Thursday Twister: Tree Huggers
This week’s Thursday Twister comes from Erik202 who writes: I have been having an ongoing conversation with my father about
what the last vehicle to be sold with a column shifted 3-speed (3 on the
tree) manual was. I think it has to be something like this 1979 Chevrolet C10. But I would love to know for sure!
What is (or was) the last car to come from the factory with a shifter mounted on the column (3-speed please) sold in the US of A?
Pretty sure you could equip a Ford Econoline with 3 on the tree up till 1987
My buddy's dad had a brand new bottom-of-the-line Dodge pickup with 3 on the tree in 1981.
It would seem to make sense to divide this into two categories, passenger cars and others. Pickups and Vans probably carried over to later dates. With that new sub-category, the newest car I've encountered with a three-on-the-tree was the stripped down '76 Buick Skylark with the base V6. My Dad's brother, the Buick dealer, needed to clear out his price leader at the end of the year and in walked my Mom's brother looking for basic transportation as he was retiring his uber-sweet '61 Impala 2 door. I was bitterly disappointed in both of them that day.
A buddy of mine in high school had an 85 F150 flareside that had 3 on the tree. You could also start that thing without the key, a feature Ford provided at no extra cost.
As a youngin' my friends dad had a basic F-150 work truck that wasn't too old. Probably the late 80's models mentioned above, but could have been early 90's. Before that I didn't even know they existed. It was mesmerizing and I'll never forget it. Still only one of two vehicles I've ridden in that has had it
I test drove an '83 Falcon wagon with a left-handed column shift three speed. You could get them this way until the EA generation came out in 1988, I believe.
They were available as a column manual in utility and panel van models up until 1990 until this option was sadly deleted (bench seat) and the base transmission was a 5 speed floor mounted unit with bucket seats. The xf remained in production until 1993, with a few very minor trim and color changes.
The first one was on the 1938 Plymouth Deluxe. Chevy and Ford came along in 1940. The last was on the base model 1986 Ford F-150. I learned to drive on my pop's 1958 Ford, 292 V8, three on the tree. I actually owned an old Benz with four on the tree but that soes not rhyme.
A friend had a 1961 Peugeot 403 with a 4 on the tree. That does rhyme!
This is the latest I could find: 1988