So I'm thinking about treating Little Red to a nice new shifter from Vintage Speed, specifically this 12" curved beauty. Anyone else have one? What can I expect? How much tighter is the throw over the sloppy stock lever? Does it feel precise, like it looks in the video on Vintage Speed's website? Can you feel or hear driveline vibration? Are they reliable? If you own one, do you feel you got your money's worth? 

57 CMC widebody, 1776, Dell 40s, IRS, 4 wheel discs, 18" Boyds, 225/35/18

Original Post

I personally love their shifters and dealing w/ MT has always been a easy.  ( I also have their exhaust and linkage). He is really focused on customer support.

 I personally went with a 10.5”, had him powder coat it in black, and redo the thread from 12M to 10Mso I could use early Porsche threaded knobs. Basically he had me order an 11.5”, he then cut to 10.5” and re thread it to M10 before powder coating it black.

I went with a 10.5 because I have a radio, and did not want any interface issues, or my nickels ever coming near the radio while shifting. With the stock length my hand hit the radio every once in a while when  shifting into 1st or 3rd.

  A great improvement over the stock shifter, short throw ( very noticeable improvement when the shifter is only 10.5”) and much more precise.  The reverse (pull up) lock out is also great!

worth the $$ IMHO.

hard to really appreciate the shifterUnder the sleeve... but it works great!

C849DFF0-1C22-4FA4-870E-D6C12E188FEA

happy shopping!

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Last edited by Lfepardo

I have a 10.5 inch Vintage Speed shifter in Bridget. It's an excellent upgrade on the stock shifter with the quickshift kit. Customer service is great—I had him make mine without the bend to better mimic an MG TD shifter.

Highly recommend. But:

As with all stockish VW shifter systems, most of the slop or potential slop is in the shift rod bushing. When that's new and greased nicely, shifting is very precise and notchy like a normal car. When its not, not.

@McGruff  i have a vintage speed shifter...it is close to the GATED FERRARI feel....it just makes the car & driving experience ...and added feature is a BRASS SHIFT BUSHING...zero play & good for the life of the car...i highly recommend them20190920_10403220190920_104032

@McGruff  oh, and one more thing...inspect the SHIFT ROD itself....if the TURRET is WORE OUT  ie: egg shape & not round (like the 50yr old one that GENIUS john steele aka JPS motorsports left in my $40K car to save $30  (a story for another time)...then a billet bitchin' shifter wont help at all....a new shift rod...the brass bushing & a vintage speed shifter.....is TURN KEY & a SMILE MAKER 

I have a 10 1/2 inch Vintage Speed shifter in my VS.  I went with the black rod as opposed to the chrome.  The throw is considerably shorter and the gears are very close together.  What I really like, though, is the "pull up" collar to engage reverse.  I've been obsessed with the prospect of throwing my car into reverse instead of second when rowing through the gears.  The "pull up" eliminates, or at least significantly lowers, the prospect of catastrophe!  It is such a nice piece I am no longer running the boot to hide it.

It is singly the best upgrade I've made to my VS so far.

Last edited by TheMayoMachine

I have an Ivory Vintage shifter and love it. I am going to buy one for my Puma. You won't be disappointed. Carey at Special Edition uses them so that should tell you they are good. They have a close tight shift with no slop, spongy feel or vibration and My trans has a rhino solid tail mount.

Last edited by Jimmy V.

I have never tried a Vintage shifter but I have had an empi one and that was a nice experience how much different is the V shifter?  Just saying 

Really, I have a modified Empi right now with my subie tranny and I not sure I would venture to change it.  It is a very positive feel, my son finds it a bit stiff but he is comparing it to a cable Audi & VW shifter. 

Thanks for all the comments and perspective, it's really helpful. So from what I'm reading, I might want to consider a shorter shifter, as well as check my existing shift rod and coupling, and install a brass bushing instead of nylon. This leads to a couple more questions:

1. Where do I take the height measurement from? I was under the impression it was from the bottom of the base to the top of the shift knob. 

