The future (and past) of transmissions

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DrJohnWright
988 Posts
1556 Replies
In a forum post earlier in 2018 I mentioned how Armstrong Siddeley (as it approached its 1960 demise as a carmaker) offered a bewildering variety of transmissions. Across different models there were pre-selector, manual with column change, manual with floor change, torque converter automatic and the ill-fated 2-pedal Manumatic with conventional floorshift but no clutch pedal (obviously!) It was too many options and doubtless contributed to the public's growing mystification about the company's brand values (not that people spoke of brand values back then). My choice of these would be the big Sapphire 346 with pre-selector, the world's dinkiest little manual selector that almost anticipated the paddle shift. Sadly, I never had the joy of driving one (first image). The Star Sapphire (fifth image) came with automatic only. Perhaps in the future many manufacturers will not offer transmission options? The second shot shows a 1950 Whitley with pre-selector. This was like the car my parents bought in December 1950. Sorry to report, my favourite remains a conventional manual, although the Sapphire pre-selector would be second (because you have the joy of snicking that minuscule lever through its scale model H-pattern. Let me invite members to tell me your preferences and why.
2 months ago