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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Post SEMA show

A couple of weeks ago, I have mentioned that I had a small small role in a product line that was showcased at the SEMA show. It was purely a prototype product at the time, because the company developing it, wasn't sure if it was going to get the customers interest. Well, I have asked permission to show the aforementioned product that I had contributed to, and here it is.
Say hello to a new line of paddle shifters from Hurst. Hurst has done pretty much the whole range of shifters. They have many different types for the manual tranmission, as well as a few for the automatic transmissions. However, never before has a company made tap shift paddles for the automatic Camaros. Keep in mind my contribution is very very small, but I will give you guys the full scoop.

When I first bought the Camaro, I loved it. I have an automatic V6, so it means it comes with a tap shift manual mode. Of course, this is no where near as good as a manual with a clutch. Though I loved this car, one of the design decisions GM made had upset me. The tap shift controllers were not paddles like you would see in any other steering wheel shifting car. They are buttons behind the steering wheel, and ugly ones at that.

So began my quest to solve this "problem". I had began posting on the Camaro5 Forums to see if any other automatic drivers dreaded the ugly buttons. Much to my suprise, most people hated the buttons, but no one seemed to complain about it, or at least no one did anything about it. Some of the people were quite helpful, linking me to designs of paddles on other cars that they liked, which was a fantastic start. This lead me down a road in contact with a company in Germany who made paddle shift covers for Audi, BMW, and VW. For a month or two, this company and I e-mailed each other back and forth pretty much everyday. They had agreed to make the paddle shifters for the Camaro. It seemed like a dream come true. However, in the end, they wanted 100 units ordered before they were going to put it into production. They were scared of investing into R&D and not making any money. Completely understandable. However, nobody wanted to pay for something they have not yet seen, which was also completely understandable. This lead to a stalemate, so I had to sadly contact the representative and told him that the deal was a no go. No hard feelings in the end, but we all felt sad for the time wasted.

If you are religious, "When God closes a door He opens a window". This was true to the letter for my situation. A day after the deal with Germany had finished, I was contacted by a very nice man called Kenji. He turned out to be the Vice President of Engineering & Quality Control for B&M Racing/Hurst Shifters.


He told me he had been reading on my full process for getting the paddle shifters, and he had wanted to let me in on a possible secret paddle shifter project. He asked me to be a part of the process. I SAID, "YES!" lol. This was back in July if I remember correctly.

We still keep in touch from time to time. He is busy making the prototype into a usable product. He also said that since SEMA, a lot of vendors can't seem wait to get this product into their stores. It still amazes me that this project is actually happening. Super Special Thanks to Kenji! LOL =D


  1. OMG...I am completely psyched about this!!! I had a 2010 Lancer GTS I just got rid of for my Camaro 2LT/RS auto. The damn shift buttons are the ONLY thing I can't stand about this car. This post just made my day! When will these be available? How much? Where do I get them? Do they need any more testers? I will gladly help move this project along as fast as possible! Your diligent efforts are duly noted! Thanks for digging in on this project, it is most appreciated. I'm on C5 now...porkrind

  2. Hey dude, yeah the company is mailing me the paddles as we speak. It's almost here. I will be doing a full video review and blog post when I get them. You will see the products in action soon ;)

    Be patient.

    If you haven't yet, check out the Spades V6 Facebook page. You will get instant updates. Also Subscribe to the spadesV6 youtube channel!


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