It's not a stretch of the truth to say that one of the best parts of owning a classic truck is actually driving it, and one of the major components on the short list of making a classic truck a joy to drive is an overdrive automatic transmission. One company that firmly believes in the importance of matching a quality transmission to your vehicle is Gear Star Performance Transmission. While many companies have a limited selection and will sell you what they have in stock without any consideration for your vehicle's horsepower, rearend gearing, or the type of driving you'll be doing, Gear Star Performance Transmission takes all of these factors and more into consideration when preparing a transmission for your prized ride.
When we decided to upgrade our '56 Chevy project truck to a small-block Chevy mill, we also decided it was a good time to select an overdrive automatic we've grown to love in our late-model rides. A call to Gear Star Performance Transmission was met with friendly and knowledgeable advice that directed us toward a GM 200R4 automatic overdrive transmission. Because we were keeping the horsepower well under 450 and would mostly be pleasure-cruising our Chevy, the 200R4, with its preferable even gear splits (starting with a 2.74 First gear that feels much better than the 700R4 transmission's comparable, sometimes too low 3.06 First gear) and compact size, was a good fit for us. An added bonus is the relative bargain these pleasantly priced units offer compared to other vendors' transmissions that wouldn't be as well suited to our needs. Added peace of mind comes from the fact that every Gear Star transmission is built and dyno-tested by one master builder from start to finish, and it's backed by the best available warranty (24 month/24,000 mile) in the industry.
Before we started our installation, we rounded up all the pieces we would need-besides the Gear Star-built 200R4 and their slick installation package-from Classic Performance Products (crossmembers for the engine and transmission), Lokar (shifter), and PowerMaster (starter). Follow along as we complete the initial installation of our new drivetrain and get our pickup that much closer to some enjoyable highway and daily cruising.