AR15.Com Archives
 Old School ...3 on the tree?
hightech_redneck  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 8:22:42 AM EST
My 1st car was a stick, 3 on the tree. 69 Galaxy battleship
302....glass packs....you could fit 15 people in that car and still have room
LOVED that old car!!!

Was talking with my son about stick shifts.....he looked confused when I was
explaining it. How many of you remember or drove one? {show your age}

What else do you miss about old cars?
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Ndenway  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 8:28:05 AM EST
I'm still trying to get use to driving a "auto" after nearly 30 years of shifting gears .

LongueCarabine  [Member]
3/10/2012 8:32:54 AM EST
I learned to drive on my Dad's Ford F-100 pickup with 240 and 3 on the tree. Took about an hour to get the hang of pushing the clutch in when stopping (especially when backing up).

Practiced it for a bit after he showed me, and I was on my own after that.

LC
VacaDuck  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 8:34:14 AM EST
Drove an old C-10 that had three on the tree.

Lots of memories.
MyAliyah  [Member]
3/10/2012 8:35:14 AM EST
My first car(s) had 4sp on the tree. All were foreign cars. I did not have a Automatic until '74 and IT was a 1953 Dodge Red Ram Hemi with a Gyromatic Trans. An automatic but had a clutch and shifted with the excelerater Sob would do 130mph. and at that time,45mph speed limits, was sump'n.
Urimaginaryfrnd  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 8:35:33 AM EST
I had a 69 Chev truck 3 on the column with a straight six. What I miss most about cars with a manual transmission is that you could push start them if the battery died. I miss the simplicity of a carb and distribuitor these days you open the hood and there is sure a lot of crap under there and the old stuff was easy to work on. I know guys who have to take the bumper off to change a light bulb on some cars today. I has an 86 Chev truck 350 with a 4 speed also a great truck. My 2005 Chev truck has been reliable also but its got all the bells and whistles on it which I realize I dont need. I also miss having the headlight dimmer switch on the left floor and the headlight switch being on the left dash. Not wild about chips in keys that makes keys cost a fortune now either.

I also miss .19 cents a gallon gas.
Dave15  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 8:37:53 AM EST
Originally Posted By VacaDuck:
Drove an old C-10 that had three on the tree.

Lots of memories.


LOL, had a '68 myself with 3 on tree.
Bushing were shot so had to be careful, or it'd hang up between gears
Had to stay away from neutral.

If it hung, had to get out, pop hood, and straighten linkage at steering column.

But had no parking brake!
notarpole  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 8:39:02 AM EST
Yeah baby!

1972 K5 Blazer 307ci with 3 on the tree. Not only my first car, but my first manual transmission as well.
southeast_scrounger  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 8:39:20 AM EST
67 El Camino with a three-on-the-tree....transplanted the 2 barrel 283 with a hot 350. I'm amazed that transmission survived!
sigp226  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 8:39:25 AM EST
I really do not miss column shifters. I've driven them, never owned one.

I miss big, stupid sedans that could pass for hotel rooms and weren't allowed to cross bridges in Europe because of weight restrictions.

I miss the fact that my 1974 LTD had a fighting chance if it hit an oak tree.

I miss being able to erect a scaffold in the engine compartment and changing a starter in five minutes.

I miss getting eight miles to the gallon, but only because gas was cheap and only faggots cared how many miles to the gallon it got.
CarbineDad  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 8:42:22 AM EST
'65 Malilbu four door with a 230 6 cylinder


You could pull the key out of the dashboard while running in a mid 60's Chevy
motoguzzi  [Member]
3/10/2012 8:42:35 AM EST
I don't miss them at all, nor do I miss changing points, condenser, rotor and cap every few thousand miles or the old stomp on the gas to set the choke then start er up in cold weather.
dneal33  [Member]
3/10/2012 8:43:23 AM EST
1st car was a 60 falcon, 3 on the tree, could climb in the hood compartment to change plugs and points.

