About Us

For over 60 yearsHurst has been synonymous with high performance, racing, and unmatched quality. Our founder, George Hurst, had a vision for revolutionary shifter designs that would change the face of drag racing and give enthusiasts more control behind the wheel. That same spirit of innovation carries on today as we continue to push the limits of shifter technology.

A Legacy of Firsts

The Hurst story starts back in 1958 when George Hurst, a young engineer, developed and patented the Jaws clutch system. This groundbreaking design allowed smoother, faster shifting by pre-loading the transmission synchronizers. The Jaws clutch was a game-changer for racers and performance enthusiasts.

Buoyed by the success of Jaws, Hurst turned his attention to shifters. In 1959 he introduced the Hurst Competition/Plus shifter, which quickly became the gold standard for aftermarket manual shifters. Its patented lever pivot design reduced throw while maintaining a factory-style shift pattern. No more vague, wandering shifts – the Competition/Plus gave drivers precise control.

Hurst shifters were soon being snapped up by professional racers and finding their way into legends like the Pontiac GTO, Boss Mustang, Plymouth Superbird, and more. George Hurst had brought race-car control to production cars.

But he didn’t stop there. Hurst went on to develop the first aftermarket dual-gate automatic shifter in 1964. No more just “P-R-N-D-L” – now drivers could manually control 1st and 2nd gears for better acceleration. Detroit took notice, with Hurst dual-gates becoming factory equipment on muscle cars like the Oldsmobile 442 and AMC Javelin.

Shifters for the “Average Joe”

As the 60s turned into the 70s, Hurst looked beyond the racetrack and set his sights on the showroom. He wanted to bring the thrill of performance shifting to the average driver.

The result was the first American “short throw” shifter, the Hurst Lightning Rod. Released in 1970, it reduced throw by 40% compared to stock shifters, while retaining a smooth, easy shift feel. With the Lightning Rod, daily drivers could enjoy crisp, race-inspired shifting.

Complementing the Lightning Rod was another Hurst innovation, the Pistol Grip shifter. Its vertical handle orientation was not only iconic, but more ergonomic. Combined with the short-throw Lightning Rod mechanism, the Pistol Grip made shifting easier and more comfortable in everyday driving.

By the mid-70s, Hurst Pistol Grip shifters could be found in showroom performance cars across America, including the Plymouth Barracuda, Dodge ChallengerFord Mustang II, and more. George Hurst had achieved his goal of giving average Joes a taste of racing technology.

Shifting Gears Once Again

As we entered a new millennium, the manual transmission looked to be a dying breed. But Hurst saw an opportunity to re-invigorate enthusiast shifting with new technology.

In 2006, we released the Hurst Elite line of shifters for modern manual transmissions. They featured patent-pending designs that reduced throw by up to 55% compared to stock. Plus, they were engineered specifically for each application to ensure OE-quality fit and retention.

With the Elite series, Hurst brought short-throw performance to 21st century sports cars like the Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang. It re-connected enthusiasts with the lost art of three-pedal driving.

Building on that success, in 2009 we debuted Hurst Billet/Plus shifters. They combined smooth, precise throws with stylishly machined billet aluminum components. Billet/Plus took the Hurst legacy into the modern era.

Meanwhile, we pushed innovation forward by incorporating 3D-printing into our prototyping process. This technology opened new doors for shifter design and performance. We plan to continue trailblazing with 3D-printing in the years ahead.

Racers Always Come First

While street cars have always been part of the Hurst DNA, racing remains our first love. When George Hurst developed his first shifters in the 1950s, it was to give racers more control. That racing heritage is still alive and well today.

In the 1990s, Hurst returned as an OEM supplier for the factory Dodge Viper – one of the purest, most track-focused cars Detroit ever produced. To this day, every Viper sports a Hurst shifter specially tuned for hard driving.

Hurst also continues to support grassroots racers by sponsoring NHRA sportsman teams. In addition, we developed the affordable yet robust Competition Stick shifter specifically for weekend bracket racers. It’s a nod to our sportsman racing roots.

And at the pinnacle of NHRA drag racing, you’ll still find Hurst shifters in Pro Stock and Top Fuel cars. We are the proud shifter supplier for Kalitta Motorsports, home of the legendary Jeg Coughlin Jr. Our innovations help today’s champions drive like no one else.

Built for Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond

Times change, but our commitment to performance never wavers. While manual transmissions decline, we adapt and innovate.

Our snap-on automatic handles allow drivers to improve the look and feel of their automatic shifter. It’s a way to inject personality into the appliance-like slushboxes of modern cars. We also engineer short throw kits for automatics that restore driver engagement through tighter, more responsive shifts.

Racers choose Hurst because we design products to meet their needs – not marketing hype. We let racers and engineers drive the innovation. If there’s a problem to solve, Hurst develops solutions.

Today, we offer over 350 shifter part numbers encompassing automatic, manual, drag racing, street, and off-road. Plus transmission-swap componentsline lock kits, and more. The Hurst catalog delivers unmatched variety and fitment.

Quality remains our bedrock. We manufacture 100% of our shifters and components right here in America. CAD design, CNC machining, 3D printing, casting, finishing – it’s all done in-house to ensure Hurst standards are met.

