What is hydramatic exchange? Is it different from the automatic?

What is hydramatic exchange? Is it different from the automatic?
What is hydramatic exchange? Is it different from the automatic?
hydramatic gearbox (2)

If you are 35, 40 years old, or older, you have certainly heard someone talking about a car with a “hydramatic” transmission.

In the past, people gave this name to automatic transmissions. But is there any difference between the two exchange names?

In truth no. The Hydra-Matic transmission equipped American Oldsmobile cars, and its production began in March 1939, equipping 1940 cars.

An example of these models was the Oldsmobile Rocket 88, which was launched in 1949 with a 4.9-liter V8 engine and 135 horsepower.

hydramatic gearbox (1)

It was the first mass-produced fully automatic transmission in the global automotive market, in the case of light passenger cars.

These imported cars from the 40s were common in the Brazilian market until the 1960s. That’s why the term became popular.

The impact of the name of the Oldsmobile transmission was so strong on the market that its name became synonymous with automatic transmission, as is the case with very famous products such as Gillette or Xerox.

Still in 1940, the Hydra-Matic transmission began to be offered as optional equipment in the Oldsmobile of that year, for an additional price of 57 dollars in Oldsmobile models and 125 dollars for the more luxurious and expensive Cadillac cars.

hydramatic gearbox (3)

These amounts are equivalent to around 1,900 to 2,400 dollars today.

To give you an idea of ​​how robust this gearbox was, it was used in thousands of US Army light tanks used in World War II, the so-called M5 Stuart, weighing 12 tons.

These tanks had a 7-liter radial engine and a high power for the time, 262 horsepower.

In 1948, Hydra-Matic transmissions appeared as an option for Pontiac cars. The group’s other brands, Buick and Chevrolet, preferred to develop their own automatic transmissions, called Dynaflow and Powerglide.

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: hydramatic exchange automatic



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