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Column gear shift on manual transmission

Dyslexic Viking

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I love column gear shift on a manual transmission and this is one of those things that should never have gone away.

But which cars in Europe after 1970 could you still get this?

I was surprised when a diesel 1971 W115 Merc came up for sale and it had this, all the ones I've seen so far have been floor shift so it must have been a choice between these.


Opel Rekord C still had them and think i have seen a Rekord D with them also. Those are the car models I know about. But I know that the 1st generation Fiat/Citroen/Peugeot/Talbot vans had this, which was probably the last in Europe?

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42 minutes ago, D.E said:

Actually, I have to correct myself. This picture is of a column shifter in a W124, which was even rarer!





That explains why “everything” is on that single left stalk!  (And maybe even the pedal-set parking brake)

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Someone will know the actual answer, but I suspect the last car to be fitted with a manual column change was the Nissan Cedric Japanese taxi.  The taxi  was based on the 1987-debuting Nissan Cedric private car and remained in production until, unbelievably, 2015!  It was sold only to commercial clients, of course, and was equipped with various oddities to suit the Japanese taxi driver - including, until some point in the production run, a column-change manual gearbox:


Nissan Cedric Classic interior

Quite when that feature was dropped I don't know, but other things about that photo suggest it's a fairly recent car.  The radio is certainly nineties, if not early 2000s.  

Toyota's Crown Comfort taxi seems to have gone over to floor change for the manual somewhat earlier than the Nissan, so perhaps doesn't count.  

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Most Wartburgs had a column change, apart from the 353s and Knight in the UK and that ran up to 1988 when they went to the VWish engine and floor change (Note: there was a facelift and mechanical upgrade in 1985 and I'm not sure if that stretched as far as a floor change). A good number of the rally Wartburgs (still reasonably popular as a rally weapon) used the column change as the floor change was a bit pants.


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Had a brief flirtation in the 1980's with both a Renault 4 GTL and a Pug 304 estate that had kind of 'dash' mounted gear changes as the gearbox was out in front of the engine so gear linkage was just a big, steel rod lying over the engine. 

In my book that's not a column change but t'internet reckons it is?

R4 was a 1980s model but the Pug was circa 1975

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2 hours ago, Dyslexic Viking said:

Opel Rekord C


Ahem, count the pedals: this car has a Gentleman's Gearbox.  Which means I would be very happy with it.  I love having the shift on the column, as long as all I have to do is pull it from P to D.

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