We’re also using modern lean manufacturing techniques to increase efficiency. This allows us to rapidly prototype new designs while maintaining competitive pricing. State-of-the-art production means you get uncompromising Hurst quality at a fair value.

Our past inspires us, but our eyes look forward. As technologies like electrification, autonomous driving, and artificial intelligence reshape the industry, Hurst will evolve. One thing is certain – the driving experience will always be at our core. We will preserve and advance the art of performance shifting, whatever the future holds.

Driven to Innovate

George Hurst was an innovator – he saw possibilities where others didn’t. His boundary-pushing vision took the shifter from a mere control device to a tool that enhanced feel, precision, and speed. That spirit still motivates us today.

We never settle for the status quo. Complacency is not in our DNA. Our team is driven by passion and the belief that we can always innovate, refine, and push further.

When we released the first American short-throw shifter, it was a disruptive concept. Some questioned its functionality, but we persevered. The Hurst Lightning Rod proved a short-throw design could make shifting better.

That willingness to challenge convention pulses through the company today. Our patented shifter technologies prove that thinking differently opens new doors.

We are always looking down the road. That includes not just product development, but also operational processes. We utilize lean manufacturing principles to reduce waste and maximize efficiency. Our in-house 3D printing capabilities give us flexibility and rapid prototyping abilities.

We also value our employees and suppliers. By cultivating talent and forging strong partnerships, we position Hurst to keep innovating into the future. We’re proud to design, engineer, and build our products in America.

Driven to Win

Winning was always a priority for founder George Hurst. After all, he was a born racer who never forgot his track roots. When Hurst turned his focus to street shifters, fun and engagement took priority over all-out speed. But make no mistake – the will to win, the desire for performance perfection still drives us.

On the racetrack, Hurst has been part of victories from drag strips to NASCAR to land speed records. The list of champions who relied on Hurst reads like a Hall of Fame roster.

In today’s racing scene, you’ll find Hurst shifters in the pits of NHRANASCARIndyCar and more. We also support grassroots racers by offering affordable products designed specifically for bracket racing. And on the streets, Hurst shifters allow enthusiasts to extract every ounce of performance from their rides.

We never settle for “good enough” – only the podium will do. Our engineering team pours passion into making each product the absolute pinnacle of performance. We’re constantly testing, refining, and pushing to wring out every last hundredth of a second.

Racing analogies permeate our business culture too. We think in terms of passing competitors, chasing the win, and being first to the finish. Complacency is failure – we must keep accelerating. Our founder George Hurst embodied this competitive ethos, and it still drives us today.

But just as in racing, how you win matters. Success requires integrity, respect, and stewardship. We aim to win the right way, through innovation, quality, and service. Taking shortcuts to get trophies is meaningless. The journey is as important as the destination. Respect for our people, partners, and customers gives true meaning to the checkered flag.

Community Driven

While Hurst has grown into a globally recognized performance brand, we remain grounded in our roots. This company was built by racers and enthusiasts – the automotive community is our lifeblood. We’re passionate about cars, the people who love them, and the bonds they create.

Much of our R&D happens not in a lab, but out in the field. We listen closely to customers and racers to understand their needs. The enthusiasts are our ultimate focus group. They drive our innovation – often literally, testing prototypes and providing feedback. Without this community connection, Hurst engineering wouldn’t be possible.

We also give back to the community through partnerships. Our grassroots racing contingency program provides crucial support to weekend bracket warriors. We also sponsor charitable events like Cruisin’ for a Cure and the Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race, raising money for medical research.

Within our facility, we foster a special company culture. We’re a community of like-minded souls – people who share a passion for performance. Enthusiasm breeds creativity. Bonds between engineering, production, sales and admin ensure seamless collaboration. Our tribe of car crazies thrives on teamwork.

We’re invested in our local community too. Hurst is based in Excelsior Springs, Missouri – a historic automotive town. Many employees have roots here spanning generations. We take pride in continuing a rich legacy of American manufacturing and performance innovation.

Driven by You

At Hurst, the shifter connects more than just gears – it links company and consumer, producer and enthusiast. That relationship is a virtue we cherish. It constantly reminds us that the products bearing our name end up in your hands – serving your desires, not our own.

Our community drives us. Your demands for quality, value, and innovation constantly push us to raise the bar. Criticism too is a gift – it illuminates areas needing improvement. The customer is ultimately our compass, not the marketers or accountants.

This ethos has defined Hurst from the outset. In the 1950s, racers wanted smoother, faster shifting. So George Hurst delivered the Jaws clutch and Competition/Plus shifter. In the ’70s, everyday enthusiasts wanted a taste of short-throw performance. The Lightning Rod and Pistol Grip were our response. Your needs shape our path.

Listening to customers isn’t always easy amid the din of modern marketing. But we make the effort. Surveys, interviews, events, and most importantly, candid conversations – all help us stay connected with you. We take pride in being accessible to enthusiasts.

No matter how big Hurst grows, you remain our core. Serving you is our highest goal. Your passion for cars inspires our passion for innovation. We pour our hearts into these products because we know you’ll pour yours into using them. The shifter connects us in that magical way.

So when you row the gears in your Hurst-equipped car, know that you’re feeling over 60 years of racing obsession, quality craftsmanship, and enthusiasm distilled into mechanical harmony. You share the road with each person who ever twisted a Hurst shifter knob. You’re part of our community. And we can’t wait to shift together into the future.