SEMA 2012: Hurst Shifts Into High Tech With Paddle Shifters

It’s hard to mention shifters and not think of one of the most famous brands: Hurst Shifters. It’s a name that conjures up thoughts of that famous Oldsmobile from the muscle car era, or the original Miss Hurst Linda Vaughn. With such a famous brand, it’s no wonder that Hurst doesn’t deny it’s heritage – nor does it refuse to adapt to the times.

For a long while, musclecar enthusiasts turned to Hurst to get their famous chrome shifter with the white ball on top, but now with modern technology taking over the musclecar and street rod scenes, Hurst has brought out the big guns and they’re ready to shift into action. We caught up with them at SEMA and they talked with Jessica Barton about their incredible history, as well as their plans for future products.

They say that in order to succeed, you need to change with the times, and Hurst has proven once again that they can stay on the leading edge of technology. Their new Nitro Stick conceals a lighted switch beneath a flip-plate for activating any function you may want – line lock, trans brake or nitrous, to name a few. The CNC machined 6061-T6 aluminum shifter will fit any Hurst shifter with a bolt on upper stick.

Did You Know?
Back in 1972, Hurst invented a hydraulic tool that was used as a life-saving device at racetracks across the country. The 32-inch long hydraulic arms would spread apart the crushed metal that trapped the victim of an accident. Since the victim was being extracted from the “jaws of death”, the tool earned it’s nickname that we all know of today as the “Jaws of Life”.


If floor shifters aren’t your thing, Hurst displayed the paddle shift kit for the 2010+ Chevrolet Camaro. The aluminum paddles replace the existing tapshift buttons on the Camaro’s steering wheel without any modification to the stock steering wheel.

Hurst also has paddle shift kits for the 2008-10 Dodge Charger, Magnum and Challenger, and the Chrysler 300 with the Autostick. Of course, their existing line of shifters are designed to replace the stock shifter in many classic and modern musclecars.

Also in the booth at Hurst was this beautiful black “Trans Am” modification on the fifth generation Camaro. The classic touch of the gold and black brought back memories of performance cars back in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Built on a fifth generation Camaro, the Trans Am rebodies have been getting a lot of well deserved attention, and this particular car paying homage to the Hurst cars of the past was a great example of the legend keeping up with modern technology.

For more information about getting a new Hurst manual or automatic shifter for your classic or modern musclecar, visit their web site and check out what they have to offer. Whether you’re into nostalgia or the modern look of a paddle shifter, Hurst has what it takes to get you into gear.

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About the author

Michael Harding

Michael is a full time Power Automedia writer and automotive enthusiast who doesn’t discriminate. Although Mopar is in his blood, he loves any car that looks great and drives even faster.
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