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WEVO Shifter “from the Dreamtunnel”

Last post I covered some very, very early “research” into shifter design. Preceding that in the early 70′s was a very funky double lever, one wheel brake for my hill trolley as an 8 year old……..but that’s another story.

This time we are covering some more recent history and forthcoming shifter product developments.

In 1999 Windrush purchased our first 3D CAD programme and at the same time purchased Z-Corp 3D Rapid Prototyping equipment to augment product development at WEVO. The costly luxury of 3D prototyping equipment was unusual for such a small company in the late 90′s and we offset some of the costs by building models for a wide range of clients.

We also put the equipment to good use by stretching the envelope of product development and casting those ideas into 3D models that were the extravagant predecessors of more restrained and marketable solutions.


The shifter above and below was designed and built in 2000 – pretty much on the basis of a dare by Jerry Woods, who challenged me to come up with an “idiot-proof” shifter for a 915 that used irreproachable logic to control the access of the gear change sequence. The complicated mechanism dubbed the “logic plate” resides at the base of the shift lever and controls the access to each gear in a logical manner – in particular, only 3rd or 4th are available as a downshift from 5th, with 1st, 2nd and reverse all blocked.  I hate to think how much time was spent at the design workstation, or the 3D model machine to come up with this functional prototype, but we did it and I recall the surprise and dismay that Jerry exhibited when a) we demonstrated it was possible and b) we demonstrated how absurdly complex it would be to achieve the “logic”.


In September 2001, with more realistic goals, we introduced the current architecture of WEVO shifters. They perform wonderfully and with about 2500 shifters in circulation for 901, 915, 930 and G50 transmissions, we have loads of happy customers.

With so much product in service we inevitably get requests for derivative products. Over the 8+ years so far, we have delivered straight levers, tall levers, extra bent levers, lightweight levers, short levers for hi-console shifters etc, etc.

As you can see from the 2000 experiment, I once considered the angled main shift tube an acceptable solution. The discreet shifter experience we have accumulated since 2000 means that I no longer believe that is a valid solution. Two basic reasons - 1) the angle change of the shift tube leads to deflections and lost motion (both killers to accuracy and shifter feel) and 2) the angle shift tube requires cutting the chassis for tube clearance and we always try to design WEVO products that can be installed and removed from your Porsche without any irreversible modifications.

The 915 Tall Boy shifter will be available fully tested and ready to race by Memorial Day 2010. You can see a passing resemblance to the 2000 Shifter project, but the design actually shares much with the existing WEVO 915 shifter. In addition there is a partial adoption of logic, with the reverse lock-out being disarmed by a press button and remaining inactive until 5th gear is once again selected. This time we are better equipped to bring the product to market at a fair price and do so without conceding to the angle shift tube approach used in other high knob shifter solutions. Keep an eye open for products testing in street and race cars during the 2010 Spring.


This deliberately sketchy image does not reveal too much, but as you have come to expect for a WEVO product this shifter will be accurate, light and have great driving feel.

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