The Things They Say . . .

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“‘Just give us an automatic transmission—Porsche thought—and we’ll have an everyman’s car, every man who can afford over 86,300 that is.’ Well it doesn’t work. Not only is Sportomatic a funny name, but the transmission is a funny transmission—though there is little humour in the added $280 tacked on because they’ve taken away the clutch. The whole thing puts you in mind of Detroit’s bizarre efforts at clutchless shifting that died a merciful death in the middle ‘fifties. The great unlamented Gyromatic, for instance. If the Gyromatic didn’t put Chrysler Corporation out of business, it hurt—and hurt badly; and we’re sad to see Porsche repeat the experiment. Porsche begins by calling its Sportomatic an automatic transmission. and you’d think, if you didn’t know any better, that the transmission would change gears by itself. No chance. And in this day of computers and automation, being required to shift an automatic is a hard fault to overlook.”—Car & Driver reporting on the Porsche Sportomatic transmission.

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