What is a 3 speed flash-o-matic automatic?

Asked by Nov 25, 2013 at 07:49 PM about the 1965 AMC Rambler American

Question type: General

2 Answers


A Borg Warner transmission Rambler used in the early 60"s. It had a push button gear selector mounted on the dash to the left of the steering column.

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Not all Flash-O-Matics were push-button shift, only 1958-62 "big" Ramblers used the push-button shifter. AMC (Rambler) started using Borg-Warner automatics (calling them "Flash-O-Matic") in 1957, and continued using them through 1970. The Flash-O-Matic name went away after 1966, with "Shift-Command" taking over. Shift-Command trannys used the now standard P-R-N-D-2-1 shift pattern. Flash-O-Matic used P-R-N-D2-D1-L. D2 started in second gear for better economy on level or near level surfaces and light loads, and also made it easier to start under slick conditions (like in snow and ice). D1 starts in first gear. Both D positions automatically shifted up through the gears. L was first only and didn't automatically shift. There were several versions -- M-8, M-11, M-12 were HD with cast iron case (and the only models through 62, used behind sixes and eights), M-35,36,37,40,42,44 were aluminum cased light to medium duty versions used behind sixes and small V-8s.

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