Apr
01
Classic Automatic Transmission Ads

1950 Packard

As you likely already know, the manual transmission is all but dead. Nothing drove home this point better than the news that in 2019, pure-electric vehicles outsold vehicles equipped with manual transmissions in the U.S.

While serious enthusiasts are losing sleep over the impending demise of the stick shift, I have accepted the grim reality that manuals are incompatible with the high-tech nature of modern cars and trucks. Manuals, for example, are unneeded in electric vehicles, incompatible with many safety features, and have no place in autonomous cars. Further, manual transmissions no longer offer a fuel-economy advantage over automatics.

For a refreshing change of pace, let’s look back on a time when automakers were still trying to get consumers to step up and pay serious additional money for the privilege of going clutchless.

We’ve collected for you a gallery of classic car ads, each of which heralds the luxury and convenience of letting your car shift for itself. When available, we’ve also called out each maker’s proprietary automatic-transmission brand name.

More classic car ads

 

Automatic Transmission Ads

 

1938 Oldsmobile: Automatic Safety Transmission

Oldsmobile Automatic Safety Transmission

1938 Oldsmobile Ad

Market Crash Madness! A Gallery of Depression-Era Car Ads

 

1941 DeSoto: Simplimatic

DeSoto Fluid Drive

1941 DeSoto Ad

Action Madness! A Gallery of Classic Ads Featuring Cars in Motion

 

1942 Mercury: Liquamatic Drive

Liquamatic Drive, 1942 Mercury

1942 Mercury Ad

The X-Pile: Mystery Scenes from the Service Station

 

1946 Oldsmobile: Hydra-Matic Drive

Hydra-Matic Drive

1946 Oldsmobile Ad

Designer Madness! Fashion in Classic Car Ads (Gallery)

 

1948 Buick: Dynaflow Drive

Buick Dynaflow

1948 Buick Ad

Export Madness! A Gallery of American Trucks Ads From Foreign Markets

 

1950 Packard: Ultramatic Drive

Ultramatic Drive

1950 Packard Ad

Utility Madness! A Gallery of Classic SUV Ads

 

1951 Chevrolet: Powerglide

1950 Chevrolet Ad, Powerglide

1951 Chevrolet Ad

Aviation Madness! A Gallery of Classic Car Ads Featuring Airplanes

 

1951 Ford: Fordomatic

Fordomatic

1951 Ford Ad

Travel Madness! A Gallery of Classic Rental Car Ads

 

1954 DeSoto: PowerFlite

DeSoto Powerflite

1954 DeSoto Ad

Memory Lapse Madness! A Gallery of Forgotten Car Ads

 

1957 Plymouth: Torque-Flite

Torque-Flite, Plymouth, 1957,

1957 Plymouth Ad

Canadian Confusion: GM’s Short-Lived Passport Dealerships

 

1973 Volkswagen Station Wagon

Volkswagen Bus Automatic, Automatic Transmission Ads

1973 Volkswagen Station Wagon Ad

Forward Look Madness! A Gallery of Classic Plymouth Ads

 

1974 Honda Civic: Hondamatic

Honda Civic Not A Womans Car? 1974 Ad. Stock Number: 19243. Women only drive automatic transmissions. Some car manufacturers actually believe women buy cars for different reasons than men do. So they build "a women's car". Oversized, hopelessly automatic and dull. At Honda we designed just one thing. A lean, spunky economy car with so much pizzazz it handles like a sports car. Honda Civic. We don't make "a women's car". Hondamatic

1974 Honda Civic Ad

Dynaflow Madness! A Gallery Of Classic Buick Ads

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Automatic Transmission Ads