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Ultramatic was the trademarked name of the Packard Motor Car Companys automatic transmission introduced in 1949 and produced until 1954, at Packards Detroit, Michigan East Grand Boulevard factory. It was produced thereafter from late 1954, thru 1956 at the new Packard "Utica" Utica, Michigan facility. Packards Ultramatic transmission was the creation of the companys chief engineer Forest McFarland and his engineering team. The magnitude of the accomplishment is illustrated by the fact that it was the only automatic transmission produced solely by an independent automaker with no outside help. Devices like the Ultramatic were being tested and designed by Packard from 1935 on, but none sufficed the perfectionist engineer. The Ultramatics development was halted as was all automotive work during World War II, but resumed in earnest during 1946. Packard, during this period, was suffering in competition with Cadillac, thanks to their popular self-shifting Hydra-Matic, which was available starting in 1941 and became popular during 1946-1948. Packard at that time only offered an Electromatic Vacuum Clutch option, which required manual shifting, and as most vacuum powered shifting, and clutching devices, was generally unreliable. In 1949, Packards 50th anniversary, McFarlands Ultramatic Drive became available as a $199 option. It was first offered only on the De-Luxe Packard Customs. The Ultramatic was a hydraulic torque converter automatic transmission with a two-speed plus reverse epicyclic geartrain and torque converter lockup, called Direct Drive by Packard. The unit was hydraulically controlled with a "valve body," like most automatic transmissions before the advent of electronic control.