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History The King Shifter

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,703

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

  2. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,703

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Tom King also sent along his life story. Much of it isn't related at all to hot rodding, so I didn't include it in the article. However, I can't resist including it here as it's just damned entertaining... Enjoy:


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  3. BCR
    Joined: Dec 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,258


    That is a great story! Can't wait to see the new shifter.
  4. hugh m
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 2,130

    hugh m
    from ct.

    Great story, now go call your kids.
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  5. olskoolspeed
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 474


    Interesting piece of history. Thanks for posting.
  6. Strange Agent
    Joined: Sep 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,881

    Strange Agent
    from Ponder, TX

    Wow. That's a really cool piece of hot rodding history.
  7. 333 Half Evil
    Joined: Oct 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,440

    333 Half Evil

    Man, this guy has had a busy life. What an interesting read. I've seen old ads for the "King Shifter", it is cool to now read this. Thanks Ryan for sharing.
  8. onedge
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,001


    good one, thanks for the read.
  9. DaveInc
    Joined: Feb 11, 2008
    Posts: 81


    It does sound like a good book will come out of this, and possibly a movie!
    Thanks for sharing.
  10. Lucky Burton
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 1,534

    Lucky Burton

    Strangely I find myself wanting more... Fill in the blanks ya know?
    I would buy his book...Lucky
  11. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,087


    Looks like a bunch of new shifter assemblies with extension housings and trans stuff behind his coupe in the "nerf bar pic".
  12. This is one of the years best! Makes you wonder where Hurst would be if Mr. King would have stayed in the shifter business?
  13. Very cool,,, !
  14. Shamus
    Joined: Jul 20, 2005
    Posts: 729

    from NC

    Tell me more about being the leader of an elite Special Forces Team at such a young age.
  15. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,087


    That bit reminds me of the movie A Beautiful Mind.
  16. donnie
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 185

    from NC

    Wow, whats the chances of 2 guys in the same state creating shifters. Good story.

    What does it mean that the Cadillac could be "flat shifted" with his shifter?
  17. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,351

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    donnie, just like straight line- pull back, push forward, pull back.... 1,2,3d...
  18. burbanite
    Joined: May 31, 2006
    Posts: 184


    Tell me too...
  19. donnie
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 185

    from NC

    Thanks Tuck
    In Line shifters in 1962? cool, I thought they where a late 70s thing.
    I see the first add Ryan posted is a reversed K pattern. I have never heard them called a K pattern. All I have heard is H pattern. But I can see why a 3 speed would be called a K.
  20. Bugsy
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,268

    from Kansas

    This is one of the coolest storys I've read in a long while. What a great bit of hot rodding past and history in general. Only in America!!!!!!!!!!
  21. Kettleman
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 149


  22. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,501

    from Hypocrisy

    Thinking about getting one from him for my Packard, I've been through three shifters adapted by yours truly and all have been less than successful.
  23. DAMN.....looks like I'm too late for the real story!
    I appreciate what was shared, Great looking Coupe!
  24. I SWEAR I saw an ad in the classifieds a while back for some King just assumed they were still available....???
  25. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,990

    Member Emeritus

    Looks like George might not have had Linda riding on the trunk of that Pontiac convertible with the giant shifter handle way back when if Tom had taken a different path.:eek:

  26. six pack to go
    Joined: Aug 2, 2008
    Posts: 1,938

    six pack to go
    from new jersey

    Little update... So I posted some flathead hot rod parts on my local CL and I get an email from a 73 year old cat named Tom King. Not putting 2 and 2 together, I reply as I would any other email. Turns out it was the Tom King of the King Shifter from the 60's!! I was at his house yesterday and he is doing well. The 33 pictured above is in his garage and it looks the same as it did in 1956 when he built it at 16 years of age!! It was truly an awesome experience to meet Mr. King, he is a true living East Coast hot rodding legend. His personal life has been a wild ride as well with all the stories he told me. Anyway, just wanted to let the HAMB world know that he is fine and still working on getting the 33 back on the road. He showed me a homemade gas tank that he just finished and should have her back up and running by next season. He is also still plugging away at hand making his King Shifters. Awesome guy, awesome story and an awesome day meeting Mr. King!

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