View Full Version : Clutch To Start

Ted Glowiak
06-29-2012, 04:25 PM
Curious as to why Studebaker located the starter button under the clutch pedal on some stick shift cars? Was this consider a safety step to assure someone didn't inadvertedly hit the starter while in gear? The concept is new to me and I'm having a little difficult adjusting to the need not to depress the clutch to the floor while in motion for fear of reingaging the starter again.

For which cars and what years was this practice standard procedure?


06-29-2012, 04:38 PM
As usual, Studebaker was ahead of it's time. The rest of the world finally got the idea of a neutral safety switch and/or having to have the clutch disengaged to start the car. (It was also cheaper and more reliable than a key operated solenoid.)

jack vines

06-29-2012, 04:51 PM
Don't know for sure why it was done like that, but I do believe it is safer. I have two Studes that have that starting method, and I love it.

Plus, it's amazing how many people ask..........."How did you start that??" <GGG>

06-29-2012, 05:09 PM
Nash also had that setup in '46 and Chev had the button in the middle of the bellhousing hump in '48.

06-29-2012, 05:57 PM
The clutch pedal starter switch was definitely a Safety Feature and an easier way to start the Car since you must have the clutch pedal down anyway.

You do not park a manual trans. Car in neutral, especially an Overdive one which MUST be parked in REVERSE, so it makes sense that you would have the pedal down.

All 1947 to 1954 Studebaker Cars had this on Standard and Overdrive cars, many also had the Hill Holder option.
All M, and C Cab Trucks to 1954 also did.

I am sure some pre-war Cars did also, after the Startex Automatic Starting Cars.

After you get used to stopping when you feel the starter button, it will be easy to not "floor" the Clutch.

06-29-2012, 06:58 PM
I think the clutch starter is so cool, I had it engineered into my 5.3L/4L60E conversion on my R series truck. It's been mentioned on the forum before. I like the fact that it looks like a stock truck when you gaze in through the window and I think it's a pretty clever anti theft device.

I do occassionally mess up and depress the clutch pedal when I'm driving it but it doesnlt hurt anything if I do. The nuetral safety switch protects it from engaging.

06-29-2012, 10:25 PM
My college roomie had a '48 Chev with the starter pedal in the bellhousing. He typically had to cover the clutch and brake with his left foot, then the accelerator and starter with the right. As I recall, it was kinda stiff.

06-30-2012, 12:53 AM
When I had a 50 Champion so equipped I liked that feature. Unintended starter engagement was never a problem. I liked it especially if I stalled the engine while letting the clutch out. Just push it down and it was running again. It seemed to me to be a very wise design.