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

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


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