Classic Chevy Transmission Identification


Classic Chevrolet cars and trucks were equipped with the two-speed Powerglide -- and three-speed Turboglide -- automatic transmissions. The vehicles also offered two versions of the three-speed manual. Chevrolet produced more than 17 million Powerglides. The Turboglides matched the large, V-8 engines that entered production in 1957.


  • The aluminum-cased, two-speed Powerglide weighed less than 100 lbs. It matched the small-block Chevy engines of the 1960s. Chevy developed cast-iron versions -- in 1950 -- to transmit power to the wheels from the automaker's in-line, 216.5 and 235-cubic inch, six-cylinder engines. The Powerglide had no oil pan, and "Powerglide" was stamped on the passenger side case. The Chevy Bel Air, Malibu, Chevelle, Nova, Corvette and pickups featured the Powerglide.


  • Chevy created the Turboglide for the automaker's V-8 engines. It featured a die-cast aluminum case. Chevy designed it to handle the torque created by the 283 V-8 and the 348 V-8; both were equipped with the Rochester fuel injection system. The three-speed Turboglide differed from the Powerglide in that its twin turbines operated the planetary gears. A torque converter controlled the planetary gears on the Powerglide.


  • The all-purpose, three-speed manual with overdrive was standard equipment on most Chevys; the three-speed, Synchro-Mesh manual was an option. The Synchro-Mesh version had high torque capacity to handle the stress of the 348 V-8.

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