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Axle Ratios?

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I have what is probably a basic question.

What are the differences between the axle ratios?

I have a 65 A-Code w/ an axle code of 3:00:1 and a 4 spd toploader. However, I also notice that there are 2x:1 ratios as well as other 3x:1 ratios...... what is the difference? Are some better than others, rarer, etc?

I am trying to learn about the mechanics of my car (currently an amateur) and am not familiar with axles at all.

Thanks for the help.
Is there a good reference manual to study these types of details?