|Quoting falstaff (Reply 16):|
I don't know the last US car with a "three on the tree".
Chevy offered a 3-on-the tree in its full-size B-Body BelAir as late as 1973.
One was recently posted on eBay (under completed items) from Cherry Hill, NJ
I know that Ford still offered a 3-on-the-tree for its 1969 Custom and Custom 500 full-sizes (I have a brouchere and owners' manual). I'm guessing that they probably offered it as base equipment for the 240cid 6-cylinder equipped-Custom/Custom 500s up through 1972. The 4-on-the-floor manuals were offered on the Galaxie 500 and XL coupes and convertibles through 1970. One 1971 LTD ragtop on eBay several years ago had a 4-speed manual, a very rare bird indeed.
Among full-size Dodges and Plymouths, the final year for 3-on-the trees (on its base models) may have been (guess
on my part) 1973 as well; the final year of the fuselage-styled models.
All my past and present vehicles have all been automatics; of which only 2 of them (my '69 Ford I owned back in the 80s and my '07 Mustang) even offered manuals of sorts.
While I have driven manuals in the past, I never drove one w/the column-mounted 3-on-the-tree.
Back in the mid-80s, a friend of mine test-drove a '67 Pontiac Tempest that was for sale that had a 3-on-the-tree; the biggest issue he had w/it was the linkage (he's more familiar w/floor-mounted manuals). Needless to say, he wound up NOT buying the vehicle.
The biggest issue w/manuals is when one is stopped on a hill (due to either a STOP sign or traffic signal). One needs to have quick reflexes with the pedals and clutch when proceeding following said-stop; otherwise, one may find themself rolling backwards and possibly into a vehicle behind them.
In the old days, I remember seeing may small cars (VW Bugs for example) that had the words Automatic
listed on the back (meaning that it was equipped w/an automatic transmission). Today, given the higher percentage of automatics on the road, I, personally think that all manual-transmissioned vehicles (ones that can be equipped either way) should have the word manual
listed on the back somewhere so that when one approaches one from behind; they'll be more likely to give it some room in case of a 'roll-back'. Around my neck of the woods, there are many drivers that don't leave too much room between vehicles on stops; even on hills.