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50s Desoto question


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Guest Xprefix28truck

I have been asked a question that I have no answer for. A good friend of mine was thinking about a car they owned years ago. 50s Desoto. They said it shifted gears with the accelerator????? They can't remember how it went into reverse. Have any thoughts???

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I have been asked a question that I have no answer for. A good friend of mine was thinking about a car they owned years ago. 50s Desoto. They said it shifted gears with the accelerator????? They can't remember how it went into reverse. Have any thoughts???

The DeSoto had what they called a "tip toe shift". You accelerate and then let off of the gas pedal and the transmission would shift. I believe that to get into reverse was like a standard "three on the tree" shifter. Rustyotool can probably add more.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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Guest De Soto Frank

Keiser has a good start on it.

This was one of the several variations of Chrysler Corporation's semi-automatic transmission which was offered from 1941 through 1953 / '54.

It features a column-mounted gear shift, like many standard transmission cars from 1939-1975, "Reverse" is in the usual place ( lever towards the steering wheel, and up to 1 o'clock), Low Range is where 2nd gear normally is ( lever towards the dash and up to 1 o'clock), High Range is where 3rd gear normally is ( lever down towards the dash, and down to 4 o'clock). The normal "1 st gear" position is blocked-out.

It is been exhaustively described / discussed in other threads here, so if you do a site-search on "Chrysler semi-automatic" or "De Soto Tip Toe Shift", you will likely find all you want to know about it.

If that doesn't tell you what you want to know, let us know...

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Basically you shift into gear, release the clutch and take off. When you hit 14 MPH or higher, lift off the gas and you shift automatically into high.

There are other details to it. As Frank said the subject has been thoroughly covered in the Chrysler and Dodge boards. If you want all the gory details go to the Chrysler board and do a search for Fluid Drive, there were some long threads in 2008 that will tell you all you need to know and then some.

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