Today my 05 F150 is getting a 300$ plug change and that's a bargin from a friend
Couch-Commando  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 8:46:09 AM EST
Obviously never drove an auto, but I do drive a Ford with the automatic shifter sticking out of the steering column. For some reason it concerns my friends when I try to put their cars into gear by turning on their windshield wipers. I think every other car I've ever seen has an auto shifter where a four on the floor should go.
Blackmore  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 8:48:03 AM EST
One family car growing up was a '64 Fairlane 500 with 289 V-8 and 3 on the tree. It was my Mom's primary driver. It replaced a 63 Fairlane 6 cyl automatic that was a dog. She told my Dad she'd give up the AT for more power and got her wish.

First column shift I drove was a friend's Saab 96 which had 4 on the tree and freewheel.
UV830  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 8:49:41 AM EST
An old Ford pick up with 3 on the tree is what I learned to drive in.

It was the guy next door's field truck.
FXSPizza  [Member]
3/10/2012 8:49:58 AM EST
Haa.....brought back memories of driving my brothers friends Matador...THAT was interesting Would borow my brothers Chevy stepside and became a pro at unjaming the linkage after trying to speed shift it.
DieselEngineer  [Life Member]
3/10/2012 8:59:51 AM EST
My first car was an 81 GMC with three on the tree and a 250 straight 6 integra-head.
xanadu  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:00:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By Dave15:
Originally Posted By VacaDuck:
Drove an old C-10 that had three on the tree.

Lots of memories.


LOL, had a '68 myself with 3 on tree.
Bushing were shot so had to be careful, or it'd hang up between gears
Had to stay away from neutral.

If it hung, had to get out, pop hood, and straighten linkage at steering column.

But had no parking brake!


Our delivery van at work back in the early 80's was a chevy with 3 on the tree. The bushing problem is hilarious - we used to keep a big ass screwdriver under the seat just to pop the linkage bac when it got out of wack.
sigp226  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:03:54 AM EST
Paint this thing gray and put a white number on the side of it.



America! Fuck Yeah!
seahorse  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:05:25 AM EST
First car '64 Chevy Biscayne 4 door. 3 on the tree, 230 cid straight 6. Bench seats of course.
Calash  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:05:55 AM EST
My 74 chevy pick-up had so much room under the hood you could climb in an sit on the inside fender while changing the spark plugs.

"3 on the tree" Go down a rough road and the shifting dogs would vibrate out of position locking up the shifter.
Open the hood and just pull one back up until it snapped into place.

Don't miss the 13 mpg though
WayneD  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:08:13 AM EST
Originally Posted By CarbineDad:
'65 Malilbu four door with a 230 6 cylinder


You could pull the key out of the dashboard while running in a mid 60's Chevy


My first car was a 65 Malibu 4 door with a 283 V8.

It was a good car but 4 doors and 3 on the column were just not cool in the late 70s.
tenmikemike  [Member]
3/10/2012 9:09:39 AM EST
Did some learning on my great-uncles 62 Biscayne with a three-on-the-tree.
53vortec  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:13:20 AM EST
Never owned one, but drove a few belonging to friends and family.

In high school a buddy had a '67 Chevy stepside with a straight six and three on the tree. Would occasionally be driving around town and see him up under the hood trying to beat the linkage out of 2nd.
Smashy  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:13:52 AM EST
An old Army buddy of mine had a '66 Ford pick up with a three on the tree. We used it to go camping and fishing every weekend. I loved that truck and I wanted to buy it from him, but he wrecked it (it was the other guy's fault, he pulled out in front of us). It also had a very primitive cruise control, a big knob on the dash. Pull the knob out and a lever flipped down to hold the gas pedal in place.

flyhack72  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:16:04 AM EST
My brother had a 67 camaro SS with three on the tree.

He and dad converted it to four on the floor. Much better.
Powelligator  [Member]
3/10/2012 9:16:16 AM EST
I learned how to drive in a 1964 Rambler station wagon with not only 3-on-the-tree but an overdrive lever under the dash. When you got the car into 3rd gear and up to speed, you'd let off the gas and you could feel the overdrive kick in, for a pseudo 4th gear.

