Dec 09 2014

The 1937 Chrysler Automatic Overdrive

A standard feature in the 1937 Chrysler Custom Imperial, including Chrysler's Chrysler, and the Airflow was the Chrysler Automatic Overdrive.  For an extra cost, Automatic Overdrive was also available on the Royal and Imperial models.

This feature changed the gear ratio in the transmission at 35 miles per hour improving the efficiency and economy of the engine. "You may be crusing at 60...but in overdrive your engine is only turning over at the rate of about 40 in conventional gear."

This 1937 brochure described the Chrysler Automatic Overdrive when "at 35 miles per hour a Miracle happens".


Howard Kroplick


Dec 14 2014 S. Berliner, III 1:34 AM

“Automatic Overdrive was also available on the Royal and Imperial models.”  You left out the Airflow (although that was a different body/chassis-style, NOT a model - Airflows came in several models).  Technically, your car is an Airstream (horrors!).  Sam, III

Dec 14 2014 S. Berliner, III 7:26 PM

Oh, my!  Old memories are flooding back.  I seem to remember manual overdrive on someone else’s ‘31-32 Imperial 8 and automatic overdrive like yours on one or more of Dad’s late 30’s Dodges, both with that choke-like knob (he switched to Chrysler in 1941 for the Vacamatic tranny with Fluid Drive).  Sam, III

Dec 26 2016 Raymond Souder 8:27 PM

This brings back memories to me. Dad had a 1937 Chrysler with that overdrive. We didn’t know it had overdrive until one day we tried to push start it. pushing it wouldn’t turn the engine. A friend told us to pull out that choke like knob to push start it. When it was in overdrive the car was (free wheeling). It would coast downkill.

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