Keeping the column shifter in your vintage car would preserve its classic and era-correct look. However, the column shift is not always the most convenient shifter you can have for your car. If you stick with your column shifter, there is a tendency that you might get mixed up with rowing the gears and steering your car. That is why people consider converting to floor shift. It clears up the room behind your steering wheel, allowing you free movement. However, when you plan the floor shift conversion, you should also take note of the space, length, and clearance of the component that you are going to mount. This is where picking the right stalk is considered. In our search for options, we found out about the American Shifter Company shift rod. They have offerings that vary in length, shape, and finish to suit your custom hot rod applications. We tried to mix and match these products in order to determine which shifter rod suited our '57 Buick Skylark best. Since we were doing a floor shift conversion on a car with a front bench seat, we opted for the chrome 23" dual bend shifter rod. Here's what we found out:
- 23 inches in height
- Bended in two points
- Hardened steel
- Upper and lower tapered nut included
- Compatible with push button and side shift formats
- The shift rod along with the entire shifter kit could be adjusted according to the space between the bench seat and center console. One of our concerns before the installation was if the bench seat would limit the movement of the shifter. With careful adjustments, we made it work.
- The shifter was easy to operate. We were able to confidently switch from park, reverse, neutral, and drive. We didn't feel that the shifter was loose from its assembly.
- We loved how the chrome shifter rod accentuated the beautiful restomod interior. We decided to preserve the original chrome trims, radio, gauges, and clocks to contrast a violet and white interior. It worked like magic. Aside from the loud colors, the car felt almost as if it was modified during the '50s. However, there was no doubt that a floor shift on that kind of car was a more modern modification.
- We just had some doubts that the shift rod was easy to break because of its thickness. It felt a bit thin for a masculine car. However, we were proven wrong.
The American Shifter Company shift rod can be a viable option for your custom applications. In order for you to maximize its features, you would need to take careful measurements inside your car.