Here is a article that Gareth Hughes kindly submitted to the Essex Area Ferrari Owners club Newsletter
No. 208 Feb 2003
“Slick-Shift” - Everybody should have one!
As mentioned last month, this new device has been acquired and tested to the limit by your faithful journalistic team. It was discovered while searching for Ferrari related websites that would be of interest to our readers. Originally I was interested in changing my polished alloy gear knob for one that is engraved with the gear pattern. Hill Engineering offer precision made replacements at a very competitive price and I was impressed by the information provided on their website. After deciding on a new engraved gear knob, I then discovered this new type of gear gate that the company also manufactures.
Once I had read the technical info I thought that this is something I definitely must try.
Fitting is so easy, even your Granny could do it. The unit comes nicely packed and includes new countersunk cap head screws + key that finish the job off nicely.
Once out on the road, I immediately noticed the easier change from 3rd to 4th (too cold for
1st to 2nd changes initially) and when fully warmed up, I gave it “the gun” to see if I could feel a big difference to the original gate.
Well there’s a definite improved feel through the gate. There is a smoother motion as you make changes but you can still get the familiar “click-clack” through the box.
The real test came when I had a fully warmed up gearbox and the opportunity to switch between using the 2 different gates. On my test run using the new gate, I could make upward changes across the gate significantly faster. Coming down, there is not much difference as you tend to apply less force and let the natural spring assistance take it’s course.
For those steadfast supporters of originality on their cars, the new gate is visually, only slightly different and the untrained eye would not notice that it was a modification.
Another benefit of this replacement is the restored reverse lock-out pin. This part of the original gate suffers the most wear (I should know, I replaced my original gate because of this at 20,000 miles).
I should imagine that the new gate would be noticeably beneficial to hill climb competitors and track day drivers when you fight with the gears more than usual. Similarly, left-hand drive cars or those like the 512BB where the gate wasn’t re-positioned for the right-hand drive versions (and thus cause a few mishaps) would certainly be better off with one of these.
There are 2 types of this new gate available covering the following tipo’s:
246Dino, 308GT4, 308, 512BB, 328, 348, Mondial, 288GTO, F40 & Testarossa.
Chairman - Essex Area Ferrari Owners Club