Monday 13 May 2013


Overdrive - a word I suddenly thought about when I was considering taking the teenagers for a practice drive around the block. It's presumably meaningless to most of the teenagers of today - I'll have to ask them if they really understand what it means. Having grown up in the days of the three on the tree, and considering a 4 speed floor shifter to be the height of automotive sophistication, it's amazing to consider the advances that have now given us 7 and 9 speed automatic transmissions, flappy paddles and all that sort of stuff.

Back in the 1980s, I was lent for about a year a small sporty car that had overdrive. I think that was the only car I've ever driven for an extended period that was fitted with it. It was operated electrically by a button on the gear knob. Being an English car, it amazed us by working - most of the time. Whether it produced better fuel economy on the long country drives was another matter - I didn't notice any improvement. However, I'm sure it allowed car salesmen to shift a few more units of product.

I'll have to think of some more words that no longer really have a contemporary meaning. Whilst people still talk about shifting into overdrive, the overdrive itself is long gone as a useful product.


cav said...

Try 'syncro'

No 'syncro' and you had to 'double shuffle'

Steve at the Pub said...

Overdrive: When a full rotation of the universal will occur before there has been a full rotation of the crankshaft.

It made my eyes buzz when I first experienced it.

Matt said...

It wouldn't have been a Triumph Mk 1 or Mk 2 would it?