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When the Automatic Transimission Was First Released, It Was Called the Hydra-Matic

We sometimes take for granted how easy it is to drive an automatic these days. But, when they were first introduced to the public in the late 1930s, they took some getting used to. Even by 1947, when this clip was made, the concept needed to be explained. The announcer in this commercial for the new Oldsmobile describes just exactly what is entailed in driving an automatic since it was such a new concept to most people.

While the 1947 model Olds shown here was not the first automatic transmission ever sold tot he public, the Hydra-matic was the first easily useable Automatic Safety Transmission that offered reliable and easy to use driving. Invented in the late 1930s it was quite a while until they were a standard feature and readily affordable. Watch as this new-fangled driving system is demonstrated below. And, you can find out more about the 1957 Edsel car right here.

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