2. If I have to purchase a new shift rod, do I have to shorten it? If I recall, the pan under my CMC body was shortened by 11-1/2" before assembly, with the slack coming from the area where the shift rod resides.  

@edsnova posted:

I think if you have a good shifter that you like it's a good practice to leave it be. Whether it's stock or aftermarket.

I like my Vintage shifter a lot.

My current shifter is sloppy. It works, but I want a more precise feel. It's also straight. I want the knob a bit closer to me, so I'm considering curved.    

terry and i each bought one years ago and it was too long of throw so we had a machinist cut off about 6"(?) and rethread  for the knob, worked killer then...they may have changed them by now, this was a long time ago.

@McGruff replacement of the shift rod is a somewhat involved job....especially in a liquid cooled subaru car  with radiator ...a/c compressor etc....it also has to be shortened ....plus the BRASS SHIFT BUSHING has to be done while the rod is out...silly not to...and that job is a bit ch as well...needs a special tool that comes with the part.....i paid a hot rod mechanic that has seen & done it all to do both...."save your DOUGH and hire a PRO" ... the brass part is from EV4U or GOGGLE brass vw shift bushing....

When I bought my shifter in January I was a little apprehensive about the fit and function.  I went with the 12 inch with the curved shaft.  Earlier I posted it was 10 1/2 inch...sorry.

I just measured it as it sits in the car.  It’s right at 12 inches from the tunnel to the top of the knob when resting in neutral.  Using my handy eye-ball alignment tools I can see the knob is roughly in line with the steering hub when in neutral.  Going into first or third there is ample clearance both behind and below the dash.  Second and forth brings the knob roughly in line with the steering wheel.

My version advertised a 40% reduction in throw and it is very noticeable.  The shifts are solid and very clean.  Looking back at the stock VW shifting it felt like I was reaching for third and sometimes first.  I stand at 5-11 on a good day and this shifter is incredibly comfortable and keeps everything in close.

I really doubt anyone would be unhappy with this shifter but if you are I’m certain there would be no problem at all recouping most of the price on the resale market.

As I mentioned before it is a great looking piece and it sits uncovered because I’d hate to hide it.

For reference this is the part number: 

155-795-52200

Last edited by TheMayoMachine

When I bought my shifter in January I was a little apprehensive about the fit and function.  I went with the 12 inch with the curved shaft.  Earlier I posted it was 10 1/2 inch...sorry.

I just measured it as it sits in the car.  It’s right at 12 inches from the tunnel to the top of the knob when resting in neutral.  Using my handy eye-ball alignment tools I can see the knob is roughly in line with the steering hub when in neutral.  Going into first or third there is ample clearance both behind and below the dash.  Second and forth brings the knob roughly in line with the steering wheel.

My version advertised a 40% reduction in throw and it is very noticeable.  The shifts are solid and very clean.  Looking back at the stock VW shifting it felt like I was reaching for third and sometimes first.  I stand at 5-11 on a good day and this shifter is incredibly comfortable and keeps everything in close.

I really doubt anyone would be unhappy with this shifter but if you are I’m certain there would be no problem at all recouping most of the price on the resale market.

As I mentioned before it is a great looking piece and it sits uncovered because I’d hate to hide it.

For reference this is the part number: 

155-795-52200

Melanie knows you've been lying the whole time.

 https://www.aircooled.net/ is one of the better parts suppliers in this hobby/business, with owner John Connolly(sp?) going to great lengths to help people with his parts explanations, well written technical articles on the website AND his frequent presence on the Samba. Even the aftermarket camshaft descriptions are more than just the manufacturers' blurbs, with more valuable information thrown in.

Last edited by ALB

I have a Vintage Speed shifter.  I liked the look of the base but was really bothered by the rubber boot not being attached at the bottom.  I made a new boot out of a piece of a generic  CV joint boot and then replaced it with a leather boot made by a little shop in Poland.20190921_081136

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