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Pay for your own broken transmission..Lesson learned…

I was taught a valuable lesson when I was about 18 or 19 years old. My dad is the best, he is still hanging around at 90 years old. I have to credit both of my parents for the lesson though, I know now that they worked together.

1965-1966 Shelby GT-350

1965-1966 Shelby GT-350

I owned a 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350. The real deal. Carrol Shelby was and still is my car hero. Shelby Mustangs and the Cobra Roadster were and are the coolest cars in the world. Carrol Shelby is still the most innovative driver and car builder ever.

My Shelby GT350 had an automatic transmission, Shelby American Corp. was part of Hertz Rental Car company back then, and build specialty rental Mustangs for Hertz. The rentals came with the famed C-4 Ford automatic transmission, now defunct ( still supplies quality rebuilt C-4 transmissions). The racing Shelby’s were White with two big wide blue racing stripes going from front to rear. And a 4 speed Ford top loader transmission…Awesome man. I know a lot of you guys in your 50’s know what I’m talking about.

My problem surrounded abuse. I was over diligent about maintenance, even though synthetic automatic transmission fluid had not been invented back then, the ATF was better than we can get nowadays. Sperm Whale oil was the main ingredient in ATF that long ago and the government put a stop to killing whales for anything, including ATF in the late ’70’s or early ’80’s.

Sperm Whale oil made good tranny fluid. It took many years to bring it back up to specs. Everyone made an additive that improved the quality of ATF before they (manufacturers) figured out how to improve it. The main additive as I remember was Jojoba bean oil.

The reality is conventional A.T. fluid never was the same after whale oil was eliminated from the mixture. That is when and where synthetic ATF comes in. Not that many people used synthetics until the early ’90’s, except for me. I am a maintenance nut, so I located a company in California called Redline that was one of the first to make synthetic lubricants. They still make a great product. I don’t use it anymore because it cost way more than Mobil 1 synthetic ATF, and Mobil 1 is good stuff.

This is not the lesson I intended to give to you, but a lesson it is. When you get into hi-performance situations such as a Shelby Mustang or the car of your choice (a Porsche is not a bad choice) things break if you use then too hard or as my dad put it, “abuse them”. Everything has a limit, so no matter how many so called “racing parts” or transmission coolers that ATI (the company I always used) put in it, I ended up breaking it by pure unadulterated abuse. It was fun though, as long as someone else pay for it.

BTW, ATI (Automatic Transmissions Incorporated) is, and has been for many, many years the leader in racing transmissions and torque converters in the country. Top grade hi cost racing transmissions, pure and simple. I ended up working there, which was the beginning of my 30 plus year transmission career. I needed to support my habit, so to speak. You will understand why after you learn the real lesson I intended to give you today.

I guess I’ll have to tell you the realĀ  lesson I learned about Ford transmissions tomorrow, I got caught up in the thick of thin things here and ran out of time. I hope you tune in tomorrow to Blog for the rest of the story. Plus more car transmissions history and info on Carroll Shelby and his cars..

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