The first year of the Chevrolet pickup with a Hydramatic transmission was 1954. Though it did not find a large percentage of buyers, this truck did open the door for an increasing number of this transmission in the coming years.
When sitting in the 1954 Chevrolet truck cab with this new option, some changes are immediately noted. To operate the starter motor on the original six cylinder, a button is pushed with the driver’s thumb just above the headlight switch. The ignition switch still has 2 positions as earlier years.
The truck with a Hydramatic has an automatic choke on the carburetor, there is no need for manual pull choke. Thus, GM installed a small blank out plug in the hole where the choke lever is usually found (at the left of the radio position). At the right is another plugged hole which is usually for a throttle lever.
Of course, the main focal point is the Hydramatic shift selector attached on the column below the steering wheel.
For the new owner not acquainted with a Hydramatic, a paper sheet is slid over the sunvisor pad. It lists the instructions for successfully operating those types of transmissions.
An interesting feature on the Hydramatic: Turn off the engine while stopped in reverse and the transmission is in park!