3 on the tree

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21,094
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Apple Valley, California
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Not to take from the Carburetor thread. In the early 80's I was in jr high. A friends dad let me work at his shop during summer vacation. Oil changes,spark plugs and moving cars around as needed. I learned how to drive all kinds of cars and transmissions. Forward to 1988. I had grown tired of the daily one way 100m commute to that shop so I quit. Wandering around closer to home I worked at a tire shop then a muffler shop but both owners were jerks. I went to enlist with the air force but I failed me for medical reasons. Ended up @ pep boys. During my interview at PB a mechanic came in and told the guy that was interviewing me that they could not take in a truck for brake work since nobody there could drive a 3 on the column. I piped up and said I could drive it. I was told to go get my drug test done and to be there 8a the next morning! Of course I had to drive that customers truck onto the lift before I was done with my interview. And it was sitting there waiting for me the next morning.
 
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SE British Columbia, Canada
My first job involving driving involved a GMC van with a three-on-tree. I had the advantage of driving in a field with an old Ford farm truck with the same system prior to that. I wonder who made the last one?
 
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21,094
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Apple Valley, California
Thread starter
Originally Posted by PimTac
So nobody could drive a stick shift?
Not a 3 on the tree. A 5 speed sure. This was when 3 on the tree were still fairly common. Before I worked there they had to refuse those cars.
 
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CT8

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15,409
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Idaho
One of my most favorite vehicles I owned was a 1979 Ford F150 with a 300ci 6 cyl and a 3 on the tree. Te pick up was a chick magnet. banana
 
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2,646
Location
Lakeside, CA
I drove for many years on dirt roads but the first car I ever drove on the street was a 3 on the tree Chevy Nova. It was a friends Mother's car that he had borrowed. I later owned a 67 Jeep PU with a three on the tree. Had a buddy that owned an old Toyota PU from the 60s that had a 4 on the tree. That was fun.
 
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...
Originally Posted by Chris142
Originally Posted by PimTac
So nobody could drive a stick shift?
Not a 3 on the tree. A 5 speed sure. This was when 3 on the tree were still fairly common. Before I worked there they had to refuse those cars.
I'm shaking my head on this. The difference between the two is that one is on the floor and the other is on the steering column. It's like saying I can't drive a automatic column shift because all the vehicles I've driven had a console shifter. For the record, I learned to shift with a 3 on the tree.
 
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1,015
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Minnesota
My '64 Falcon 6cyl was a 3 on tree and was no big deal for me or wife. The clutch engagement was the main and early issue as each engine and flywheel had their individual characteristics.
 
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4,410
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Guilford, CT
Yeah, it would've taken less than a minute to show the other techs how to shift it. If you can drive a 5-speed manual, you can drive a 3 on the tree. I've never had the opportunity to drive a 3 on a tree, but I know how to do it.
 
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2,009
Location
New York City
Back in the long ago day, a 3 speed on the column was considered to be an improvement over a 3 speed floor shifter as you could keep your right hand closer to the wheel instead of reaching over to the floor shifter. It was also useful for a young-un to keep his sweetie closer to him on the bench seats that were in most cars at that time.
 
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9,823
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New England
Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
My first job involving driving involved a GMC van with a three-on-tree. I had the advantage of driving in a field with an old Ford farm truck with the same system prior to that. I wonder who made the last one?
GM, I think...they were available (though vanishingly rare) in base-model pickups until at least 1985 and probably 1987.
 
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15,146
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
Was second gear UP and away? Reverse UP and Close? I don' know all the on-the-column shift patterns, but you could figure it out by messing around. I suppose a bad pattern would be having R Down and Away. When I met my Wife, she drove a 60's SAAB triple carb 3 Cylinder 2-stroke with a 4 on the tree! Now that will mess with you!
 
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16,416
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NH
Always wanted to drive one--for a while I thought it'd be fun having a plain-jane PU with I6 & 3 on a tree. Just a throwback to older times. If only I had unlimited garage space... I remember my grandfather telling me about the trouble he had moving a Beetle once--it was someone else's and he was asked to move it. Every time he put it in reverse it'd go forward!
 
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140
Location
New Mexico
My first car, 1970 AMC Hornet had one. Of course the car lot didn't tell me the clutch was burned up so I kept stalling it as I'd never driven a stick before. Fun clearing an intersection my first drive. I can see how someone who may have been born after they even were made might have an issue. Mine had no marking on the gear positions and I recall 1st didn't have a synchro so could be difficult to engage at times.
 
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1,146
Location
USA
Reverse is back and up. Like others I learned to drive on one, plus the overdrive which is more to know how to operate correctly than three on tree. You would think they could figure it out with a couple minutes experimentation.
 
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