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By Larry Edsall

Talon Get a grip: Talon shifters fit your hand

It was way back in 1972 that Don Agate bought an Austin Healey that lacked a gearshift knob. Agate drove the car to his body shop in Brownsboro, Ala., where he took a handful of Bondo, stuck it on the end of the shift lever and held it until it set up.

The result was a shift knob custom fit to Agate's right hand, and over the years, when he had a few minutes, he'd take sand paper and smooth the rough edges of the curved surfaces.

Fast forward a few decades and Agate meets John McClure, a local attorney, and somehow their conversation turns to the unique shifter and Agate's desire to see if there might be a market for his shift knob.

Something like six years and many prototypes later, Aggar Ergonomic Designs LLC of Sebring, Fla., offers the Talon gear shift knob, a five-finger grip that falls naturally to hand, whether you're shifting a manual or automatic transmission.

Now made of modern polymers instead of old-fashioned body filler, and highly polished and available in both sold colors and patterns, including wood grain, carbon fiber and camouflage, Talon shifters are priced at $49.95 (solid colors) and $59.95 (patterned). The shifter also can be ordered unpainted (and for only $29.95) so you can take it to your local paint shop to have it custom matched to your vehicle.

The Talon shift knobs come with three sleeves (7/16, 5/16 and 3/8 inches) so they can fit most shift levers. An adapter kit is available for shift levers 9/16 to 11/16 inches diameter.

And, yes, Don Agate's hand is still the one used for the final mold, though a new and slightly larger and wider version will be offered soon for people with extra-large hands.

For more information, visit the www.talonknobs.com website or call (800) 209-9446.

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