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LANSING HISTORY: Oldsmobile’s First Commercial Automatic Transmission, 1941

Detroit’s auto industry? Feh.

Gimme Lansing’s automotive history ANY day.

Here’s another chunk of Lansing’s automotive history: the “Hydra-matic” transmission system.

The automatic transmission was invented as far back as 1931 and tinkered with up through the 1930’s.

Then, the prototype and plans were sold to General Motors, who built this new gizmo in Lansing in 1940 for the 1941 Oldsmobile ¬†– billed as a ¬†“Hydra-matic” system.

Take a look at the photo stills in the gallery above and see if you can understand what their new 1940 technology was. Then watch the 50-second video below for an explanation.

The 1940 film clip below – “Motoring’s Magic Carpet” – shows how simple it is to drive an auto transmission, other than a standard. Very¬†interesting and cool for all Lansing history / auto buffs!

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