Fred S 1949 Ford Custom 4dr Sedan

The Speed Shifter

When I was in high school (class of '56) in Baytown, TX, we had a '49 Ford and later a '51 Mercury. I had learned how to really speed shift those cars which gave me an edge when dragging from the stop lights. I could usually beat cars that would have beat me if I didn't speed shift. One of my buddies who drove his dad's '53 or '54 Ford pickup, would get me to drive his truck looking for a race because I could speed shift better than most others. Speed shifting involves coordinating the clutch and gear shift so you can slam the gear shift lever into 2nd or 3rd in a split second, minimizing the time the clutch is disengaged, without taking your foot off the accelerator. And I never crashed a transmission!

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