There are a lot of things Chevrolet put into the cars of the ’60s that made the look and usability of the cars great. Horsepower notwithstanding, many people often comment about the automatic “horseshoe shifter” used in the late-’60s and early-’70s. The shifters are a great looking way to change gears, but one thing lacking in the units is an available “slap-shift” capability.
Many enthusiasts understand the frustration of moving these shifters too far when manually shifting. Many times, Neutral is put into action before needed, and that can make for a very unhappy engine. However, DPJ Fabricating, LLC, has an addition you can install to your existing shifter to give it true bang-and-shift capability.
When Dan Janes was restoring his 1970 Monte Carlo, he wanted to make an upgrade to help improve shift control while retaining the factory shifter. “In January 2019, not long after finishing the restoration, I had an idea of how to make a custom detent plate for the horseshoe shifter that would let me slap shift it for upshifts, with no need to squeeze the shifter handle at all. I made about a dozen prototypes before I was completely satisfied with my first design,” says Dan.
His idea was to add a ramp to the detent that takes care of squeezing the handle for the operator. This means you do not have to squeeze the handle to upshift from First to Second or Second to Drive. We’re not going to get into the details about how he designed this plate, but suffice to say, it’s a great addition to any horseshoe shifter.
“I now have three different designs for different transmissions and Chevrolet cars that were built from ’68 through ’72, with more on the way,” Dan affirms. “I actually have customers who have removed aftermarket shifters and reinstalled the factory horseshoe shifter, to regain that factory look.”
We’re definitely impressed with this upgrade, and if you want to add a “slap-stick”-style shift capability to your horseshoe shifter, click here.