The tactile aspects of your car – the parts you interact with intimately -can influence your opinion of the vehicle as a whole, either for the good or the bad. Seating surfaces, the steering wheel rim, even the give of the surface where you might brace an elbow, all can make the difference between enjoying the environs, and feeling either frustrated, or creeped out, at their touch.
One ergonomic aspect of a car, and one that seems to have occasionally seen the results of creative license run amok, is the shifter. It’s a part of the car you must touch if you want to move, and some cars make that a more agreeable action than do others. Whether automatic or stick, car makers seem to like to make that interaction be a memorable one. Sometimes it’s totally forgettable – like either Prius or BMW 7-series pinkie finger of a knob that sends a signal to some mechanism that somehow tells the car to go forward or reverse. Others, like the pistol grip in the Plymouth ‘Cuda, not only make each shift an event, but call out the driver in a challenge of worthiness for even attempting the act.
In between there’s the plethora of cookie cutter column shifts and plastic-topped black metal shafts intended to row through the gears in institutional fashion, but there are also some shifters – like the ‘Cuda’s – around which you can wrap your hands that can make each gear change an event. Which one do you think is the coolest?
Image source: [Jims59.com]