Vehicles with manual transmissions have been equipped with shift indicators (illuminated or audible) for decades. While some are used to improve performance, most are designed to encourage more fuel-efficient driving. Regardless of the original objective, nearly all drivers become desensitized or learn to ignore the illuminated lights and arrows after just a few short hours behind the wheel.
Where the outlandish reigns supreme, functionality and practicality take a back seat. That's why we admire folks who poke fun at the insanity of the automotive aftermarket. Take this particular Dodge Viper owner. Rather than swap in the latest short-throw kit, the guy bolted on a four-foot-long shift knob. Why? According to his YouTube account, he was jealous of drivers with longer knobs. Har Har.
This didn't take long. American Shifter Company has created a dead Osama bin Laden shift knob. For the low price of $69.95 (on sale!), you can row your gears with the zombified head of Al Qaeda's former leader. Sure it's about as tasteless as fishnets at a funeral, but it's far from the worst automotive accessory we've seen.
Thonet shift knobs for Volvo C70 – Click above for high-res image gallery
var digg_url = 'http://digg.com/design/Could_this_be_the_most_trick_shift_knob_ever'; We've always been of the opinion that if it doesn't make you go faster, stick better or be safer, it's generally a waste of money. There have been exceptions, but this has to be one of the coolest.