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Automatic Drive and Ford

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  • Automatic Drive and Ford

    Is it true that Ford wanted to buy the BW-sourced automatic from Studebaker who then refused? Why wouldn't they just buy it directly?
    peter lee

  • #2
    Ford wanted to buy the Detroit Gear automatic in 1950. Studebaker which had participated in the design wanted to use the transmission for one year exclusively. So Ford went to Borg Warner for their "Fordomatic" transmission.

    The point has been debated over the years of if Studebaker had let Ford use the transmission that it would have helped. After 1955, when cost per unit went up versus declining sales, that transmission was used in Jaguar and other makes overseas.

    Bob Miles
    Very few people work on the Detroit Gear automatic


    • #3
      I think to finalize the answer to this question, we would need a Copy of that Purchase Agreement/Contract with the Detroit Gear Division of Borg Warner to REALLY know what Studebaker's options really were with this DG Transmission that was developed by a co-operation of Engineers of Both Corp's.

      We know Studebaker did have "certain rights" to it, and it is a well known fact that Ford wanted it badly because they must have Hated having to go to Arch Rival GM, for Automatic Transmissions and pay their "Price" as they did for the Lincoln Division's use of the 4 Speed original Hydramatic.
      They certainly would not want to do that for higher production Cars like Mercury and Ford.
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner
      SDC Member Since 1967