-Gator
PerniciousLies  [Member]
3/10/2012 9:19:06 AM EST
When I was 18, I bought a 47 Chevy with a 3spd on the column. That was 7 years ago.
Dustin_Z  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:19:37 AM EST
The first stick shift I drove was a 49 Willy's Jeep Truck with a 3 on the tree. My Dad blew up the hurricane 4 one day and stuck in a fresh Ford 300 inline 6. That thing will not die. I've used it in truck pulls, fire fighting, farming, ranching, and scrapping operations. That old rig puts everything to shame still. I'd buy it right now if he would sell it and it would go more than 50MPH.
Slaxxor  [Member]
3/10/2012 9:23:25 AM EST
I had an old white box van with 3 on the tree.

Total POS, and I don't miss it at all, but it was better then walking.
David4327  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:23:56 AM EST
Learned to drive dad's truck when I was 14. Stoping at a red light on hill was interesting.
ProfGAB101  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:26:14 AM EST
71 Toyota Landcruiser with the licensed metric pattern Chevy straight 6. (also the worst break design of any production car of that year)

Running 33" it tended to eat the clutch about every 25K (towing didn't help)

Replaced the clutches myself - what a roid - cast iron bell housing, tranny and transfer case weighed about 800lbs.
pilotman  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:31:43 AM EST
Originally Posted By sigp226:
I really do not miss column shifters. I've driven them, never owned one.

I miss big, stupid sedans that could pass for hotel rooms and weren't allowed to cross bridges in Europe because of weight restrictions.

I miss the fact that my 1974 LTD had a fighting chance if it hit an oak tree.

I miss being able to erect a scaffold in the engine compartment and changing a starter in five minutes.

I miss getting eight miles to the gallon, but only because gas was cheap and only faggots cared how many miles to the gallon it got.




Not Quite.

AirRaceFan  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:44:04 AM EST
Wasn't mine, but as a teenager in the 80's I spent some time behind the wheel of a 69 Rambler with a three on the tree, manual steering, and non-power assisted brakes.
seahorse  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:44:58 AM EST
Aww Man, they didn't have to wreck that '59 Chevy.

In my day, when you got into a head-on collision you went through the windshield. And we liked it.
Maxheadspace  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 9:45:17 AM EST
I learned how to drive on my mom's 67 Chevy Biscane with three-on-the-tree. No power steering, no power brakes, no AC, am radio.
Sixtigers  [Life Member]
3/10/2012 9:53:54 AM EST
When I was stationed in Japan (Atsugi), our squadron's duty truck was a little Japanese job with a 900cc Kawasaki motor and a 5-on-the-tree stick! That, combined with the controls reversed (shifting on left, turn signals on right) made for some interesting times.
G_1759  [Member]
3/10/2012 10:00:30 AM EST
I learned how to drive and took my driving test in my parents 72 dodge hippie van 3 on the tree. Blue shag carpet, captain chairs, 8 track stereo, bed in the back, mag wheels, 2 moon roofs, and about 12 mpg tops.
1shott  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 10:02:30 AM EST
1961 chevy apachie 10, 235 straight 6, three on the tree, loved that truck...
Keith_J  [Life Member]
3/10/2012 10:03:59 AM EST
What I learned on too! 3 on the tree with a 300 I-6 Ford F100. Yes, it broke down often. But it was a snap to fix because you could climb in the engine compartment and work on it.
bub75  [Member]
3/10/2012 10:08:21 AM EST
I learned how to drive and took my driver's test in Dad's '65 Chevy pickup. Three-on-the-tree, straight six, clutch that took 1000 lbs of force to hold in, linkage that jammed up EVERY DAMNED TIME if you went from 3rd to 1st, no seat belts, the whole old car goodness 9 yards. I LOVED that truck!

When I went to go take the road and maneuverability test, Dad called the BMV to see about seat belt requirements for that old of a truck and they told him, no problem, it was before seat belts were required, so it didn't have to have them. Got there, the instructor automatically failed me because it didn't have seat belts. Dad told him about the BMV call, he said that he didn't care, no seat belts, no pass the test. Went home and went to a junk yard and got lap belts. Cable tied them in to pass the test requirements.

Went the next week, same damn instructor failed me on the road test because I ground a gear 1 time. When I went to do the maneuverability test, he moved the front cone back to where it would be for a compact car because the tuck was a short bed. I passed it, but it was CLOSE!

