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An original Speedster shifter was just a plain VW type with no trigger for reverse lock-out (just a spring-loaded gate for reverse); any wrecking yard with VW's should be able to supply that entire assembly. On the other hand, some of the better aftermarket shifters (with triggers) come from Gene Berg. If you have a shifting problem check the shifter installation first, then the coupler and the shift-shaft bushing; if they seem to be allright then maybe some adjustment is probably in order. Adjustment is usually put the trans (and shifter, if the coupler is not locked down) in reverse then align the coupler pinch bolt with the hole in the hockey stick (shift rod in the trans) and tighten down the bolt and saftey-wire it.
Thanks George, but my search for a different shifter is strictly a matter of form, not function. If I am not mistaken, the original later model Speedster's shifters were curved. The only curved replacement shifters that I have found are the flat stock T-handle Hurst type, which I do not like.

The question stands. Anyone have any other alternatives?

Thanks, Chuck
'78 IM Speedster
I think Chirco offers a "sport" shifter that is not as tall as the original, and has a slight bend to it. My understanding from another member is this is the same shifter IM uses as their standard 'off the shelf'. I may be wrong, but I'm just passing the info.... Anyway, when I was shopping for a shifter I looked at this one via a hard copy of their parts listing. I still have that (I hope!) out in the shop library. It is a very attractive, semi-stocker-retro-look, comes with a boot (real genuine vinyl I think) and a Walnut (well, walnut appearing)knob. It has no lock-out ala the Scat/Berg/Semi-Hurst-Mystery-Shifter-Clones, and looks pretty sharp IMHO.

I ended up with a new SCAT, Lock-Out via horse trading... but I am more into the retro look, and as someone mentioned on some thread. they didn't want a "Camaro" look for a shifter. I personally agree, although I am using a T-Shifter Camroesque thing right now (But no Mullet, ha-ha). Actually I really like the SCAT shifter on both a functional and appearance level, but it's just not the look I am striving for. I think I could like it more if I could use my matching (Wood)Nardi Shift Handle with the SCAT. Unfortunately, I can't. The knob fits onto the threaded end ok, and is adjusted for tightness via 4 allen head screws... but fitting it on interferes with the ability to pull the reverse lock-out handle. The base of the Nardi is wider than the shaft that the T-Handle has to screw onto the shifter threads.

My point to this rambling piece-o-work? Well, I too am seeking the same look as you are evidently. My dream shifter would be a stocker looking 356 shifter with a small reverse lockout shaft, and then my Nardi Knob..... it doesn't exist, short of making a custom one... too much work, time, and money, for me. My alternative? I have a brand new VW Shifter in a box at the shop.... and I am seriously thinking about ordering that Chirco shifter @ around $20 cheap bucks plus shipping.(maybe it's Kimco??? I'll call my bro-in-law to look, I'm up in STL for a few more days) I can get him to scan it and send to you via e-mail if you would like... My plan is to use one of the two after looking at the Chirco unit, with a short shift pattern unit, and back to my much loved Nardi knob (yes I grip my own knob). I've used the cast metal short shift kit with good results... and so hopefully that will get me 75% of the shifter I want (-25% for no lock-out). Maybe it's an alternative for you? I dunno, it's just my 2 pesos worth on the forum today. (PS, you can order a new stock unit for less than $15) Oh, and I believe you can use VS's boot on that Chirco unit.

Jim Dubutub, OKC

(Message Edited 9/4/2002 8:13:19 PM)
On my older speedster, I had an EMPI "hurst" style short shifter- functionally perfect, but ashestically less than the "full-retro-ivory knob-black shaft-rubber accordian boot" shifter of my dreams. I have an older VW shifter with the knob and the boot I like on my new JPS, which shifts "OK"- but its still got a bit of the vague VW shifting in it. I'd like the spring loaded gate, a more definate "H" pattern, and reverse lock-out for my wife and daughter. Did I mention, I want it to look retro. Any direction from the masses would be great.
Thanks John, I'll scope it out. I've sat here pondering on an alternative... something about Stan's post got me wondering, what if...?

Maybe, If I got with a decent welder, semi-machinist, semi-visionary, I could use that older VW shaft, cut at the approriate point to match an equally approriate level of cut on my SCAT's shaft, then joined by welding and a collar welded reinforcement at a point below the VS Leather boot, anddddddd, andddddd, engineer the lock-out shaft to follow the flow of the VW shaft after the splice point.... then add my Nardi Knob (say that right and it almost sounds like you are a surfer with a speech impediment, as in, "Nardi Knob Dude")

But, alas, I'll bet most welders without a vision will say, that baby will break the first time you push it into third too hard. That's why I need someone who can do it right.... just think Stan and John, a retro look (just looked John, perfect!), spring loaded, short pattern, reverse lock-out (not a must for me, but it comes with the Scat base....). That would be a nice blend of form and function... hmmmmmmm... maybe I'll make some calls when I get back to OKC.


(Message Edited 9/4/2002 11:52:17 PM)
John, looking at your photo I noticed you did the same thing to protect your carpet pad on the left side rail near the clutch as I did... although in hindsight in my case. Just goes to show again, that you put a lot of thought into the planning and construction of your car. And. yeah, I do like that shifter. Where did you get it? Are there new manufactured ones available?

Now here's something else in that arena, carpet protection. I have worn a heck of a spot with my heel on the Cocoa Mat at a point below the gas pedal, from pivoting from the heel, and moving back to the gas after braking...... Maybe I have big feet, ? Anyway, I will take my otherwise pristine mat(s) and will look for either a thin rubber square, or a heavy carpet square (with edging) about 3" x 3" to apply to this area. Ideas are welcomed, anyone?

Jim Ward OKC
Jim, carpet wear near the throttle is a normal thing - the carpet on my original '56 Speedster got pretty ratty. I'm surprised all of the replica builders don't install a simple S/S guard plate on the tunnel next to the pedal. IM offers an optional "dead pedal" for your left foot and that's an option I forgot to ask for...
Jim, when John Steele and I were working out the details on my car, he offered me a choice of a few different "shifters." I opted for the older-style VW double-bend because I thought it most closely resembled the original Speedster look. I'm sure it's available from any classic VW parts place.
Yes, I did put a lot of thought into the details of my car. In fact, John Steele has refered to me as "anal." He must be right...because I took it as a compliment. (rim-shot - Thank you, thank you very much!)
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