Ford’s Torque-Drive Copy-Cat 1970 Maverick Semi-Automatic Transmission – Is There One Left In The World? – Update: Several, As It Turns Out

Ford semi_automatic

(first posted 6/15/2013. At least two owners of these have left comments )   I’m not trying to beat this semi-automatick schtick into the ground, but in the recent Chevy Torque Drive post, Mad Hungarian left a comment near the end referring to a similar semi-automatic offered on the 1970 Ford Maverick. That triggered a vague memory, which just had to be followed up in order to satisfy my own curiosity. Well, there’s remarkably little out there about it, but here’s what I dug up:

Ford Maverick 1970 transmission

The only brochure reference is buried in the fine print. It was available only on the 1970 MY Maverick (which was built starting in April of 1969), and only on the smallest 170 CID six. And at $121, was a fair bit pricier the the Torque Drive ($69). Perhaps that’s justified by it having three gears instead of two? Of course, for eighty bucks more, one could get the self-shifting C4 automatic. Which undoubtedly helps explain why these were undoubtedly rare in 1970, and dropped for 1971. Torque Drive, with its four-year run, makes this look like a real flop in comparison.

Speaking of, that raises the question as to how one properly operated this gearbox. Start off in first or second? Depending the competition at the red light drag strip? Someone out there have a 1970 Maverick Owner’s Manual. roger628?

I tried to find if there was still one out there anywhere. has a registry of 939 Mavericks, and one 1970 was listed as having the semi-automatic transmission. It’s in Colombia, no less, having been imported by the US Embassy in Bogota. But like almost every old six cylinder Maverick, it’s been “restored” with upgrades, in this case the engine  (250 six) and transmission from a Granada donor. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s absolutely none left anywhere in the world. How sad is that?

ford maverick ad 2