The history of torque converters and automatic transmissions begins shortly after the automobile was created. The first cars had a version of the manual transmission, but almost immediately, engineers began working on alternatives to shifting. In 1941 there was a “fluid drive” transmission put out by Chrysler that was semi-automatic. Though it could start without the clutch, this transmission still needed the clutch to shift between low and high gears.
One of the first automatic transmissions, like the ones we use today, complete with a torque converter, was the Hydra-Matic. This began showing up in 1940s Oldsmobiles. It became very popular, after World War II, and many cars had it in the 1950s. From there, other manufacturers developed their own automatic transmissions and began to offer them in their cars.
The torque converter that you have today in your car is fine for street use, but, if you are looking for performance you’ll want to upgrade to a custom torque converter from Precision Industries. These performance parts will help you get the most out of your car, and will be able to withstand both the rigors of the track and of everyday street driving. Contact the experts at Precision Industries to discuss which high performance torque converter is right for your vehicle.