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Australian Buicks change to centre gear handle

Rod Wise

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Wasn,t sure when Buicks in Australia, changed from right hand gear  and hand brake to centre gear change.  Saw this 23-45  and it still had right hand gear handle.  so the change must have been in 1924 as a 24 six parts  car  I had,  had centre  gear and hand brake  handles. Would pick it up but it is interstate and the border is closed due to lock down.

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Edited by Rod Wise (see edit history)
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I hadn't seen a right shift Buick as late as 1923 before. I guess because the major components didn't change much from 1916 to 1923 it was quite possible.


Centre gear shift operation was considered 'dreadfully Trans-Atlantic' by traditionalist British people, which is what many in 'the colonies' were - when Britain was still referred to as 'Home'. My 99 year old uncle still refers to it as such.


The early Rolls-Royce 20 hp came with centre shift and there was such horror expressed that they went back to right side shift and retained in until after WW2. A few traditionalist cars with 'posh pretensions' retains right side shift - think the Riley Pathfinder. A gear lever up the trouser leg was a common hazard with up market British cars.


Many years ago I had accumulation of early Buick bits which included parts for both right and centre sift - and iron and aluminium gear box cases. All passed on to others now. 


Here is a 1917 Buick in NZ with a 'colonial' body, and right side shift.



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