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By Sky Wallace.
Photos courtesy Good Communications.

Editor's Note: The venerable GM Powerglide transmission has been around almost as long as there has been organized drag racing. Originally designed to handle engines that developed about 200 horsepower, aftermarket versions of the two-speed automatic can now be found in racecars with engines that make up to ten times the horsepower that the trans was originally designed to handle.

Over the years, as the amount of horsepower and torque that the two-speed automatic had to handle kept increasing, more and more of the stock or modified components used to build the transmission began to fail. As a result, manufacturers began designing and building purpose-built parts for the transmission, even going so far as to develop brand new cases.

Today, many of the transmissions you see in dragsters and door cars may look like your father's Powerglide, but in reality are anything but that. They are completely new pieces inside and out. One of companies that has led the way in developing many of the custom components that make up a state-of-the-art Powerglide is J.W. Transmissions and its founder John Winters. Over the last 24 years Winters has designed and built stronger, more durable components, from the case itself to the gears and other components. While J.W. Transmissions builds and sells its own brand of Powerglides, they also sell and make components for many other of the premier transmission builders. DRO thought our readers would like an inside look at these components and the reasons why they have been redesigned. Here is Sky Wallace's report.



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