Computerized or electronic shifting; whoever thought that that would be possible in your ’60s Chevy Impala or other American classic? We saw it for ourselves when we visited with the boys at Retro Tek in Corona, California, who called us over when they were about to do their first shifter install on a classic lowrider.
After seeing the instructions, we realized that this build was not too complicated and could be done by any experienced builder. We also realized that this kit is perfect to upgrade and modernize a classic car with a newer-style interior. The interior of this Impala was getting outfitted with digital gauges from Dakota Digital and a modern-day sound system, so this shift kit really complemented the theme of the interior.
One of the things to make sure of before jumping into this type of project is to verify that you have good grounds before you start. Also make sure that you have a constant 12-volt source that you can use to power up the system. You should use a meter to verify constant power, and never use the HEI or distributor wire as they usually have resistors and the current drops to about 8 volts of power. Make sure that your battery is fully charged before starting, as it’s important to have the right current when setting up your system.
Ken and the crew at Retro Tek showed us how you can install this bolt-on kit in a few hours. They’ve designed a kit that’s almost turn-key for the average enthusiast installer. Now follow along as they show us how to install this shift kit in this classic ride.