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Thread: Shift knob reference?

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    Shift knob reference?

    Hi all. Just joined and this sub forum seemed to me the best place to ask this question. If there is a better choice please let me know.
    I was wondering if there is any reference book or web site that would be a source of information regarding which shift knobs are correct for different makes and models of classic British sports cars. The reason I ask is because I am considering starting a collection so I am interested in a variety of cars, not just one in particular. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks. -Don.

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    Re: Shift knob reference?

    welcome! and, a very cool if slightly shifty idea.

    Off the top of my head, I suspect you would find that many of the plane jane cars of certain eras (The Austin County Cars for instance) would have the same or very similar knobs. When many of our cars were built, they were built as transportation and as such would not be particularly unique - I am guessing it took companies like Hurst to get people to pay attention to shifters.

    That said, they are certainly interesting enough - and you might consider going at it the other way around - buy an interesting looking knob on ebay or at a swap meet and figure out what car it came from. Good luck and keep us posted!
    John-Peter Smit
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    Re: Shift knob reference?

    Thanks for the reply JPSmit. I like the idea of collecting shift knobs with logos on them but I do realize there will be plenty of original knobs that only have the gear diagram. I only have two so far, an MG and a Triumph but I have many more makes in mind. I'm only interested in knobs that were actually used, not at all interested in repros or NOS because the used knobs represent to me the connection between car and driver, where the magic happens as it were. Anyway I am most interested in any reference material that can show which style of knobs came originally on each make model and year. A web site or book that has period catalogs or sales material would be a great help. Thanks again and I will post a pic or two after I have a few more.

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    Re: Shift knob reference?

    Welcome, Don!

    Don't know of any resource for you. Maybe a secondary project for you - to create same...


    Mickey
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    Re: Shift knob reference?

    Hi Don - You mentioned you want to know "which shift knobs are correct". Are you looking for info only on the shift knobs that came on the cars out of the factory?

    There are bazillions of knobs on ebay with marque logos on them - but those weren't on the cars originally.

    Even back in the 1920s there were after-market bling items for sale, including shift knobs.

    Tom M.
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    Re: Shift knob reference?

    Quote Originally Posted by NutmegCT View Post

    Even back in the 1920s there were after-market bling items for sale, including shift knobs.

    Tom M.
    And Tom should know.

    good luck with this!
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Re: Shift knob reference?

    Quote Originally Posted by JPSmit View Post
    And Tom should know.

    good luck with this!
    Hey - not everyone gets the advantages I enjoyed in my early education! Here's my kindergarten graduation certificate -

    homework.jpg

    Peasants ...
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

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    Re: Shift knob reference?

    Never saw anything where original shift knobs were displayed for any car, let alone just British. Best bet, go to a lot of British car shows and take photos of the interiors, focusing on the shifters. But saying that, not all have the original type knobs on them. Talk to the owners, they usually know what the original equipment that came with the car looks like. PJ

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    Re: Shift knob reference?

    Thanks for the replies and the welcome. It's much appreciated. OK so it looks like I'm going to have to create my own data on this. I've been collecting space toys from the 50's and 60's for over 15 years and in that well established hobby we use dated wholesale and department store catalogs to nail down dates and original specs. I think period sales brochures that show interiors will be a big help towards collecting this kind of information for vintage cars. I'm starting with my boyhood fantasy category of British sports cars to keep the range and focus manageable. I'd like to collect documentation on which knobs each make and model were originally offered with (including option variations where they exist) as well as any period popular trends in after market knobs, (using dated period photographs) not to be confused with current trends. The idea is that photograph taken in 1964 of a 1963 car doesn't necessarily show the OEM knob. I don't even know if aftermarket additions were a thing in 1964. All this will take some time but I think my interest will stay strong. Please feel free to add any documentation that you may find in this thread. It would be cool if this thread became a reference in itself over time. Thanks again!

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    Re: Shift knob reference?

    Some of the cars knobs were, as mentioned, pretty boring, hard rubber pieces with a shift pattern pressed in. If you are interested in period pieces but not necessarily OEM it was a very common upgrade to put an AMCO shift knob on your sports car back in the day, they came in wood, leather or chrome, with manufacturer's logos or shift patterns on them. Based on my unscientific experience of buying and driving them when they were slightly used cars I would say it is a pretty safe bet that half or more of the cars ended up with an aftermarket AMCO knob after 5-10 years.

    The foreign auto shop I worked at in the late 70s had a display case full of the knobs and it looked pretty nice as I recall. Google or eBay search onAMCO shift knobs and you can see many examples as well as collections. Here is a picture sample from a period ad. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01HN...hift+knob+sign

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    Re: Shift knob reference?

    Thanks for the input glemon. It clears up exactly what I am attracted to. It looks like the two I have so far are from AMCO. Good to know. Thanks again.

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    Re: Shift knob reference?

    Good luck, regards, Greg

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