The sound of a motor when it's at the top of the Rs is like music to my grease monkey ears. No matter if there are four cylinders screaming a high-pitched whine or eight cylinders growling a deep rumble, I just dig it. If there's a performance muffler in the mix, it's even better. The best way I know to hear that sweet sound of horsepower is to mash the gas and manually shift the transmission. If you have a manual tranny or a truck already equipped with a console shifter this is pretty convenient to do. What about the folks, myself included, who have the shifter hanging off the side of the steering column? While that location is convenient for normal driving, when it comes time for race mode it basically sucks. So what is a column-shift guy to do? Install an aftermarket floor shifter, that's what. The S-10 I am building has a muscle-car theme, so a console and floor shifter is a must-have setup.

I was lucky enough to be gifted a very clean center console from a '64 SS Impala. I sat the console on the floor between my seats just to see what I would need to do to make it fit. The console sat great along the tunnel and all the bumps in the S-10's floor, almost as if it was made to fit. A few well-placed strips of aluminum angle pop-riveted to the floor pan took care of the mounting points to screw it down. Now it was time to fill it with something cool. Initially, I was going to hunt down a factory shifter setup, until I remembered my '70 SS Chevelle. That car had a factory floor shifter that I swapped out for a ratcheting-style aftermarket piece. Because of the ratcheting nature of the aftermarket unit, shifting from Low to Third and inadvertently shifting into Neutral was eliminated.

So instead of going backward I decided to hunt for a floor shifter that had classic styling, would fit into my Impala console and would be compatible with my 700R four-speed automatic transmission. The shifter I had in my Chevelle was a Hurst unit, so I checked out that company first. I didn't have to hunt very long because the Original Quarter Stick not only had the classic yet racy look I wanted, but it also fit my console and could be used on the 700 trans. The shifter comes with everything you would need to install it. Heck, there's even a black cover with an aluminum top piece for those of you without a console. One thing I had to pick up that didn't come with the shifter was a reverse light switch.

To install the shifter, I enlisted the help of Bodie Stroud at BS Industries. Bodie and his crew built the '56 Ford F-100 in our September '08 issue, which is one badass truck. Anyway, seeing a truck like that come out of his shop was all the reassurance I needed to let him work on my little Dime. It took Bodie all of about two hours to install the shifter with me slowing him down for the pictures.

What's In The Box?
Here is the Quarter Stick from Hurst (PN 3160030). This compact, lightweight shifter can be used on two, three, and four-speed automatic transmissions in both forward and reverse valve-body shift patterns. It is a detent-type shifter, so it will be next to impossible to miss a shift and there is a reverse lock-out so you won't get kicked off the track. Transferring the movement of the shifter to the transmission is a 5-foot-long cable. The cable features a solid 303 stainless steel inner wire core encased within a nylon liner that has been lubricated with Teflon for smooth operation. The box also includes all the little brackets and clips needed to install the shifter. One thing not included is the switch for the back-up lights; I had to include that in my original order, adding $14.48 to my $268.34 shifter.

The Final Word


Not only does the interior look the part with the console and bright white knob on the shifter, it also plays the part. I can bang through the gears without the fear of a missed shift, and having the shifter on the floor just feels right to me.

SOURCE
BS Industries HURST
10601 Memphis Ave.
Cleveland
OH  44144