Oldsmobile transmissions


Ransom E. Olds introduced Oldsmobiles to the world in 1897 as part of a successful line of cars from General Motors that lasted for over 100 years, coming to an end in 2004. Oldsmobile transmissions have an interesting history as well.

Oldsmobile was the first car to offer an automatic transmission known as the Hydra-Matic drive in 1938, officially presented to the public in 1940. Other automakers followed suite. This type of transmission provided clutchless driving in four forward speeds. The Oldsmobile L Convertible Coupe series was the first to offer this new semi-automatic transmission referred to as an “automatic safety transmission” which featured a conventional clutch pedal.

General Motors introduced a Roto Hydramatic in the early 60s that was used on many Oldsmobile and Pontiac series. It was a more compact version of the earlier four-speed Hydramatic transmission featuring three forward speeds along with a small torque converter.

The Roto Hydramatic came in two models. Model 5 was the lightweight version at 145 pounds and the larger Model 10 at 154 pounds. While the Roto Hydramatic was smoother and cheaper, it proved to be less durable than the Hydramatic. 2 and 3 speed automatics and 3 and 4 speed manuals ushered in the era of station wagons in the 70s in Oldsmobile’s Vista Cruiser. The Roto Hydramatic was standard in all full-sized and compact F-85 Oldsmobile models including the Starfire, Dynamic 88, Ninety-Eight and Super 88 from 1961-64.

The Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser entered the 80s with a Turbo Hydramatic 200-4R transmission in the second generation model. A 5-speed manual and 3-speed THM125 automatic were standard in the Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais popular in the late 80s. A 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic 125 automatic and 5-speed manual welcomed the 90s in the Oldsmobile Achieva, replaced by the Alero in 1999, which sported a 4T40-E/4T45-E automatic and a 5-speed manual Getrag F23 transmission.

Colonnade hardtop coupe transmission was standard in Oldsmobile’s Cutlass Supreme line in the 80s. In the early 90s the Oldsmobile Bravada featured a 4-speed automatic transmission that was electronically controlled. It was the only transmission Oldsmobile used from 1991 until it’s end in 2004, including the Oldsmobile Aurora, Intrigue and Bravada.

While Oldsmobile has fallen into the pages of history, the company’s transmissions provide a legacy that lives on today from the Hydra-Matic that started it all to the standard 4-speed automatics that wrapped up the car brand’s era in 2004.

Oldsmobile transmissions available

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Oldsmobile transmissions
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