Anyone remember what, if any aftermarket shifters were available in the mid to late 60's Gasser era?
I'm shooting for a 4-speed in my Falcon, but necessity and/or budget might call for an automatic, and I'm trying to keep the project generally period correct where I can.
From what I've found in some pics from back then, there were a few shifters with neutral safety and reverse lockouts, but what about ratchet action to keep from sloppy skipping of gears in the heat of competition.
I remember in high school, a friend had a truck with a nasty small block and one of the early, very basic, Hurst Indy automatic shifters in it, and almost every time he'd nail it and shift from low to 2nd, the jerk back from catching 2nd gear would cause him to pull it back into low, and we'd end up with our faces in the dashboard while the engine screamed back into low gear, which also often caused him to throw the shifter all the way to neutral, causing more revs with little forward motion, at which point I'd usually slink down and sit on the floor of the truck where no one could see me.
Later that year, ('79) I bought a 440 Six-Pack Challenger R/T, and miracle of miracles, it had a factory "Slap-Stick" ratchet shifter in the console! If I remember right, it was about then, give-or-take a few years, B&M and automatics came into their own with Z-Gates and QuickSilver ratchet shifters, shift kits and stall converters became all the rage.....but how far back did automatic technology go? When did the first ratchet shifters and stall converters make the drag scene?
You got to really respect the old Dodge boys Super Stockers and AFX'ers that WFO dragged with those push-button Torque-Flight autos back in the day. Can you imagine, trying to point your finger and poke a button barely the size of a dime while getting pushed back in your seat getting sideways down the track at 6,000 RPMs??