Shifting In Our Seats

Hey, you know what you just don’t see a lot of these day? That’s right, manual shifters! I don’t think that’s right and so let’s see if we can’t find us a few. Post in the comments pics of what you think are the coolest stick shifts out there, old or new. Automatics may dominate, but we can still stick it to the man!
Image: VWVortex


    1. Looks like the designer took his inspiration from a drawknife. The woodworker in me heartily approves.

        1. Design or usability? I think it looks neat, but I only have about 5km of seat time in an SRT8 (it didn’t stand out as terrible, but I’m not really qualified to say).

          1. Both. The design is good, but it inherently causes a problem should you want to install an aftermarket shifter– you can’t change the knob without changing the whole shifter itself, since it was designed as one piece.
            As far as usability, it’s good from a casual shifting standpoint– you can hold the shifter a number of ways, which is nice when you feel like changing your grip. But when it comes to more spirited driving, it falls flat on its face; there’s no perfect way to hold it for really banging through the gears, and if you try and palm it (how I usually drive), the size of the top of the shifter is too small to fit snugly in your hand.
            I’ve had a Barton shifter kit sitting in my room for months now but, due to the extensive transmission problems I’ve had (with the car in/out for warranty work regularly), I haven’t had the gusto to put the new kit in and void the factory warranty. Otherwise I would have done it a while ago…

    1. Good Lord. What is that gearbox out of, and what exactly is attached to it?
      I can make out the gearbox and transfer case and what I think is either an overdrive or underdrive plus a PTO (or two; I’m really not sure if there’s one off of the transfer case as well)… But that’s a lot of levers. And I think I need them all.

      1. I think it’s in a CJ of some sort. One lever for the transmission, one for the overdrive, two for the PTO, and two for the transfer case (probably a D18 converted to twin stick with one for the front axle, and one for the rear which allows for 2WD low and other such silliness).
        You definitely need them all. I do too. Mostly I just want them all.
        Edit: Here are the specifics:

        1. You’re right; it is a PTO / 2-low setup gone crazy. Did some sniffing around and found the original article: . It doesn’t say much about the specific items used, but does confirm what it is.
          I’ve helped out on a couple of Atlas V installs, but that’s just insane. I like it. A lot.

          1. Thanks for that, and my MJ Acquisition Plan(tm) is now being reworked as a result.

          1. Yours was a link to the page with the image, not the image URL.
            Auto-embed image URLs need to end with .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, or other image extension – if it ends in .html, it’s not an image.

    1. If I had Ferrari money, this would be the car I would buy. I know that’s crazy for most, but I think it’s a gorgeous, understated grand tourer. And of course I’d have to have it with the manual.

      1. You’d probably need driving gloves too, after that shifter has been out in the sun for a while. Or if it’s below freezing!

    1. That may be an automatic.
      I’ve seen a few that had PRNDL on the button on the knob.
      They’re trying to FOOL us!!

          1. That actually doesn’t look terrible, just involved. I once had a Skoda that wasn’t too far off from that, but I do get where you’re coming from on this.

          2. As long as you remember that 1st and 3rd are “down” more than forward, and 2nd and 4th are ‘up’ more than back 😉

          3. Ah, OK. Now I see more clearly where this would be… Interesting to live with. Points taken.
            On a side note, I’ve always been a fan of reverse being either directly above or below first; it makes parking much easier.

          1. That’s a rather inconvenient location for a shifter. I like them to be accessible from the driver’s seat.

    1. I saw my very first Kizashi live and in person this weekend. I’ve never paid any attention to them other than pictures of yours – what a good looking car! Are you still happy with it?

  1. It’s not always the gear shifter that’s the most exciting.
    In other news, the shifter in my Honda Stream is ugly and not too much riddled with quality feel. But…I’ve come to appreciate the minivan-concept of having the gear selector right next to the steering wheel. The distance is so short, it actually makes for a more engaging process of shifting gears.

  2. Citroën SM. Moving the gear lever fore and aft brings the slot for left / right movement with it.

  3. Citroën Traction Avant – for those who prefer their gears denoted in Roman numerals.

  4. Citroën Mehari 4×4. The black knob is the standard 2CV 4-speed push-pull-twist gearchange. White and red are just push-pull; white for selecting 2WD or 4wd, red for selecting high or low range. There’s also a diff lock lever between the front seats, but it’s not as interesting to look at (and bends really easily if you put too much pressure on it while working it).

  5. Just because Mitsubishi had not only the moment of insanity that made them think that this was what was needed in a small hatchback, but because they also went ahead and put it into production.

      1. Neither did I until you mentioned it. It does go some way towards explaining my odd identification with (can’t really go so far as to say appreciation for) them.

    1. That has been Opel’s thing for decades now. Every manual Opel/Vauxhall has this, so tens of millions of cars outside the US. Monza/Vega were GM Europe = Opels

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