After several years of driving my roadster pickup using a length of rod as a shifter, I finally got around to installing a floor shifter, meaning I no longer have to reach down by my feet to select gears. I’d planned on using a column shifter but the short steering column meant there was little space for one between the wheel and the dash.

However, the whole deal got me thinking about what’s available should you want to retain a somewhat traditional look, yet still be able to run a modern transmission, whether it be automatic or manual. By no means a definitive guide, here’s a sample of what we came up with, for both column and floor shifters, as well as how I made the pickup a little easier to drive.

[1] LimeWorks’ Safety Shifter is about as traditional in appearance as it’s possible to get. Based on a ’40 Ford version, it’s an old-style column shifter for a modern automatic trans, and works with GM 350, 400, and 700, as well as Ford C4 transmissions. It’s the first aftermarket shifter with a neutral safety switch, meaning the engine will only start in Park, with lockouts in Park, Reverse, and Neutral.

[2] The LimeWorks shifter can be supplied with or without their column, and will fit 1 1/2- or 1 3/4-inch columns. It’s supplied with upper and lower housings in aluminum, and all working parts in stainless steel. The polished upper housing spring loads the shaft, while the lower housing has the detent plate and neutral safety switch.

[3] Of course any shifter needs some way to connect to the transmission, and Kugel Komponents’ Shift Arm kits have long been the linkage kit of choice. With a splined attachment on the factory transmission shaft, and a sliding arm, it offers adjustment for any application. It’s available for GM 200, 350, 400, 700-R4, 4L60E, and 4L80E transmissions only, and will fit column or floor shifters.

[4] Lokar’s Cable Column Shift Linkage Kit could be the answer if you have interference issues or limited space, allowing the cable to be routed around obstacles, such as pedals, exhaust, crossmembers, or the trans itself. It can be used in conjunction with the company’s backup light and neutral safety switch kits for most GM transmissions (Powerglide excepted). The kit will fit aftermarket 2-inch GM-style columns and most factory GM columns.

[5] Ididit also offers a solution to adapting a stock GM column, with this two-piece bracket and horseshoe bracket kit. The cable is also available from ididit.

[6] If you’re using ididit’s column, this cable bracket will attach to the outer column using a pinch-bolt. Brackets are available for GM, Ford C4, C6, and AOD, as well as Chrysler 727 and 904 transmissions.

[7] While many companies offer shifters for manual transmissions, most don’t fit the “traditional” remit of this article. However, LimeWorks offers this 16 1/2-inch-long shifter to fit a GM T5 manual trans. Installation is as easy as cutting off the original shifter, leaving 1 inch protruding, then slipping the new handle over the old, and tightening the setscrews.

[8] Lokar also has manual shifters. This is a direct bolt-on tubular shift lever for Tremec/Borg Warner five- and six-speeds. They fit the TKO, T5, T45, and T56 with the standard two-bolt flange measuring 7/8-inch center to center with metric boltholes. These levers feature a machined billet steel mounting stud counter sunk for cap screws. Tremec/Borg Warner kits include 8mm socket head cap screws and Tremec TKO includes 3/8-24 socket head cap screws. Levers feature a 3/8-24 thread for the shift knob and are available in 16-, 12-, and 10-inch lengths with a single bend. The 16-inch lever is also available in a double bend, and all are available in chrome or black. Lokar also offers a GM S-10 manual shift lever adapter.

[9] The B&M Street Rod Shifter bolts directly to a GM TH350 transmission, featuring an easy-to-operate gate-style mechanism designed into a compact shifter. The fully adjustable mounting bracket assembly provides optimum shifter location. It has a CNC-machined 6061-T6 aluminum lever and billet aluminum knob with insert. Most shifter boots will easily slip over the stick to provide the finishing touch.

[10] American Shifter offers two types of automatic trans-mount shifter, either a regular push-button shift, where the button on top has to be pressed to select gears, or a dual-action (shown), where you can press the button or use the side action option to select gears.

[11] Don’t have room for a transmission mount shifter? The safety and features of a Lokar shifter are also available with the company’s Tailmount Shifter. This design mounts to the transmission’s tailhousing bolts, and offers a choice of two mounting positions. It’s also available in black.

[12] Lokar Nostalgia Shifters are reminiscent of the early days of hot rodding, with their classic double-bend chromed lever and black mushroom knob. This style of the Lokar collection of shifters is available in both 16- and 23-inch lengths and shares all the same features of the single-bend shifters, including safety lock-out button, neutral safety switch, main plate, and side brackets. Shifter boots are sold separately. They are available for GM, Ford, and Chrysler automatic transmissions. The single bend shifters are available in 32-, 23-, 16-, 12-, 10-, 8-, and 6-inch lengths, with 360-degree lever rotation for extra leg space, and lever adjustments for dash and seat clearance.