The entire process can be completed in a weekend, and while our ’57 rides on a complete Fatman Fabrications reproduction chassis, the compact Gear Vendors unit will generally fit most factory frames without serious modifications. We found our kit to be very complete and only left the shop to have the driveshaft shortened along with purchasing the new front universal, in order to mount the new yoke that was supplied with the kit.
The wiring for the electrical controller was straightforward and the supplied gearshift knob activates the overdrive with a quick push of the button. The kit even comes with indicator lights to advise the driver when the overdrive is engaged, although we’d like to think our readers are aware enough of the tachometer to not be looking for the light.
Shortly after the installation was complete, several of the Fatman Fabrications employees headed down to Atlanta Dragway for the Chevy High Performance Nationals. The overdrive unit performed flawlessly on the road and proved it could handle the power on the dragstrip until there was no power to handle. Unfortunately, the 427 came apart during the final pass on the dragstrip and prior to the autocross event.
And so the dual-purpose hot rod is back, but unlike the “good old days”, today there is any number of ways to drive to the track at highway speeds and compete when you arrive. Gear Vendors’ Overdrive is one such option, so let’s get busy with the installation.