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WOW were those old TorqueFlites really THAT durable....?


ZondaC12
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Well this is funny because a closer-to-home example friggin backs it up!

I frequent another car-related forum (corral.net I just know SOMEones gonna be curious haha) and someone posted there asking other members if anyone remembered a certain television commercial from the 1960s. He <span style="text-decoration: underline">insists</span> he remembers an ad where a Chrysler...something sits at a dragstrip, no fans or other cars, just a man inside it talking about the durability and build quality of the transmission, then proceeds to start MELTING the tires, suddenly SLAMS it in reverse, melts em in reverse, SLAMS it back to drive and screams down the strip.

Whats funny--my best friend's uncle was telling us at my friends bday party a year ago about when he was a kid. A friend of his got a rather beat up chrysler new yorker, I think around 1970 or so (year of the car). And they all were gonna try and blow it up so the kid nails it in reverse gets to like 30 or 40 mph (or however fast it would go in reverse, also SLAMS it into drive and all it did was stop real fast, and make tons of tire smoke. So what did they do?......."Do it again man do it again!!! We gotta kill it!" laugh.gifeek.gif

This has me very intrigued, I hang out at all the car shows and cruises and soak up everything my elders have to say like a sponge, and I hear a lot that the old GM TurboHydramatics, and even more the "TorqueFlite Seven-Twenty-Seven" were built like TANKS. Did anyone here seen this ad back then? It sounds like a great idea to me, well in todays society lawsuit lawsuit lawsuit BAH I hate that with a passion back then you could do outlandish ads like that and people would know NOT to try that but that oh yeah its built like a brick sh....uh..OUThouse. laugh.gif

And if not, any other vouchers for the unstoppability of this transmission? I sure wish my '87 cougar's AOD was built like that, I gotta imagine thats fun to just fly in reverse and then burn em like that.

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I had a buddy tell me how he loved to be running down the road at highway speeds and when one of his buddies was following or someone was tailgating he would push the reverse button (1957 Desoto Pushbutton tourqueflite) It would turn on the back-up lights and frigthen the guy behind him but would only shift the trans into neutral. Evidently once you pass like 45 MPH it will not let you dump it into reverse? But this may not be the same in reverse? Also the factory would have been able to bypass this for the commercial!

I have had a number of people tell me how they tried to tear up slat sixes in order to try to get rid of the junker car mom and dad got them, just to have the car take all of the punishment. Of course the transmissions took the abuse too! Chrysler always had the mechanical advantage over the competition but styling had it's ups and downs

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By the early 1960s the Torqueflite was the strongest automatic trans on the planet, could and would take any abuse. Unfortunately the wheel fell off of that wagon in the 80s and Chrysler transmissions became hit-or-miss, the misses being quite a problem for the owners. They did however invent one fantastic thing: the transaxle in my wife's old Dodge Grand Caravan (minivan) went out--wouldn't up-shift out of first gear after it got hot. Took it to the dealer dreading the worst (FWD trans work tends to go in $800 increments) a shift solenoid went bad, $340 to fix--they finally invented an automatic transmission that is cheap to fix (someimes).

To quote a retired Chrysler engineer: "we made some of the best components in the industry, and some of the worst cars in the industry"

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In the heyday of Dodge and Plymouth drag racing (mid to late 60s) there was a door slammer called Mr 5 and 50. He had a 426 Max Wedge with Torqueflite. His standard launch technique was to rev the engine to 5000 RPM in neutral then punch the Drive button.

He won a lot of races. But once in a while the tranny blew like a grenade.

The Torqueflite was the best transmission of its day. That is why GM and Ford copied it. GM even paid royalties on certain features they copied for the TurboHydramatic.

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You could buy a Polara or Newport or any number of other big Chrysler sedans or station wagons and pull an Airstream, Chris-Craft--whatever, and that Torqueflite didn't care, and would come back for more. A case of a terrific design. Like Rusty said, once in a while a drag racer would blow one up, but in normal use, including towing the above listed items they just kept on tickin'

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I have a factory sales video of the 1962 Chryslers that shows some very punishing workouts on the torqueflite trans, slamming it back and forth into drive and reverse and smoking up the tires.

To verify the trans going into neutral at high speeds, I once mistakenly hit the reverse button in my 1960 Dodge Polara at about 40 MPH, and just like it was supposed to, it went straight into Neutral, no damage. On another note, if you just touch the reverse button while in drive, without engaging the gear change, the back up lights will activate, at least they would on that 60 Dodge and they will on my 1962 Chrysler 300. This is great for tail-gaters.

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