In your search for possible project cars, you come across a 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air in a barn. It could almost pass as a rust bucket but upon inspection, you realize that the car seemed to be intact. You just had to shovel out the dirt that accumulated throughout from decade's worth of being mothballed in that old barn. As you plan your restoration, you decided to do a liberal restomod with it. Because of your concept, you want to replace its old V8 with a more modern Chevrolet LS3 mated to a 700 R4 automatic transmission. You would also want to replace the stuck up drum brakes with bigger disc brakes. And the list continues on. With your engine and transmission set-up, sticking to the original column shift already might be a bad idea. You want the opportunity of doing better shifts now that you are putting your Bel-Air on the drag strip as soon as you finish your restomod job. You are now faced with the option of converting to floor shift. Hurst and B&M are already popular brand choices for a shifter but you wanted to try another player in the market. This is where the American Shifter Company shifter installation kit becomes your saving grace. This is exactly what happened to our colleague when he got his '55 Bel-Air 2-door hardtop. He wanted easier shifts with his automatic transmission when he drives out on the streets. This tri-five Chevy became our guinea pig for the American Shifter Company product. Here's what we found out:
- Push button shift action
- Black stock knob
- Compatible with custom knobs
- Equipped with park and neutral safety lock out
- Adjustable for dashboard and leg room clearance
- Teflon bushings and sleeves
- Anti-rust coated brackets
- Limited lifetime warranty
- We were able to do shift from park to reverse to drive smoothly using the American Shifter Company shifter. The height of the stalk was just right and did not put us in an awkward position just to operate the shifter.
- What's nice about the shifter installation kit was that the assembly could accept custom shift knobs. This allowed us to put a more personal touch on our colleague's Bel-Air. We ended up getting a skull shift knob from American Shifter Company. The addition of the skull knob was a bit of an eccentric choice but we liked it.
- Since the stalk was not as thick as that of Hurst and B&M, we were reluctant to do drag racing shifts on our 700 R4 transmission using the American Shifter Company shifter. We were afraid that we might force the assembly to be out of place.
The American Shifter Company shifter is a nice aftermarket modification for your hot rod, cruiser, or muscle car. But you should remember to go easy on the shifts because it's more of an ornament compared to a sports shifter.