My first, and only three on the tree, was a 1965 Chevy Biscayne 230 6cylinder with 140 HP, back in 1990. I got it in Paradise, California from a first owner old couple who put 107,000 original miles on it. I bought it for $1,700. The engine was a little worn, leaky, and smoky, so I rebuilt it entirely at about 110,000 miles…
It took a little while to get used to the three on the tree shifting style, Especially the fact it was not synronized in first gear. It did cure my habit of California Stops, because you have to stop completely, shift quickly into second gear, then straight down to first or it will grind into first gear, something fierce!
The car now has almost 300,000 miles on it, I replaced the timing gear and main bearings in engine, around 225,000 miles, but I still haven’t needed to rebuid the tranny!! I put a new clutch in it at around 125,000 miles, but other than that, I replaced the rear tranny output shaft oil seal at 250,000 miles & also replaced the oil a couple times over the years, with really good quality Lucas oil products.
I never imagined they attached big block engines to these three speed column shifters! It kinda explains to me how I could have so many miles on this tranny w/o any issues, or rebuilds. It is because they were build to handle twice as much torque my Biscayne, that tops out at about 220 cu. ft., on specs.
After researching a little more info on my Biscayne, I found out today, that I could always stick this era four on the floor manual tranny on my same bellhousing, since, I prob wont find rebuild parts for this old three speed, once it sees it’s last days. Most stuff stuff on this classic is pretty much obsolete now! So, eventually I will have to stick a four cylinder turbo’ed fuel injected engine with a six speed manual tranny. That will be the day!!