The Island That Time Forgot: Hurst Mystery Shifter Display

I forgot to mention one of the most important reasons for having so many surviving old cars on the streets of Alameda: Lee Auto Supply. This old-school auto-parts store has been in the same brick building on Park Street since the 1920s, and now stands as one of the only remaining independent parts stores in northern California. If you go to Lee Auto and ask for, say, a timing-cover gasket for an unknown-origin Ford 289 engine that you bought for $50 from some guy and dropped into your F-100, you won't get a puzzled teenager asking you for the year/make/model so he can punch it into The Computer and give you the wrong part. No, you'll get a genuine parts guy, who will have stories to tell about the 289-powered Comet he used to blow the doors off some dude's Barracuda at City Line back in 1973, and you'll leave with exactly the right part...


...and one of the best things about Lee Auto (which has been my main source of parts and advice since I was a young hoon with my very first car) is that the place is a freakin' gearhead museum. They've got a creaky wooden floor, plaques from East Bay car clubs going back to the 1920s on the walls, 1950s and 1960s stickers completely covering the parts counter, yellowed photos of store-sponsored race cars at the old Fremont Dragstrip, and this vintage Hurst display right up front, where it's been since the Hurst rep dropped it off during Eisenhower's presidency. Just to make it all the more awesome, these are 3-speed shifters! Stay tuned for a major feature on more vintage finds in this treasure trove of automotive history!