Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
2/24/20 2:36 p.m.

[Editor's Note: This article originally ran in 2007. Some information and prices may be different today.]

Story and Photography by Carl Heideman

Back in the day, most European cars were ahead of their American counterparts in the gearbox department. While American cars usually had three-speed transmissions featuring widely spaced ratios, sloppy linkages and vague shifting action, our European classics often came with four-speed boxes that featured close ratios and tight, positive shift linkages.

As highway speeds increased, car manufacturers started to add overdrive ratios to their gearboxes—first with planetary add-on units fitted to the back of the conventional gearboxes, then later with five or more actual speeds built into the transmissions themselves.

Today, five or more speeds with at least one overdrive ratio is the norm for all new cars, and we’ve all gotten accustomed to these ratios, as well as the overall ease of use, low noise, and tight feel that modern gearboxes offer. And now our classic European gearboxes, once ahead of their time, seem dated, even obsolete.

Read the rest of the story

wspohn
wspohn Dork
2/25/20 11:28 a.m.

Carl - dead links to original article.

shinearmor
shinearmor
10/17/20 12:08 p.m.

They have republished a significant error.  The T9 is NOT a Borg Warner transmission.  It is a FORD Type-9 transmission.  It is a European trans, never made in the US by Borg Warner.

TheSpider
TheSpider New Reader
10/17/20 3:43 p.m.

But my Alfa already has a five speed....

wspohn
wspohn Dork
10/18/20 1:11 p.m.
TheSpider said:

But my Alfa already has a five speed....

And in many cases (MG, Triumph) the original car may have a 6 speed  (4  plus OD on 3rd and 4th)

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