Went back the next week and passed with flying colors, with the same instructor, even though I ground a gear one time. When I asked him about passing this week when I failed last week for grinding a gear, he said that was impossible, that you were allowed to grind gears 3 times for a standard tranny. Damn BMV!

Drove that truck ALL OVER the damn place and the only trouble was when I locked up the linkage by trying to go from 3rd to 1st. LOVED the damn thing and I wish I had been able to buy it when Dad sold it.

Bub75
Warhawk  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 10:09:03 AM EST
My first "car" was a '69 Ford F-100 with a 302 and 3 on the tree. I carried a big flat blade screwdriver in the glove box, to pop loose the shift linkage when it would get jammed up.

Looked like this one

Wyzardd  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 10:18:11 AM EST
72 Nova, straight 6 & 3 on the tree. Tough SOB, drove it home on 3 cylinders and totally destroyed it within 4 months of getting it running right. Damn thing saved my life in the accident (which has nothing to do with the shifter but does somewhat explain why I replaced it with a V8 72 Nova as soon as I got my license back)

Never did get really smooth shifting, partially because I was only 16 but also because I'd been driving old Ford trucks with floor shifters for a couple of years already.

Nearly as cool as the Moputz push-button shift.
MMcfpd  [Life Member]
3/10/2012 10:25:40 AM EST
My first car, a '57 Chevy BelAir, was a three on the tree. Until I got a Hurst Mystery Shifter.
MrHold  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 10:29:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By xanadu:
Originally Posted By Dave15:
Originally Posted By VacaDuck:
Drove an old C-10 that had three on the tree.

Lots of memories.


LOL, had a '68 myself with 3 on tree.
Bushing were shot so had to be careful, or it'd hang up between gears
Had to stay away from neutral.

If it hung, had to get out, pop hood, and straighten linkage at steering column.

But had no parking brake!


Our delivery van at work back in the early 80's was a chevy with 3 on the tree. The bushing problem is hilarious - we used to keep a big ass screwdriver under the seat just to pop the linkage bac when it got out of wack.



Had the same problem with a Ford window van I still remember pulling over on inter state 95 exit 15 in New Rochelle NY crawling under van and kicking the shit out of the shifting arm to get to unlock, life was fun back then

dpmmn  [Life Member]
3/10/2012 10:34:18 AM EST
I miss the high beam switch on the floor
Bumblebee_Bob  [Life Member]
3/10/2012 10:37:51 AM EST
Learned to drive in a '64 Ford pickup. 6 cyl and 3 on the tree. My high school car was a '67 Galaxie 2 door, 390 with an auto.
RolandofGilead  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 10:41:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By hightech_redneck:
My 1st car was a stick, 3 on the tree. 69 Galaxy battleship
302....glass packs....you could fit 15 people in that car and still have room
LOVED that old car!!!

Was talking with my son about stick shifts.....he looked confused when I was
explaining it. How many of you remember or drove one? {show your age}

What else do you miss about old cars?

I got a '53 Ford F-100 with a 239 flathead and 3 on the tree when I turned 16. I love it...the flathead got a cracked block, and it's currently running a 351W and a C6, but at some point I'm going to drop a 5 speed in it....

Learning to drive a stick with that 3 on the tree was interesting

I'm only 30 though...
sleepercaprice1  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 10:41:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By Dave15:
Originally Posted By VacaDuck:
Drove an old C-10 that had three on the tree.

Lots of memories.


LOL, had a '68 myself with 3 on tree.
Bushing were shot so had to be careful, or it'd hang up between gears
Had to stay away from neutral.

If it hung, had to get out, pop hood, and straighten linkage at steering column.

But had no parking brake!


I had several of the old Chevys with the column shift. Mine would hang up too, but a couple wraps of tie wire to shim the linkage usually kept it from messing up.

oulufinn  [Team Member]
3/10/2012 10:51:37 AM EST
Yuuuup! First car was a '73 nova, three on the tree with a 305. The motor was so worn out & loose it would turn over & start easily in 20 below temps. Max speed was about 110 mph, but suspension was pretty worn out & bouncy which made it seem much faster & more dangerous!

I miss the fact that there was nothing on that car that I couldn't fix. Nowadays, not so much.
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