic into reverse while going forward (above about 20mph, I think), it just went into neutral. That was on of the features of the trans, along with the hill holder and anti-creep. That was probably one of the reasons Studebaker didn't want Ford using that very unique trans. That was REALLY a very good trans. I miss it.