Explaining the automatic transmission in a 1941 Oldsmobile ad

(November 27, 2015) When the first automatic transmissions were introduced the general public had to be educated about their ease of use the strange absence of a clutch pedal. This is pointed out by this advertisement for the 1941 Oldsmobile that featured a "Hydra-Matic" transmission.

General Motors began work on the automatic transmission in the mid 30s introducing the Hydra-Matic Drive transmission in May 1939 for the 1940 model year Oldsmobile.

In 1940 the Hydra-Match for a $57 option, rising to $100 for 1941. Cadillac picked up the transmission in 1941 charging $125 for the option. Almost 200,000 Hydra-Matic Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs were sold by the time passenger car production was halted for World War II in February 1942.

During the war, the Hydra-Matic was used in a variety of military vehicles. Wartime use improved the postwar engineering of the transmission, which after the war was advertised as "battle-tested."

Source: Wikapedia