The stock VW shifter is said by some to be good enough for racing, and the $7 quick-shift kit makes it a bit better still, but I hate mine. With the new trans and engine, shifting had become an adventuresome chore. I was hitting reverse a lot instead of second, and third was iffy too. If I was cranking on the go-pedal she’d either shift easy and quick or basically not at all.
So last week I bought a new Vintage Speed shifter. The Speedster guys love these because they look a lot like the original design, without any trigger lift or other secondary lock-out device. They also have said that the guy they buy from takes custom orders–different lengths, etc.
So I ordered this one— the 10.5-inch speed shifter–and asked for it to be made with no bend.
No problem. The guy (he signed his email “MT”) said it would take a week. I got the thing in four days, at no extra cost.
Since I have already built an elaborate and bogus “trans tunnel” into my car, it took a little more ingenuity than normal to get my old shift out. Had to drill a couple rivets, mess about with an open wrench around some scaffolding.
The housing on the new one–a thick aluminum casting with a grease nipple–is close to the size of the TD-ish housing I’d removed.
The new shifter was oh-so easy to adjust. Once I got the new ball in the old cup (which took a few tries since I was working blind and because my shift rod bushing holder is not welded to the tunnel–it’s held in my the shifter bolts), it came right in about five minutes. The reverse lock-out plate (AKA ski slope) has a notched edge to facilitate ease of movement.
With the carpet on it looks legit.
All dressed up. If I had an MG leather shift knob and the right E-brake grip we’d be practically identical. Compare: