Automatic Drive

Automatic Drive was the trade name for Studebaker Corporation’s first automatic transmission, designed in conjunction with Borg-Warner's Detroit Gear division. Studebaker was one of two independent American auto manufacturers to invest in development and tooling for automatic transmissions, the other being Packard with its Ultramatic product.

Automatic Drive, which combined a three-speed planetary gearset and a lock-up torque converter, debuted in early 1950 as a $201 option on all Studebaker models. Ford, which was without an automatic transmission in 1950, approached Studebaker about buying Automatic Drive units. Studebaker's management refused and thereby lost out on what could have been significant "plus" business.

By 1955, Studebaker was forced to abandon Automatic Drive because of high production costs, replacing it with a less-expensive Borg Warner unit, ironically based on Ford's Ford-o-Matic, that Studebaker called Flight-O-Matic. Borg-Warner continued to build Studebaker's Automatic Drive and market the unit overseas. It was used on British marques including Jaguar, Daimler, Humber and Ford Zephyr/Zodiac.

Studebaker
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Associated tradenames
  • Automatic Drive
  • Gravely Tractor
  • Hill-holder
  • Starlight (body type)
  • STP
Affiliated automotive brands
  • Clipper
  • E-M-F Automobiles
  • Erskine
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Packard
  • Packard Clipper
  • Pierce-Arrow
  • Rockne
  • SPA Truck Company
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  • Tincher
People
  • Clement Studebaker
  • John Studebaker
  • Frederick Samuel Fish
  • Walter Flanders
  • Albert Russel Erskine
  • Harold Sines Vance
  • Paul G Hoffman
  • Gordon Grundy
  • Raymond Loewy
  • Helen Dryden
  • Virgil Exner
  • Delmar "Barney" Roos
  • James J. Nance
  • Sherwood Egbert
  • Brooks Stevens

Famous quotes containing the words drive and/or automatic:

    Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success.
    Francis Bacon (1561–1626)

    Predictions of the future are never anything but projections of present automatic processes and procedures, that is, of occurrences that are likely to come to pass if men do not act and if nothing unexpected happens; every action, for better or worse, and every accident necessarily destroys the whole pattern in whose frame the prediction moves and where it finds its evidence.
    Hannah Arendt (1906–1975)