Its been some years that we rarely hear about a Hurst shifter, in contrast to back in the day when Hurst shifters were almost a required option on any car with a manual transmission. Most enthusiasts express their preference for a manual transmission, the shifter has become a non issue, except for short throw mechanisms.
What was the deal with Hurst shifters back in the day?
As 4 speed manual transmissions became popular during the days of muscle/pony cars in many instances these cars were ideal to drag race, one of the reason we often see small block cars with 3.73 or 4.10 ratios, and big block cars with 3.23 or 3.73 ratios.
Yes the hard core drag individuals would run a 4.10 with a big block, or a 4.56 with a small block.
The 4 speeds of the time had a 2.56 or 2.20 first gear as an example, with an exterior (outside the transmission) shift mechanism comprised of the shifter and the shift rods.
A small block with a 4.56 (serious drag racing) and a 2.56 first gear had a total reduction of 11.67 to 1 as you can imagine 1st gear was over very quickly, requiring a lighning fast 1-2 shift to keep the acceleration and momentum going.
With such a gear combination in a drag race application a scattershield was a useful safety feature, especially when folks saw first hand the results of a missed shift, resulting in a clutch and often engine explosion. The classic "Missed a shift and grenaded the clutch and engine".
The other practice was to power shift, which implied barely lifting of the accelerator while shifting...yes transmissions were modified (the synchronisers) to facilitate power shifting.
The factory shifters were ideal to shift gears in a normnal / delicate fashion, and could not tolerate the demands of shifting under drag racing conditions.
Enter Hurst with shifters that were "substantial" compared to factory shifters, with huge shift rods, and the Competition Plus which was intended for drag racing had the protruding stop bolts to literally stop the shifter from going further in its travel.
The 1-2 shift was lighting quick, and easy since it was straight back, the stop bolt would facilitate applying force to the shifter. The 2-3 shift was/is more challenging it involved more travel, and easier to miss.
The shift lever was long since the majority of drag racing cars had bench seats, which also involved increased travel for the 2-3 shift.
Hurst back in the day established a reputation as the shifter for a drag racing application. Yes...Hurst shifters still exist today.
Informative video of the earlier days of drag racing when factory stock cars (really!) were becoming popular. A glimpse of Bill Jenkins shifting a Hurst with a T Handle.
The mentions of Sox and Martin...the synchronisers on their transmissions were polished, no need to engage the synchro...obvious that all drag racing 4 speeds of the day were finely tuned and blueprinted for drag racing.
The ambition of every Canadian to have a vehicle that transcends winter, must have caught on at Ferrari, snow, rain, sleet.....
Oh...the entire 2011 production of 800 FF is sold out.
The workings of the all wheel drive system...