The New Year “Shifts” into Gear

One of the hardest parts to find for the BatBerry is a screen accurate shifting mechanism for the car.  This is because the screen used shifter isn’t your ordinary automotive column or floor mounted shifter.  No, it had to be an aircraft part from a vintage WWII bomber!

To be exact, the most screen accurate shifter to be found is that of a WWII TBM Avenger torpedo bomber from the US Navy.  In this case it isn’t actually a shifter, but instead a throttle quadrant.

With the help of some of the guys on the CLTC and scouring the Internet, I’ve been able to track down one of these bad boys still new in the box… Yes, still new from 60+ years ago from stock as a replacement part 🙂

You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, but as you can see from the below photos, the throttle quadrant used in the movie Batmobile is almost a dead ringer for the TBM Avenger quadrant shown at the top of this post.  I want to try and keep the BatBerry as screen accurate as possible, so this throttle quadrant is a “must have”.

You can see on the passenger side of the throttle in the above photo the mounting bracket/holes on the side that were used to mount the throttle quadrant to the side of the bomber’s cockpit.

My next challenge will be getting the lever’s hooked up so that I can use the tallest push button lever as the automatic transmission shifter for the BatBerry.  I’m not quite sure what I’ll use the other two levers for quite yet, but I’m sure inspiration will strike as I move along with the project.

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8 thoughts on “The New Year “Shifts” into Gear

  1. I was thinking you can use one of the levers to pop the trunk lid or as an e-brake release (that’s I had in mind for my quadrant).

    Dave Boboc

    1. Both interesting ideas… maybe one as the e-brake and the other as the e-brake release….

      I’ll have to see if it has enough throw distance to be used for the e-brake

  2. There was a set of shifters used in the 80’s for oldsmobile hurst/olds cutlass cars called lightning rods. they have three shifters like you have but all of them are used to work the transmission in manual mode. first shifter is park-reverse-neutral-drive. second shifter pulled down puts the transmission from drive to second, and the third shifter when pulled down puts the transmission from second to first. I don’t know how old this post is but I thought this might help you or anyone else building the car. When I build mine this is the shifter I will be looking for

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